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Permits & Signs

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Can I get a sign for my business?
In general, permenant signs for businesses are not allowed in Town.  Temporary signs are allowed for real estate and contractors.  One sign, no larger than 12" x 15", black and white only (no colors) may be posted on a property for real estate purposes or to identify a contractor working on a job for which there is an active permit.

Additional details are included in Hillsborough Municipal Code Section 17.48.040, the Sign Ordinance.


Phone: (650) 375-7411

Do I need a permit for a home alarm system?
Yes.  Contact the Finance Department.


Phone: (650) 375-7402

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Do I need a permit for a new swimming pool?
Yes, a Building Permit is required for a swimming pool.  In addition, the Town has standards and requirements for the placement of pools, pool equipment and spas.  This information is available on the Planning Department website or in the Planning Department office.  Building Permit information is avaiable on the Building Department website or in the Building Department office.


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Do I need a permit for an estate sale or garage sale?
No permit is needed, but please keep in mind that residents are responsible for ensuring that traffic impacts are limited.  Sales are limited to from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on either one day or two consecutive days only.  No more than three sales per year, per address, are allowed.  Signs may only be posted on the sale site, not on adjoining properties or on public property (such as streets and poles).


Phone: (650) 375-7470

Do I need a permit for my business sign?
Permits are not required for business signs, but the only business signs which are permitted in Hillsborough are contractor's signs (on the job site) and real estate signs. Signs are limited to one sign per property, no larger than 12" x 15".  Colored signs are not permitted; only black on white.  Contractor's signs must be removed wthin one week after the job is completed.  Real estate signs may remain on the property only one week after the transaction has been completed. 

Do I need a permit to cut down a tree?
In some cases, yes.  There are different procedures for tree removal, depending on the circumstance.  If a tree is an immediate hazard, the tree removal request is given a top priority. The Town's tree removal guidelines are summarized in a short handout.


Phone: (650) 375-7411

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Do I need a permit to place an antenna or satellite dish on my property or house?
The Town has regulations about the placement of antenna and satellite dishes.  The regulations and the approval processes are explained in the Architecture and Design Review Board (ADRB) application which is available on this website.


Phone: (650) 375-7411

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How do I obtain a contractor’s license?
Please contact the State Contractor's License Board.


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How do I schedule a building inspection?
Schedule an inspection by calling the Building Department during regular business hours.  Please call at least 48 hours in advance to ensure that your inspection can be scheduled according to your needs.  If there is no answer, please leave a brief message and someone will return your call to confirm your inpection.


Phone: (650) 375-7411

How large of an addition may I put on my house?
There is an informational handout on the Planning Department webpage called "Lot and House Size" which will help you understand how the Town regulates house sizes.  The larger the lot, the larger the house may be.

To determine the possible size of an addition, you will need to know the exact lot size and the size of the current house.  Lot size can be determined by contacting a surveyor or a civil engineer and having "travers closure calulations" prepared (this does not require a survey). You may need to measure your house, or refer to plans which you may have (some plans are available on microfiche in the Building Department) to determine its size.  Once you know these two key facts, you will be able to easily calculate the maximun size permitted for an addition.

If you need assistance, contact the Planning Department, 375-7411.

 


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I am building a new house. Where can I get information?
The Planning Department has important information, such as Design Guidelines and Development Standards, which will help you and your architect understand the Town's requirements and regulations.  In addition, there is information about the Town's Architecture and Design Review process for new houses.  Please visit the Planning Department's webpage or office for copies of these documents.


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I am planning a large function / party / fundraiser at my home. Do I need a permit?
Charitable permits are required for certain types of fund raising events.  Information is available on the City Clerk web page.  

While permits are not required for smaller political fund raisers or private parties, residents are encouraged to contact the Police Department regarding traffic control and parking.

If you plan to use a temporary tent shelter, you must obtain the permission of the Central County Fire Department.


Phone: (650) 375-7412

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I am remodeling my house. What permits or approvals do I need?
If the remodel will alter the exterior apparence or the size of your home, design review approval is required before applying for a Building Permit.  The Planning Department has information, such as Design Guidelines and Development Standards, which will help you and your architect understand the Town's requirements and standards.  Designs for small-scale additions and exterior changes (such as ground floor additions smaller than 500 sq. ft., fencing along the street, driveway gates, and landscaping) may be approved administratively, by the Planning Department staff.  Designs for larger projects, including second-story additions, require design approval by the Town's Architecture and Design Review Board.  Please visit the Planning Department website or the office.


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I want to hold an outdoor / open-air event... do I need a permit?
Fundraising events require Fundraising Event Permits.  Please contact the City Clerk for additional information.

Events where more than 200 persons will be present require review of parking by the Police Department.  If a tent is erected or persons will be indoors the Central County Fire Department must also be consulted.

Town ordinance limits the use of outdoor speakers and other amplification devices and noise levels should remain below the nuisance level defined in the Municipal Code.


Phone: (650) 375-7412

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I want to install solar panels.
The installation of solar panels requires a Building Permit.  In addition, the Hillsborough Municipal Code requires that the homeowner meet with a staff planner to review the preliminary plans and the Town's Design Guidelines (See page 67 of Chapter 10, available on this website) before applying for the permit to see if the potential for visual impacts might be reduced. 

If you need assistance, contact the Planning Department staff.


Phone: (650) 375-7411

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I would like to film a commercial or a movie in Hillsborough.
The Planning Department administers film permits.  Information on the process and the application is available on the Planning Department page of this website.  Click below for the Film Production application.


Phone: (650) 375-7411

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May I put up a sign on telephone or PG&E poles?
No signs may be posted on poles.

Tell me about construction permits.
Permits are issued by the Building Department, in Town Hall, between 8:00 am and 11:30 am.  Permit fees are based on the value of the job.  If you have already submitted a Building Permit application and plans for planchecking, the Building Department will call you, or your contractor, when the Permit is ready to be issued.

Building Permit applications are accepted during normal business hours.

Additional information is on the Building Department webpage.


Phone: (650) 375-7411

What is a certificate of occupancy?
A Certificate Of Occupancy is issued when new structures are completed and fit to occupy.  The Building Department issues Certificates of Occupancy when the final inspection has been made and the construction is complete.


Phone: (650) 375-7411


The Town of Hillsborough 1600 Floribunda Avenue, Hillsborough, CA 94010 (650) 375-7400
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