Phase 5


  • Understand what’s required in your permit application
  • Know what to expect from application review
  • Get started on your application
  • Understand the types of fees you may need to pay

The permitting process can be straight-forward if you are prepared and understand what to expect. You should have an idea of how the process works from your conversations with planning staff, and your designer should be familiar as well. Permitting starts with an application package and ends with a building permit, which allows you to start construction.


The Permitting phase typically takes 1-6 months. Most ADU projects take 12-18 months to complete, but some extend to 24 months or more.



Keep in mind: It’s helpful to meet with City staff before submitting your application. While not required, meeting with your designer and local staff before you submit your application might save time later in the process. Contact Planning staff to schedule a meeting and check out our ADU Worksheets for help planning the meeting.

Have you confirmed your location?

PLEASE NOTE: Not all properties with the 95667 ZIP code, including many with “Placerville” addresses, are within the incorporated City limits of Placerville. Use one or more of these tools to confirm if your property is within El Dorado County or Placerville’s jurisdiction:

Step 1

Prepare Your Application Package

application overview

Read below for more details on the application process depending on your location. 

See How to Obtain a Building Permit for additional details on many of the points below. Otherwise confirm details with local staff (see details on the Contact page). 

  • Building permit: Complete the Building Permit Application form on the Building Services Forms website
  • Plan check: Submit materials including two complete sets of plans (including foundation plan, floor plan, Title 24 report, and more) plus one additional floor plan (see details on How to Obtain a Building Permit page). See Residential Structures Submittal Checklist for a complete list and Residential Plan Review Guidelines for helpful information on what should be included on the materials. 
  • Community Services District approval: ADUS in architecturally controlled areas of El Dorado Hills Community Services District or Cameron Park Community Services District require architectural approval before building permits are issued. 
  • Septic and well review: If your ADU will not be serviced by a public water/sewer provider and will instead have a septic system, you must submit a perc test, septic design, and Well Production Report to Environmental Management (submitted with or after building permit application).
  • Encroachment Permit: If connecting a new driveway to a County-maintained road, you’ll need an Encroachment Permit. See County Fire Safe regulations for additional driveway information. 
  • Manufactured ADUs have some additional requirements, including permanent steps/landings and approval from any applicable water/sewer district. See more details here.
  • Historic District If your property is in a Historic District, confirm the approval process and submission requirements with local staff.
  • ADU checklist – This can be submitted at the same time as a building permit. 
  • Building permit application form
  • Submit project plan sets 
  • Address Assignment Application (not applicable to JADUs)
  • Historic District If your property is in a Historic District, confirm the approval process and submission requirements with local staff. Submission requirements will include elevations, materials, and color boards. 
  • Fire Protection ADU plans will be submitted directly to El Dorado County Fire Protection District. Confirm details with staff. 
  • Septic Systems If you need septic system approval (rare in Placerville limits), you’ll need to submit a permit application to El Dorado County Environmental Management Department. Confirm details with staff. 

Once your ADU plans are finalized, you and your designer or contractor will submit your application package for approval. 

Tools and Resources

See links within the location dropdowns above.

Step 2

Submit Your Application

Applications may be submitted in-person or electronically, depending on the department/agency and the materials necessary. Confirm submission requirements with the appropriate office.

After your application is submitted the reviewing department/agency will assess it for completeness, then begin their review.

Address Assignment

You’ll be provided with an address after submitting your site plan as part of the Building Permit Application. Ask Planning staff for details on any applications or forms to fill out. There may be a fee for address assignment.

Step 3

Revise Your Application

Staff will complete their review and provide any comments. Most likely, this review will happen at a staff level (no hearings), but in less common instances, an additional permit or public hearing may be required.

If modifications to your plan are required (at least one round of revisions is typical), your team will revise and resubmit the application. Under state law, agencies/departments reviewing your plans must provide a full set of comments with a list of incorrect items and how those can be fixed.

Step 4

Receive Your Permits

After your application is approved, staff will let you know that your permit is ready and how you can receive it. Once you have paid any remaining fees and you have your permit, you can begin construction. Permits generally must be displayed at the site.

Unincorporated El Dorado County: Permits expire two years from date of issue. May be renewed up to twice for another year before/within 30 days of expiration, if permit holder has tried to pursue construction and has completed inspections as needed. The permit holder can apply for permit reactivation after the four-year period if the project hasn’t gotten a final inspection.

City of Placerville: Permit expires one year from date issued or 180 days from last approved inspection. If construction has begun, an extension may be granted by the Building Official. If no work has commenced, a new permit is required.

permitting fees


Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about permitting.

Not sure what questions to ask?

Check out our ADU worksheets


Tell us your thoughts!

Please give us feedback about ADUs in our area. If you leave your contact info, we may be able to get back to you with more information. 

If you’re looking for specific advice or information about your property and ADU, please use the contact information for El Dorado County or the City of Placerville at the bottom of this website. 

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