Permits for Businesses

Expanding or Relocating Your Business?
Is your business growing or moving to a new location in the City of La Mesa? Congratulations! We’re happy that your company is helping to boost our economy and provide jobs for the citizens of La Mesa. As you expand, there are a few questions you may want to ask the City or other agencies. For example:
  • If I expand my business, are there any new planning permit or zoning requirements?
  • Will I have to add more parking?
  • Do I need a building permit for my remodel?
  • Will the fire code require more exits, sprinklers or safety equipment?
  • What about disabled access?
  • Will the business handle any hazardous materials that will require review by other agencies?

The City of La Mesa wants your business to succeed -- it benefits all of us. So, before you expand, talk to a contractor, engineer, architect or other design professional, along with City staff members... they’re there to help you find out what’s needed.

And, after you’ve learned about the requirements, you may need to hire an architect, engineer, contractor, consultant or other design professional to help you in drawing up plans or other necessary documents. These requirements help your business be a safer, better neighbor, and preserve the beauty and character of La Mesa.

Do I need a building permit to start a new business in an existing building or move an existing business from one building to another existing building?
This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many variables between different kinds of businesses and different construction types of buildings.

Generally, if the prior use of the building was the same as the proposed future use and no construction or alterations to existing building system (structural, electric, plumbing, mechanical, etc) are planned to accommodate the new tenant, a building permit may not be needed.

Certain businesses, such as restaurants and automotive uses, must be formally reviewed and will require a tenant improvement permit even if no work is being done.

View Permit Exemptions

When are plans required for a new tenant to occupy an existing building or tenant space?
Generally, plans are required whenever it is determined that a building permit is required for a new tenant to occupy a building or tenant space. If no work is taking place to accommodate the new tenant, but it has been determined that a permit is required, a Site Plan and a Floor Plan may be all that are necessary to show the location and number of parking spaces and the intended uses of each room or space within the building.

When additions or alterations to the building are proposed or the intended use of the building or tenant space presents special fire or life/safety concerns, additional plans which clearly show the extent of the work and its compliance with the applicable laws, codes and ordinances may also be required.

Each construction project is unique; you are encouraged to contact the City's Building Division, 667.1176, for answers to your specific questions. You may also visit Building Division for additional information.