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Tenant Improvement with Change of "Occupancy" or "Use" Plan Information

Applicants wishing to occupy a building, or part of a building, or remodel an existing tenant space for the purpose of opening a business shall submit the following data and plans when making application for a building permit.

  • A Site Plan accurately locating the project area within the building and showing all parking available on the property.
    • Show address of the project.
    • Name and address of the owner of the building.
    • Show accessible path of travel to primary entrance (closest to handicap parking.)
  • A tenant list, signed by the owner indicating the following information for each and every tenant on the property. When parking analysis is required:
    • Name and nature of business.
    • Name(when possible) and nature of prior business occupancy type.
    • If developing a food service type business provide the total number of seats and list the total dining area for the restaurant.
    • Total area in square feet of each tenant space occupied.
    • Number of parking spaces available and total number of parking spaces required based on business type. See the Zoning Ordinance for more information./li>
  • Space utilization plans, drawn to scale, showing:
    • All existing and proposed construction clearly labeled. (Suggest use of different symbols to accomplish this)
    • All existing and proposed exits. (show sizes and direction of door swing and landing dimensions)
    • Number of employees. Two restrooms are required when there are more than four employees and both sexes are employed. State maximum number of employees working at one time in a tenant space.
    • Title 24 accessibility details. (Show all required access features and existing restroom dimensions that may or may not be required to be altered to meet the code). Some projects may be qualified for accessibility exemption.
    • An explanation of how light and ventilation is provided. (i.e. air conditioning ducts, openable windows, roof vents, etc.)
    • A description of how the entire tenant space will be utilized, include a seating plan. Show aisle widths and include all pertinent interior dimensions.
    • The total value of improvements (bid price). The value shall include all material, labor and overhead for all work proposed INCLUDING PLUMBING, HEATING, MECHANICAL and ELECTRICAL WORK.
    • Where applicable, counter or rack locations showing aisle widths.
    • Show details or provide specific information for all walls, bearing or non-bearing, describing anchorage at top and bottom, size and spacing of studs, wall height and wall finish.
    • Title 24 Energy Forms CF-1A or CF-1B and MF-1 with signatures must be placed on the plans. Provide Forms CF-1 through CF-3 plus calculations and details when required. Transfer all insulation information including areas, location and insulation type on the plan and elevation. Also, other electrical and mechanical forms, calculations submit directly to those corresponding divisions.
    • Need structural plans and calculations signed by a licensed Engineer if and when plans call for any structural work.
  • Any other details necessary to completely describe how the space will be utilized, all construction work being done, and any other information necessary to show compliance with any applicable building code or regulation. Details of grease hood and exhaust duct are required where applicable.
  • Any proposed roof mounted equipment shall be specified as to weight and details provided of connections to the existing building. Details shall also be provided for any shafts needed, and any roof opening reinforcement needed. Drawings and calculations if needed are required to be signed by a registered civil engineer or architect. Incomplete drawings, details or calculations will be returned to applicants for completion prior to any processing.
  • If any exterior changes are proposed such as a new store front, new opening, or closing of an opening, new canopy or other addition, including roof mounted equipment, a site development permit may be required. (Check with Planning (408) 535-3555)
  • Provide a copy of approval from the County Health Department. Contact them at 408-918-4770.
  • Check with the Water Pollution Control Plant for grease trap requirements, Phone 408-945-3000.
  • To open a bar or liquor store follow procedure required obtaining a liquor license. State or California Alcoholic Beverage Control, phone: 277-1200.
  • Plans and other information should comply with the City of San Jose amended California Building Code.    
  • Submit FIVE COMPLETE SETS of plans with TWO copies of structural calculations, and TWO sets of specifications as necessary for Plan Review. These should be broken down as follows: 2 sets of arch & structural plans, 2 sets of signed structural calculations, 3 sets of architectural plans only, 2 sets of electrical only plans plus all title 24 documents and specifications, 2 sets of plumbing & mechanical only plans plus all title 24 documents and specifications. If Hazmat review is required an additional set of architectural only plans will be required.
  • A Plan Checking Fee is required to be paid. When this is paid depends on the method or plan review application made.
  • It is advisable that a licensed contractor should obtain the building permit for reasons of insurance liability. If building permit is to be obtained by owner or tenant then prepare the owner-builder permit application forms.
  • For any questions call Commercial Plan Checking Section of the Building Division, City Hall at (408) 535 - 3555 between the hours of 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., Monday through Friday

All plans submitted must be competently drawn. Plans submitted without proper information shall be returned. If you need help in developing plans for your tenant space, we advise you to seek professional assistance.

QUESTIONS: Call (408) 535-3555 and ask to speak with the engineer answering questions for the week.


A pdf handout version of this information is available on our Building Handouts and Forms page.