Building Codes

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Special Announcement:

New Building Codes In Effect as of January 1, 2020

All applications for building permits submitted on or after January 1, 2020 must comply with 2019 California Building Standards Code. Local Adoption and California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) Filing with Acceptance: Ordinance No. 581 with CBSC Filing 


The City of La Quinta Building Division uses the following codes in the plan check process and in field inspections:

  • 2019 California Building Code
  • 2019 California Residential Code
  • 2019 California Mechanical Code
  • 2019 California Plumbing Code
  • 2019 California Electrical Code
  • 2019 California Energy Code 
  • 2019 California Green Building Standards Code

Structures are governed by the Code that was in effect at the time of application for building permit. Consequently, any building permitted or in plan review under the previous Code will be governed by that Code, provided that the application or permit does not expire. For example, applications processed between 01/01/2017 and 12/31/2019, will be governed by the 2016 California Codes. See additional information at the Building Standards Commission site.

Design Criteria:

In addition, for structures in La Quinta, design for the following requirements:

  • Seismic Design Category: "D₂"
  • Basic Wind Speed: 110 mph for Risk Category II Buildings and other structures (usually results in 85 mph for Allowable Stress Design); Exposure "C"
  • Climate Zone: 15
  • Subject to Damage from: Weathering - Negligible, Frost - N/A, Termite - Very Heavy
  • Winter Design Temperature: 34°F
  • Flood Hazards: A/AO/X - See FEMA Map

Please note: These are general requirements.  Licensed engineers and architects are responsible for considering all site-specific conditions and code requirements in design documents.

Please call the Design & Development Department at (760) 777-7125 if you have other design questions.


The California Energy Code, supplemental material, and compliance forms are available at the California Energy Commission Web site.



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