City Department: Pasadena Homeowners Planning to Remodel Need to Talk to City First

Published on Feb 21, 2022


Pasadena homeowners who are planning to do some remodeling in their homes should first consult with the Department of Planning and Community Development, which has issued a new policy on renovation and demolition compliance.

The new policy was effective Feb. 7.

According to the new guidelines, homeowners who want to renovate a portion of their property will need to submit a “Statement of Design Demolition” to be included in the construction plans.

The policy also strengthens procedures for inter-department, and cross-department communication during the application and plan review process, according to city documents.

It did not require a change in the Pasadena Municipal Code but “adherence to the policy will protect both homeowners and the community “ by being consistent with zoning regulations and neighborhood compliance, according to the city.

The new policy was issued as a follow-up to a memorandum issued by the Department of Planning and Community Development to the Economic Development and Technology Committee (EDTech) on the “Remodel of Single Family Homes,” which clarified remodeling situations where design and construction projects exceed a 50-percent threshold, often for nonconforming structures that now require compliance with existing zoning development standards.

The memorandum intended to clarify the difference between remodels and new constructions, according to its authors, also mentioned instances when projects that have been approved and issued a building permit as a “Complete Renovation” are occasionally found to include demolishing additional framing members that are beyond the permitted scope-of-work and are “not in accordance to City approved plans.”

“Clarification of a demolition policy is necessary in order to protect the homeowner from out-of-scope penalties, and the community from remodeling of a home not in accordance with City requirements,” the new policy statement said.

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