City of Vernon California

Want to Move Your Business to Vernon?

The following information is provided for businesses that may be planning to move to the City of Vernon.  It is our hope that some insight into the City's occupancy permitting procedures will help to make your move into the City easier.

Step by Step Guide to Obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy

What is a Certificate of Occupancy?

A Certificate of Occupancy is a legal document that is issued by the Building and Safety Division which certifies that a specific building has been inspected by all necessary City Departments and that it complies with the applicable regulations.  Anyone moving into the City of Vernon is required by the City to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy and a Business License before moving employees or equipment into the building.  When applying for occupancy, the proposed tenant is required to provide a complete application, which shall include a description of the proposed use. Before occupancy can be approved an inspection must be performed.  A fee, based upon the square footage of building area to be occupied, is paid at the time the application is filed.  The inspection is scheduled and then performed by Building, Electrical, Plumbing/Mechanical, Fire Prevention, and Health Inspectors to determine the building's compliance with the Building, Zoning and City Codes.  

A few examples of some of the things the inspector's will be checking for are; adequate egress, damages to the structure, frontage improvements, unsafe electrical, adequate restroom facilities, fire protection, proper ventilation and adequate parking and loading areas.  Upon completion of the inspection, the applicant will receive copies of the inspection reports.  These reports list any corrections that are required to meet the current Building, Zoning and City Codes.  The occupant shall make all required corrections and request a re-inspection.  When all of the corrective work has been approved by the City, and an application for a Business License has been filed, a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued.

How do I get a Certificate of Occupancy?

In order to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy the building must be safe to occupy. Below is a list of common deficiencies. These items should be taken care of prior to the occupancy inspection. Please note that additional corrective items may be noted at the occupancy inspection.  Click here for the complete Certificate of Occupancy application.




  • Remove trash and weeds from property.       
  •  Install exits signs above all doors used for emergency exiting.
  • Only one piece of hardware on emergency exit doors openable in one operation without the use of a key or any special knowledge. Remove any additional hardware.
  • Verify that all illuminated emergency exit signs are working.
  • Provide plans and engineered calculations, and obtain a permit for storage racks with top shelf above 8'.  Approval from the fire inspector is required prior.
  • Remove all tripping hazards from warehouse or manufacturing floor.
  • Repair all potholes in the parking lot with asphalt or concrete.
  • Re-staple or remove loose foil insulation from the bottom of the roof.
  • No outside storage is allowed without specific approval from the city.
  • The installation of garment racks requires plans and a building permit.
  • Provide a sign above the main entrance stating," this door to remain unlocked," If the door is obstructed by any expandable gates, security wrought iron gates or is provided with keyed hardware.
  • Remove any expandable gates or security wrought iron gates form obstructing any exterior exit doors other than the main entrance.


Plumbing & Mechanical

  • Cap all open-end gas systems per Chapter 12 of CPC, Section 1207.3.
  • Terminate gas appliance vent(s) in accordance with Chapter 8 of CMC.
  • Combustion air openings shall comply with Chapter 7 of CMC.
  • Remove and cap off all abandoned plumbing/utility lines.
  • Install approved seismic straps on gas water (heater(s) per Chapter 5 of CPC.
  • All utility pipes should be labeled every 20 feet or at least once per room.
  • Provide an approved backflow protection device for process/industrial water per Chapter 6 of CPC.
  • Double check valves do not meet the high hazard application requirement.  Use Reduce-Pressure Principle backflow prevention assembly Chapter 6 of CPC.
  • Backflow protection shall be provided at the hose stations.  The RP is acceptable for meter protection but each hose station shall also be protected.  Atmospheric vacuum breakers at each hose station area acceptable if no valves (nozzles with shutoffs, pistol-grip sprayers, etc.) are installed downstream, valves are desired, pressure vacuum breakers would be the minimum protection required at each hose station per Chapter 6 of CPC.
  • Connect all industrial wastewater generated from floor drains, sinks and trenches, etc. to upstream of the grease trap and sample box unless specifically authorized by the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts.
  • All food preparation sinks must have indirect waste connection per Chapter 8 of CPC.
  • City codes prohibit discharging of roof drains to adjacent property.




  • Provide a sanitary source of drinking water. A drinking fountain, drinking fountain cooler, or water in a dispenser with single use cups in a permanently mounted dispenser is acceptable.
  • Every toilet shall have permanently mounted toilet paper dispenser with toilet paper.
  • All lavatories shall have permanently mounted soap dispensers with soap.
  • All lavatories shall have permanently mounted towel dispensers with sanitary towels or warm air blowers.




  • Remove ceiling mounted receptacles per City Code Section 24.15
  • Seal all electrical panels and boxes per CEC Article 110.
  • Remove or repair and support all damaged electrical conduit per CEC Article 110.
  • All electrical fixtures and equipment in damp areas must be rated for a wet location per CEC Article 110.
  • Label all electrical protective devices as to what equipment they control per CEC Article 240.
  • Provide proper strain relief for all drop cords per CEC Article 400.
  • Remove cord wiring serving non-portable equipment per CEC Article 400.
  • Electrical equipment shall be designed and listed for exposure to combustible fibers per CEC Article 500.
  • Remove all exposed conductors and seal panels per CEC Article 300.
  • Provide GFI receptacles within 6 feet of any sink per CEC Article 210.
  • Provide adequate working space in front of electrical service per CEC Article 1101-16.
  • Remove or repair damaged electrical equipment per CEC Article 110.
  • The main service has been damaged and shall be certified by a 3rd party inspection per CEC Article 90.
  • Provide a barrier in front of main electrical panel to provide minimum 36" access space. CEC Article 110
  • Provide protection from weather for electrical equipment that are not listed as weather rated CEC Article 110.
  • Remove flexible conduit that is below 10 feet and is subject to physical damage per CEC Article 348.




  • For every 4,000 square feet of building there must be one (10 pound 4A 40 BC) fire extinguisher mounted and tagged. The distance of travel to any fire extinguisher must not exceed 75 feet.
  • Verify that the fire sprinkler system certification (Title 19) was inspected and tagged at the riser. To have a current certification it must have been inspected and tagged with in the last 5 years.
  • Verify that fire alarm is operational
  • Provide a floor plan layout of how you plan to store goods in your facility. This can be done on an 8.5" by 11" paper.
  • Provide Street Address in lettering that is at least 8 inches in height.
  • Remove old company name from building.



Who do I contact to schedule an inspection?

The Building Department clerical staff would be happy to assist you in scheduling an inspection for a Building, Electrical, Mechanical, Pluming, Fire and/or Occupancy inspection.  Please call 323-583-8811 extension 284 or 236.