Building Division

The Building Division ensures the health and welfare of the residents of Arcata by regulating the construction, use, and occupancy of buildings and other alterations through the application of standardized model building codes. The governmental regulation of building construction is a natural consequence arising from the experience of centuries of tragedies brought about by fire, collapse and panic. A recent case in point being the current seismic requirements which have been developed following the Loma Prieta and Northridge earthquakes. The Arcata Building Division ensures that the standards set by these codes for construction are met through plan review, permit issuance and on-site inspections.

Plan Check determines if the building plans meet the requirements of the specific codes adopted by the State of California and the City of Arcata. It does so by reviewing code compliance for structural, architectural, grading, and safety as shown on submitted plans. This service saves the builder from costly mistakes that could be made during construction. The plan checker's role is a vital part of the building process.

Inspection of buildings under construction is the culmination of all of a building department's efforts. The inspection ensures that the work conforms to the permit, local codes, and the submitted plans. This is an additional protection for the consumer since it provides a check that the contractor is following the project guidelines.

Building Code Board of Appeals
The Board of Appeals is a board of five members. It convenes to hear and decide appeals of orders, decisions or determinations made by the building official relative to the application and interpretation of the California Building Code. The board consists of members who are qualified by experience and training to pass on matters pertaining to building construction and who are not employees of the City of Arcata. They have no authority relative to interpretation of the administrative provisions of the California Building Code and cannot waive requirements of the code.


  • Scott Baker
  • Kash Boodjeh
  • Nick Lucchesi
  • O'Rourk A. Swinney (Chair)
  • Joanne Kenney Dickson (accessibility board)