Building Department Frequently Asked Questions

Applications & Permits

Applications can be found under Building Department E-Docs. (Be sure to fill out the correct application for the project). You can submit applications either in-person at City Hall (2nd floor) at 938 Fresno Street, Newman, CA, 95360, or by email (the email address can be found at the top of the application).

For over-the-counter permits with no plan checks (such as HVAC change-outs or re-roofs), invoices are usually sent after we receive a complete application. Permits that require plan checks (such as PV Solar, patio covers, or ADUs) will usually have a 10-day review process (each from the Community Development and/or Building Department). Plan reviews may take a shorter or longer time depending on the amount of applications we receive or the types of projects that are coming in.

The Finance Department is no longer accepting payments over the phone. Payments can be made in person with card or with check. Checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 787, Newman, CA, 95360. Please be sure to bring your invoice when making a payment in person and include the invoice when mailing a check.

Issued permits expire 12 months from the day they were issued. (Example: If a permit was issued 01/01/2023, it would expire 01/01/2024). Please contact the Building Department if you need an extension.

Any changes (revisions) to approved plans need to be checked and approved by our Plan Reviewers. Click for the Application for Revisions. Note that once a permit has been finaled (had its final inspection), it is considered closed permit. Contact the Building Department if changes need to be made for a closed permit.


The maximum height is seven feet.
Fences occupying the side or rear of the yard area may be up to seven feet high, measured from the highest finished grade from any adjoining and subject properties, given the following:

  • The fence does not extend to the front yard.
  • The fence is no closer than 10 feet to the street side curb-face or beyond the property line, whichever is closer to the street. If it extends into the public right-of-way or easement, the fence shall be subject to review, approval and restrictions and limitations as described in NCC 5.23.060 (H).
  • The fence is not within 15 feet to any street curb-face within 20 feet of the intersection of an alley and street right-of-way line.
  • The fence is not over 36 inches high above the curb on a corner lot within a triangle formed by the curb lines and a line connecting those lines from a point thereon which lie 40 feet from the intersection of the curb lines.  Click Here for an Example (12 KB)

42 inches
Fences in the front yard may not be higher than 42 inches, measured from the highest finished grade from any adjoining and subject properties.

  • Fences with visual clearance (such as chainlink) may be allowed up to four feet in height, subject to staff approval.

Graduated Fences
Graduated or step-down fences are subject to the following requirements:

  • In order not to obstruct the visibility of one’s neighbors, an invisible horizontal line will be drawn from the nearest corner edge of House A to the nearest horizantal line of House B. Where the lines intersect the property line, at that point forward the fence shall not be higher than 42 inches.

Please call the Building Department at (209) 862-3725 (Option 8).

As of January 1, 2023, no person shall replace or otherwise modify any residential self-regenerating water softener with another residential self-regenerating water softener that discharges into the City sewer system. Only non-salt-water conditioning units can be installed (Newman City Code 11.06.060 sections L & M). Please contact the Building Department for more information.

All of the information to build an ADU can be found in the Newman City Code Section 5.23.040 (Accessory residential units). Below are some basic requirements to keep in mind:

-Setbacks must be 5ft from side and rear property lines
-Structure cannot take up more than 40% of the floor area
-The architectural style, building material types, and color schemes must match the main dwelling unit
-Structures 750 sq. ft. and larger will be required to pay development (impact) fees

NOTE: Before you can submit a permit application for an ADU, you MUST have approval from the Community Development (Planning) Department.

Permits are only required when building paper is exposed or when any framing is needed to enlarge or make the opening work for the window/door. Retrofit windows do not need to meet current egress requirements as long as the window met code requirements at the time of original construction.


You can call the Building Department at (209) 862-3725 (Option 8) or email us. If you leave a voicemail or send an email, be sure to wait for a confirmation that the inspection has been scheduled.

You can schedule an inspection at least one (1) day ahead and no more than one (1) week in advance. Inspections can be scheduled for Monday – Thursday either in the morning (8:00AM – 12:00PM) or afternoon (1:00PM – 5:00PM).

Our inspectors do not work solely within the City of Newman, so it is difficult to get a specific time they will be conducting inspections.

Be sure to have a copy of the issued permit, along with an approved plan set (if applicable) and a Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm Handout, on site for the inspector to review and sign. There must also be access to the project site.