A building permit is required for most improvements, including minor items such as awnings, signs, planters on sidewalks and more major remodels. Contact the Building and Public Works Department for details on what will be required for your proposed improvements.
Even if you do not plan to do any work, you may need to obtain Certificate of Occupancy to change the building code "occupancy" of a space. For example, if you are changing a use from a retail space to a fitness center a Certificate of Occupancy will be required, even if no construction work is involved. This is to ensure that the proposed space meets building and fire code safety requirements for the number of people that will be using the space. Building Department