Projects one acre or greater in size may be affected by a recent
court decision: Due to this decision, such projects one (1) acre +
will not be granted City development permit approval until the
State Water Resources Control Board begins accepting National
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES") permit
coverage applications again.
Starting a new business in Monrovia requires several steps.
A general overview is provided below.
The City is available to assist you through the process.
Anyone doing business in the City must have a business license from the City of Monrovia. This includes businesses based in the City such as stores, industrial operations or home offices, as well as contractors and other businesses not located in the City. The key aspects of this process are as follows:
Obtain a Business License from the Community Development Department.
Yes, there is a business license fee which varies, depending on type of business, and number of employees.
Licenses must be renewed annually (quarterly and one-time job licenses also available).
Completed applications must include the following:
Business name and address
Business owner's name and address
Emergency contact name and phone number
Property owner's signature
Federal employer ID Number
State license number
Retail permit number
Social security number
Number of employees or apartments (depending on the business type).
For further information about the business license requirements and fees, please call (626) 932-5582.
All business license applications are first reviewed by the Planning Division to make certain that the desired business location is zoned for your particular type of business.
The Planning Division will review all proposals for changes in business use, business ownership, building use or property use for compliance with the Zoning Ordinance. The clearance is to verify that your business conforms to the zoning of the property.
If your business is a restaurant, please check with the Los Angeles County Sanitation District to see if you will be required to pay a sewer connection fee.
New businesses, new commercial and industrial development, substantial building additions and signs/awnings will require you to go through the City's Development Review Process.
The Development Review Committee, composed of City department heads, meets weekly to review development applications. The meetings are held every Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. The purpose of the review is to provide applicants with approval for projects or initial comments, special concerns, and procedures and/or timing requirements for those projects that require Planning Commission review and approval. Staff may ask questions about the project to obtain more information and help clarify the scope of the proposed development.
The goal is to provide this information feedback early on in the development process to help reduce the applicant's time and money spent to bring forth an acceptable application.
After you review your business plan with the Planning Division, staff will inform you if your business requires a conditional use permit in order to operate in the location you desire. A conditional use permit is obtained through the Planning Division by a public hearing with the Planning Commission.
The Planning Commission meets once a month at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Once you submit the application with the Planning Division, staff will circulate your business proposal and any schematic floor plans to all City departments for comments. Staff will then prepare a staff report with a recommendation for approval, approval with conditions or denial. A conditional use permit is specific to your business and location.
Sign Permits: Apply to the Planning Division for any new sign or any modification to an existing sign. The City of Monrovia regulates the number, area, location and design of signs in its commercial and industrial areas. Upon approval from the Planning Division, you must apply to the Building Division for a building permit to install your sign.
Awnings: Apply to the Planning Division for approval for any awning with or without signage. The Planning Division will review the style, color, placement and vertical clearance of the awning. Any lettering on the awning must meet the requirements of the Sign Ordinance. Upon approval from the Planning Division, you must apply to the Building Division for an installation permit. Awnings must also be fire resistant.
A permit is required when you physically change your property. For example, when you add bathrooms, modify the electrical, construct load bearing walls, add additional floor area, add a mezzanine or alter your building exiting. In legal terms, no building or structure shall be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished unless a permit has first been obtained from the Building Division. The best thing to do before starting any project is to call the Building Division.
In addition, both Building Division and Planning Division approvals are needed if you will be changing the following:
Adding offices, any exterior alterations, adding additional square footage
Adding mechanical systems to the roof or exterior (i.e. air conditioning -- heating systems).
Why Does Plan Checking Take Time? We are as anxious as you are to get your plans returned to you in a timely manner. It is easier to do an adequate plan check if the plans and specifications are adequate, mainly because it is a matter of finding the answer in those plans and specifications to verify the Uniform Building Code, plumbing, mechanical and electrical code compliance.
A great deal of time delay is caused by the inadequacy of the submittals. To help keep the review/approval time to a minimum, be sure your plans are clear, and accurate.
Receive preliminary approval from the Planning Division
Apply for building permit and submit plans to the Building Division for a building permit. The Building Division will check your plans for compliance with the Uniform Building code and other codes and circulate to other departments for their review and comments.
The Fire Department will review your plans to ensure compliance with state and local fire codes.
The Planning Division will check your plans to ensure they are in compliance with all zoning regulations.
The City Engineer may review your plans if you propose to do work in the public right-of-way (i.e. driveway, sidewalk).
If you will be doing any work that involves commercial food preparation (restaurant), submit plans and receive approval from the County Health Department and the County Sanitation District.
Begin work upon issuance of a building permit.
After inspection, Building Division signs-off on the final building permit.
Complete the Hazmat information package and submit to the Fire Department prior to occupancy.
Your business will be inspected prior to occupancy and annually thereafter. The purpose of the fire inspection program is as follows: It is the desire of prevention and suppression personnel to locate possible fire hazards and have them corrected voluntarily by the responsible property or business owner. Ideally, we look to work closely with the concerned individuals and provide information and support when requested. The fire prevention inspection program provides the citizens of Monrovia with a safer, more desirable place to live and conduct business. The goal of prevention is to significantly reduce the threat of fire and to minimize loss of life and property when fire occurs.