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City of Torrance
Class Code: 3527

Class Designation: Civil Service

August 2010

Representation Unit: Engineers Assoc. &
Torrance Fiscal Employees Assoc.


Permit Technician I


Under general supervision, performs responsible technical work in the review, processing, and issuance of a variety of permits such as building permits, development review permits, zoning and business license information; and performs administrative support duties and a variety of specialized tasks of a technical nature; and performs related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is the entry/journey level class within the Permit Technical series.  This class is distinguished from the Permit Technician II by the performance of more routine or less complex tasks and duties assigned to positions within this series; and distinguished from Secretary in that the incumbent performs specialized tasks of a technical nature related to the review, processing, and issuance of permits, licenses and development cases.
Supervision Exercised/Received
Receives general supervision from the Plans Examiner (Permit Center Supervisor).
Examples of Essential Duties
The following duties represent the principal job duties; however they are not all-inclusive.
  • Distributes information about a variety of permits such as building, development, zoning and business licenses;
  • Provides material requested from public and staff such as maps, permit records, aerial photos; 
  • Reviews business license applications, determine routing requirements and add routing sheets for departmental reviews; 
  • Checks building, development and business license applications to ensure completeness of submittal package; 
  • Processes and issues a variety of permits such as building, construction, development review and business license applications; 
  • Calculates permit, plan check, development and business license related fees; 
  • Receives and receipts for money paid over the counter; 
  • Collects fees, issues receipts for money received, and balances cash drawer; 
  • Develops or modifies forms for reporting data, and ensures accuracy of data;
  • Notifies applicants when plans are ready for correction or permits are ready for issuance;
  • Coordinates final routing process and releases project utilities;
  • Coordinates approval of plans with other City Departments and regulatory agencies to assure the required approvals have been granted; and maintains logs of plans and applications submitted;
  • Coordinates overtime billing for plan check and inspection;
  • Performs records searches;
  • Prepares statistical and other required reports and operates a computer terminal to input and retrieve information;
  • Files and/or routes plans and applications to City departments and staff;
  • Routes files and prepares plans and records for archiving and scanning;
  • Receive and input complaints into permit issuance system and assign to appropriate personnel;
  • Composes routine correspondence and notices from brief minimal instructions.
  • Examples of Essential Duties

    The following duties represent the duties tha are generally performed by this position; but are not considered to be principal job duties.
  • With sufficient on-the-job training and experience, may evaluate plans for routine residential projects such as patios and room additions;
  • Works with the public by receiving complaints and attempting to resolve them;
  • May assist with the enforcement of administrative provisions of the California Building Code and various federal, state and municipal codes;
  • May provide guidance and training to support staff;
  • Participates as a member on interdepartmental and intradepartmental teams and committees as required;
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Minimum Qualifications

    Knowledge of:

  • Basic Building construction methods, practices and materials;
  • Basic federal, State and local laws, codes and ordinances including but not limited to California Health  and Safety Code, California Fire Code, California Building Code, State Administrative Code, and  NFPA standards and codes;
  • State and local laws pertaining to business licensing;
  • Basic mathematics as applied to the calculation of construction fees, taxes, and building valuation;
  • Basic computer keyboard functions, data entry and record keeping techniques; 
  • Modern office procedures, methods, and computer equipment;
  • Techniques for providing a high level of customer service to effectively deal with the public, vendors, contractors and City staff;
  • City policies and procedures affecting departmental operations;
  • General City operations.
  • Ability to:

  • Read and interpret simple construction plans;
  • Verify that plan submittals are complete and in conformance with required submission standards;
  • Provide customers with accurate information on permitting procedures;
  • Compute fees;
  • Enter, track and retrieve information using a computer;
  • Prepare and maintain records and files;
  • Understand and carry out oral and written instructions;
  • Learn, interpret, explain and enforce applicable codes, regulations, ordinances and laws and apply them  to various situations;
  • Communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with developers, architects, contractors, property  owners, other regulatory agencies, the general public and fellow employees;
  • Use tact and diplomacy when dealing with customers from diverse cultural backgrounds, often under pressure of heavy customer demand;
  • Act independently, exercise sound judgment within established guidelines and maintain confidentiality;
  • Operate office equipment including computer software and hardware (currently in use by the City);
  • Learn and utilize new skills and information to improve job performance and efficiency. 
  • License or Certificate

    Must possess a valid State of California driver's license of the appropriate class.
    Education and Experience

    Any combination of education and experience that provide the knowledge and skills required is qualifyin.  A typical way to obtain the knowledge and skills would be:
    Graduation from high school or possession of a GED Certificate; and one year of experience with a municipal building department's permit processing function or similar experience at a public counter with an emphasis on customer service.
    In addition to the experience requirement, completion of courses from a vocational school or college related to this field such as Public Works Inspection, Computer-aided Architectural Drafting, Principles of Engineering Technology, Blueprint Reading, the Uniform Building Code, and Bookkeeping and Accounting is highly desirable. 

    Special Requirements

    Work is performed indoors in a busy office environment.  Must be able to handle heavy public contact at the counter and on the telephone. This position requires frequent sitting, walking, standing, reaching, bending and lifting and carrying up to 20 pounds. Must be occasionally available to work evenings or weekends for special assignments.
    Career Ladder Information
    Experience gained in this classification in addition to training and coursework may serve to meet the minimum requirements for promotion to Permit Technician II.