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City of Torrance
Class Code: 3528

Class Designation: Civil Service

August 2010
Representation Unit: Engineers Assoc. &
Torrance Fiscal Employees Assoc.


Permit Technician II


Under direction, performs advanced technical work in the review, processing, and issuance of variety of permits such as building, development and zoning, and business license information; and performs related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is the senior level class within the Permit Technical series.  This class is distinguished from the Permit Technician I by the performance of more complex tasks and duties assigned to positions within this series; and the ability to perform the full range of duties and tasks related to area of assignment; greater complexity of work assignments; a higher level of independent judgment and initiative exercised in the performance of assignments. This class is distinguished from Plans Examiner (Permit Center Supervisor) in that the incumbent does not have full supervisory responsibility.
Supervision Exercised/Received
Receives general supervision from the Plans Examiner (Permit Center Supervisor), and may provide technical supervision to the Permit Technician I or other administrative support staff.
Examples of Essential Duties
The following duties represent the principal job duties; however they are not all-inclusive.
  • Reviews and examines permit applications and plans for compliance with applicable codes;
  • Approves and processes permit applications and plans necessary for the issuance of construction permits; 
  • Responds to inquiries of developers, architects and property owners by providing information related to permit procedures and policies either at the public counter or over the phone; 
  • Advises and assists contractors, owners/builders, architects and the general public and provides technical information concerning permit requirements and procedures; 
  • Performs plan checking against City standard plans of minor structures, such as patios, fences and room additions; 
  • Serves as permit coordinator for large projects requiring multiple permit approvals; 
  • Process and issues a variety of permits such as building permit, construction permit, development permit and business license applications; 
  • Identifies discrepancies between actual and reported business operations on business license applications to determine whether or not all City taxes and fees have been paid; 
  • Coordinates approval of plans with other regulatory agencies to assure the required approvals have been granted; maintains logs of plans and applications submitted;
  • Routes plans and performs filing duties, including the lifting and storage of plans;
  • Notifies applicants when plans are ready for correction or permits are ready for issuance;
  • Performs complex records searches and prepares complex statistical and other required reports;
  • Observes, identifies and resolves problems related to counter operations in cooperation with other counter staff to promote high quality customer service;
  • Assists Plans Examiner (Permit Center Supervisor) with development of new counter procedures;
  • Responsible for resolution of sensitive situations for the coordination of permit activity;
  • Guides and instructs less experienced personnel in the various assigned duties of the position;
  • Makes assignments, sets priorities, and provides input on the work of subordinate staff;
  • Provides training and direction to lower level technical classes and support staff# directs counter operations and makes decisions in absence of Plans Examiner (Permit Center Supervisor);
  • Keeps abreast of current building and engineering principles and practices, technology and regulations that apply to City engineering and building projects;
  • Keeps abreast of business license procedures and policies;
  • Updates and reproduces maps, blueprints and other drawings.
  • 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.
  • Participates as a member on interdepartmental and intradepartmental teams and committees as required;
  • May assist with the enforcement of administrative provisions of the California Building Code and various federal, state and municipal codes;
  • Maintains records and multiple filing systems;
  • Distributes, receives and processes a variety of forms;
  • May design routine procedures and forms for the processing of records;
  • Maintains database for the computer permit tracking system, record imaging system, and division operational reports;
  • Prepares, maintains and archives plan review, permit, code enforcement, business license and inspection records;
  • Performs data entry and checks data and information for accuracy;
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Qualification Guidelines 

    Knowledge of

  • Building construction methods, practices and materials;
  • General building and zoning codes and related laws;
  • 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;
  • 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 dealing with the public,  vendors, contractors and City staff;
  • City policies and procedures affecting departmental operations;
  • General City operations.
  • Ability to

  • Read and interpret blueprints, construction plans, specifications, construction and zoning codes and  related laws;
  • Prepare statistical reports and required records;
  • Review plans for residential patios, pools, fences and other minor additions for conformance to  applicable codes;
  • Apply the policies and procedures for the processing of construction permits;
  • Learn and apply departmental policies and procedures related to the acceptance, review and approval  of permit applications and commonly used building and zoning codes and ordinances;
  • Use architectural and engineering scales to determine dimensions and calculate areas and  percentages;
  • Understand the relationship between City zoning ordinances and building code requirements;
  • Prepare and maintain accurate records and files;
  • Follow verbal and written instructions;
  • Communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing;
  • Maintain accurate records and files;
  • Reconcile figures and perform mathematical computations;
  • Provide effective customer service;
  • 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 and maintain a valid State of California driver's license of the appropriate class and certification as a Permit Technician from the International Code Council (ICC).
    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 three years of recent, paid, progressively responsible work experience in a private or public agency involved in regulatory functions, permit processing or a closely related field which has included heavy public contact.
    In addition to the experience requirement, completion of at least six 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 required.

    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 qualification guidelines for promotion to Plans Examiner (Permit Center Supervisor).