24736 Calvert Street

Woodland Hills, CA 91436

(310) 429-6681


Are You Applying For A Building Permit In:


  •  City of Los Angeles?
  •  Santa Monica?
  •  Malibu?


If you are building a new home or planning room additions to an existing home, chances are that during the plan check phase you will be required to submit a Geology & Soils Report.  Requirements for Geology & Soils reports vary depending on project type and governing agency.


Bay City Geology, Inc. provides Geology & Soils Reports

 for all areas of Southern California. The following is a guide for the most popular requested cites to help facilitate

the permit process from an engineering geology and geotechnical perspective.

(Note: Governing agencies can revise requirements without notice)



City of Los Angeles (LADBS)

New Construction: The City of Los Angeles, Department of Building and Safety (LADBS), requires submittal of a site specific Engineering Geology & Soils Investigation Report for construction of new single-family hillside residences. Flatland sites may require a Soils Report, especially if a basement or subgrade parking is proposed. All sites located within the mapped Liquefaction Zones are required to submit a Soils Report that evaluates and addresses the liquefaction potential.


Room additions: Hillside or flatland properties within the City of Los Angeles are typically required to submit a site-specific Geology & Soils Report (or Soils Report for flatland properties) if the added square footage is greater than 50% of the existing square footage (i.e. ..."where the value of the addition is more than 50% of the replacement value of the existing building").   Hillside pools, decks and retaining walls also require submittal of a Geology and Soils Report. (Note: The City of Los Angeles Retaining Wall Ordinance puts limitations on the height and number of retaining walls on a lot [read ordinance]).


City of Santa Monica

New Construction: Everywhere within the City of Santa Monica, site specific geotechnical explorations and Geotechnical Reports are required for new single-family and multi-family residential structures, pools, guesthouses, garages with habitable space, and other accessory buildings.


Room additions: Additions that add 750 square feet or more of floor area to an existing building will require site-specific Geotechnical Reports. Geotechnical Reports are also necessary for major remodels that require 40 or more cubic yards of new underpinned concrete footings.


A Geotechnical Report will be required, regardless of square footage, if your site is within the Seismic Hazard Zone or Fault Hazard Management Zone delineated by the City of Santa Monica. see map


City of Malibu

New Construction & Room Additions: The City of Malibu is a geologically complex area. Comprehensive Engineering Geologic and Geotechnical Engineering Reports are required for new residences, room additions, remodels, detached guesthouses, and pools. In addition, a Private Sewage Disposal Report will be required for seepage pit or leach-line systems.



Types of Geology & Soils Reports


Engineering Geology & Geotechnical Reports: Typically, these reports are prepared for hillside areas. Investigations involve excavating test pits and/or borings, sampling of earth material, laboratory testing, preparation of a geologic map and cross section(s), and analysis providing specific recommendations for site development.  This includes, but not limited to, foundation design, slope stability, and retaining wall design. Test pits are usually excavated via hand labor or backhoe (space permitting) and borings via a drill rig. Geotechnical Soils Reports are typically conducted on flat sites, involve excavations via hand labor or backhoe, and provide specific recommendations for foundation design and site development. Costs will vary depending on the size and scope of the project.


Liquefaction Investigation: If your site is located within a mapped Liquefaction Zone, a Geotechnical Soils Report with liquefaction analysis will be required. The fieldwork involves drilling a boring onsite up to 50 feet deep to determine groundwater depth and obtain soil samples.  A few hand dug test pits may also be conducted to evaluate the existing foundation in projects that involve room additions.  The report will address the liquefaction potential based on current and historic groundwater levels.  Recommendations for foundation design, based on the liquefaction analysis, are included in the report. 


Fault Zones:  Sites located within mapped "Earthquake Fault Rupture Zones" (aka Alquist-Priolo or AP Zones) require submittal of a Geologic Seismicity Report to determine the onsite fault rupture potential. Investigations consist of trenching, borings, and detailed mapping to delineate locations of active faults. If evidence of active faulting is exhibited, it will impinge on the site development.  Structures for human occupancy are prohibited across the trace of an active fault.


The professionals at Bay City Geology are here to advise and assist with your proposed development.


Contact us today to determine the type of

report necessary per your project.

We usually provide a quote the same business day!


(310) 429-6681


For a proposal, please email site plans and contact info. to: