City of Goleta Moves to Virtual Inspections

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the City of Goleta has transitioned to electronic permit application and plan submittals and is now conducting virtual inspections as an alternative to on site-inspections. These changes are allowing the City to continue to safely provide all basic permitting and inspection services during this health emergency in support of construction projects, including housing projects, recognized as “essential” and allowed to continue to work under the Governor’s March 19 Stay at Home order. 

The City has been interested in promoting electronic submittals and pursuing remote inspections for some time and kicked the plan into high gear when social distancing rules required the City to re-think in-person inspections due to COVID-19 transmission concerns.

City of Goleta Planning and Environmental Services Director Peter Imhof said, “As the Planning and Environmental Review Department strives to continue to provide basic permitting and inspection services during this public health crisis, we are excited to implement these new remote and paperless technologies. They will continue to provide enhanced customer service and greater operating efficiencies long after this crisis is over.”

City Planning and Building staff also remain available during regular business hours for remote consultation on permitting requirements and inspections by phone or email. Electronic plans may be submitted via email by email, if less than 50MB in size or, for larger file sizes, by ftp site.  Please contact the Current Planning Division at (805) 961-7543 or and the Building & Safety Division at 805-961-7552 or at with email submittals and for directions on accessing the ftp site.

Remote inspections will occur using camera-equipped phones or tablets and widely available video conferencing apps, including Facetime, Google Duo and GoToMeeting, which allow the contractor onsite to show completed work to Building Inspectors remotely. Please be aware that based on the size and/or complexity of the project, it may not be possible to complete all inspections via Remote Video Inspection. Onsite inspections may take place safely while observing social distancing guidelines.

To schedule your Building and Safety inspection, email your request to or call (805) 961-7550 at least 24 hours in advance.

For more information and instructions on what is needed to conduct a virtual inspection, please go to the City’s Planning and Environmental Department webpage.