Community & Economic Development Department

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The Community and Economic Development Department was created to protect the County's natural resources; to ensure quality and sustainable community development and affordable housing; and to protect the public health, safety and welfare of our constituents through the application and enforcement of the County of Madera's Ordinance Code and land use policies.  The Community and Economic Development Department is divided into the following Divisions. Click on the links to go to the Division's page for more information.

Contact: (559) 675-7821

Environmental Health Division

Under the jurisdiction of the Community and Economic Development Department, the Environmental Health Division protects and promotes the health and welfare of County residents and visitors by providing environmental health services through programs involving: land use and development, retail food service, solid and liquid waste management, hazardous material control, hazardous waste, medical waste, body art/tattoo, rental housing, public swimming pools/spas, organized camps, water supply, vector control, and nuisance abatement. Consultation, education, training, inspection and enforcement activities ensure maintenance of Federal, State and local standards to protect and promote personal health and safeguarding environmental quality.

Fire Prevention Division

Under the jurisdiction of the Community and Economic Development Department, The Fire Prevention for Development/Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for the effective prevention of fires though periodic inspection of commercial and public buildings, licensed facilities and operations of other buildings. Staff conduct annual inspections and investigate complaints of illegal operations, excessive storage, improper uses or handling of hazardous or combustible substances, blocked exits or overcrowding, and lack of compliance with other aspects of all currently adopted codes. The office also provides a wide variety of fire/life safety programs for the general public and first responders. The Fire Marshal and inspection staff is involved in programs such as building inspections, evacuation planning, pre-fire planning, general safety awareness, and community risk reduction. The Division ensures each and every project that requires a building or construction permit meets the minimum adopted county, state and federal codes.

Planning Division

Under the jurisdiction of the Community and Economic Development Department, the Planning Division’s responsibility is to promote the most effective, efficient, aesthetic, and safest use of land for present and future generations of Madera County residents and visitors. The Community and Economic Development Director serves as Advisor to the Board of Supervisors concerning planning matters.

The Planning Division is charged with the preparation and updating of a comprehensive long-term General Plan for the land use and physical development of the County and for the execution of this Plan. The Division’s work includes zoning and subdivision enforcement in the unincorporated area of the County, plus the development of specific current and long-range area planning, house numbering, mapping, public information and assistance, administration of Community Development Block Grants, applications for agricultural preserves, code enforcement, public notices and documents for the Planning Commission. The Planning Division is the lead agency for the development application process.  In addition, the Planning Division serves as staff to the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). The Planning Division is responsible for administration of the California Environmental Quality Act of 1970 in accordance with the guidelines issued by the State Secretary for Resources.

Appeals of Division decisions and public hearings on proposed subdivisions, zoning changes, etc., are heard by the Planning Commission.  The Community and Economic Development Director also serves as Executive Officer of the Planning Commission, and provides technical assistance to other County Departments and agencies.

 The Division administers County Affordable Housing and Economic Development Programs including Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), HOME Grants, Abandon Vehicle Grants and Waste Tire Grants.

Building Division

Under the jurisdiction of the Community and Economic Development Department (CED), the Building Division is responsible for assuring the construction in Madera County adheres to the California Building Code. This division was established to provide services including construction permits, plan reviews for new development and remodels and building inspections.  The Division provides minimum standards to safeguard life or limb, health, property, and public welfare by regulating and controlling structural design, construction, materials, occupancy, and location of all buildings and structures within the unincorporated area of the county. 

As mandated by the State of California, Madera County has adopted the California Building Code, Title 24 which is part of the 12-part California Code of Regulations. Along with enforcing the California Building Code, the Building Division enforces Madera County Ordinances and the Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings. The provisions of this Code shall be administered by the Building Division.

These codes apply to the erection, construction, enlargement, alteration, repair, relocation, conversion, occupancy, and maintenance of buildings, structures, swimming pools, solar systems, the installation of electrical wiring and appliances, plumbing, heating and cooling facilities and appurtenances necessary within the unincorporated area of the county.