Project Review Frequently Asked Questions

​​Do I need to submit this project for CGS review?

A. See Division of the State Architect Interpretation of Regulations A-4.13. This Interpretation of Regulations melds the building code (especially §1803A) along with the laws and regulations establishing seismic hazard zones.

How do I submit the project?

A. Please refer to instructions for submitting a school project. Note that we now prefer electronic versions of the geohazard and geotechnical reports.

How long will CGS take?

A. Approximately 6 weeks. Review time may be increased during peak times when numerous submittals are received.

To ensure timely reviews, submit the reports to CGS about 2 months prior to construction document submittal to DSA. The construction documents may change as CGS is reviewing the reports, but the site plan, proposed building locations, and foundation system must remain unchanged, in order to ensure DSA can utilize the CGS review. In addition, the Site Data Report from the design professional in responsible charge (CBC §1603A.2) submitted to CGS must be the same as that submitted to DSA.

What is CGS looking for?

A. Compliance with the current building code, and adequate characterization of any geologic hazards that might affect the proposed structure. Depending on the approach of the geologic consulting firm, the relevant reports may be called geotechnical, geohazard, engineering geology, or seismic reports. Therefore, all these should be submitted to CGS.

CGS Note 48 provides further submittal guidance.

How will CGS respond?

A. CGS will prepare a memorandum documenting our review comments. It will be forwarded to the School District (as designated on the Work Order), and copied to the geologic consultants, the project architect, and the DSA Regional office.

If additional information is requested by CGS, responses from the geologic consultant may be uploaded to us. CGS will review these additional documents for existing projects as quickly as possible after they are received. DSA will not provide final construction document approval until all CGS comments are satisfactorily addressed and CGS issues a final concurrence memorandum.

How can I check the status of my project?

A. Email Margaret Hyland ( or call (916) 879-2237. Provide the CGS project number, if you have it, or else the name of the school and the city.

We do not have an online equivalent to “DSA Tracker.”

Can I pay for expedited review?

A. No. CGS generally considers projects in the order that a complete submittal package is received. If we are made aware of funding deadlines or other genuine schedule requirements, we will consider those needs by shifting available staff on a project-by-project basis.

Special projects

  • For sites within Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zones (or local equivalents), fault investigations should be performed well in advance of building design. CGS should have the opportunity to review any fault trenches in the field. These investigations may be submitted to CGS in advance of campus development. Contact Jennifer Thornburg at CGS to discuss.
  • Seismic Mitigation Program/School facility Program, Proposition 1D. A geologic hazard report is likely not required to demonstrate eligibility for funding under the OPSC/DSA Seismic Mitigation Program (refer to DSA Procedure ​08-03​). Geologic hazard reports and CGS review are required in Phase 1(Eligibility Verification) only if faulting, liquefaction or landslide creates the potential for catastrophic collapse of the structure. If eligibility for funding is based on the hazard presented by faulting, liquefaction or landslide, then submit the project for our review as directed above. In addition, clearly identify the project as “Seismic Mitigation Program” in the Scope of Work field on the Application form so that CGS can expedite our review of the project.

The consulting Engineering Geologist or Geotechnical Engineer is encouraged to review Appendix B of DSA Procedure 08-03, and to contact Jennifer Thornburg prior to embarking on the field investigation for any project that expects to demonstrate eligibility on the basis of a geologic hazard.​

If you have additional questions