School Project Review FAQs

Do I need to submit this project for CGS review?

A. See Division of the State Architect Interpretation of Regulations A-4. 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. You must submit a completed CGS Form 1A/1B Application and Work Order for Assessment of Geologic Hazard Reports with payment; the cost is $4,800.

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

What is the 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 the CGS.

CGS Note 48 provides further submittal guidance.

How will the CGS respond?

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

How can I check the status of my project?

A. Email Arlene Nuñez ( or call (916) 879-4263. 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. The 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. The CGS should have the opportunity to review any fault trenches in the field. These investigations may be submitted to the CGS in advance of campus development. Contact Jennifer Thornburg at the 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 the CGS can expedite 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

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