Building Department Services for Sovereign Tribal Nations

Resources and News Building Department Services for Sovereign Tribal Nations

February 22, 2021

Unlike our other public agency clients, many of the tribal government clients we serve do not have an established Building Safety Department or permit counter, or, for that matter, a City Hall. They do, however, have booming industrial and commercial development and a commitment to providing their residential and business community with safely built and responsibly maintained structures and facilities.

Interwest has the privilege of serving several sovereign tribal governments in California, and each has brought with them unique challenges and perspectives. When we began serving the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, we became their first ever building department. We collaborated with the Tribal Council, Pechanga Fire Department and their attorney to help establish and adopt their first building codes, using our knowledge of industry standards and local adoptions and their knowledge of the specific concerns and unique needs of their community. The result was a comprehensive building code which our Building Official, plan review, and inspection staff continue to enforce.

A few of the sovereign tribal governments with whom we have projects currently underway include:

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians – We’re providing plan review and inspections on projects including a new Agua Caliente Casino in Cathedral City, a new Travel and Fuel Station in Rancho Mirage, and a new Cultural Center in Palm Springs, including a spa building and a cultural museum. We also provide facility inspection on structures including golf course buildings, park buildings, and government center and permitting services.

The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians – Interwest serves as the tribe’s Building Department, providing Building Official, plan check, inspection, and permitting services on projects like their new Health Center facility and multiple tenant improvements and residential projects.

Table Mountain Rancheria, a tribe of Native American people from the Chukchansi band of Yakuts and the Monache tribe – We’re currently providing Building Official, plan review, and building inspection services to the tribe for their Table Mountain Casino, Hotel, and Entertainment Venue project, which will nearly double the amount of gaming floor space and add a 151-room. 12-story hotel.

The Tachi Yokut Tribe – We are providing plan review services for planned interior and exterior improvements and expansions to the Tachi Palace Casino Resort, adding about 24,000 sf of space and linking current amenities, such as the Coyote Entertainment Center, to create a more cohesive campus.  Construction is set to begin later this spring.

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