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Residential Building Permit Procedures

Who can obtain Building Permits

A property owner who presently occupies or intends to occupy a Single Family residence may obtain a building permit to construct or repair a residence. This is commonly referred to as a "Self Permit." In this case, the property owner assumes all responsibility for ensuring all work meets the requirements of all applicable Zoning, Building and Trades Codes.

Contractors who are properly licensed and bonded with the Department of Codes & Building Safety may also obtain a building permit, within the limits established for their licenses.

When is a Building Permit Required

A building permit is required under the following circumstances:

  1. Construct a new residential building or addition thereto.
  2. Place or replace a mobile home on the property.
  3. Place a modular or double-wide mobile home on the property.
  4. Move and place a previously constructed residential structure on the property. (This also requires a separate moving permit which must be issued simultaneously and is subject to a strict completion period.)
  5. Construct a new accessory structure or addition thereto (accessory structures include garages, carports, patio covers, decks, porches and storage buildings including portable storage buildings of 100 square feet or more.)
  6. Construct or install a swimming pool (below or above ground pools require a 48 inch high barrier or fence around the pool. A SITE PLAN IS REQUIRED FOR ITEMS 1 - 6
  7. Convert an accessory area, such as an attached garage, unfinished basement, attic, etc., to habitable space.
  8. Install siding, roofing, fireplaces or solar panels. Repair, alter, or rehabilitate a structure that goes beyond the scope of normal maintenance repair, including removing or altering load bearing timbers, replacing supporting walls, or moving partitions.
  9. Demolish any structure or portion thereof.

When is a Building Permit not required

Normal maintenance repairs shall be defined as repairs to an existing building or structure, including but not limited to exterior and interior painting, papering, glazing of windows and doors, floor finishing, minor repairs to chimneys, stairs, porches, underpinning, and repairs to an existing roof not to exceed 33 percent of the roof area.

A SITE PLAN IS REQUIRED TO OBTAIN A RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION PERMIT

A site plan must be submitted by the applicant, for review, involving any application for new construction, additions or any work described in items (1) thru (6) above. A site plan is reviewed by the Zoning Examination staff to determine compliance with setback requirements and other bulk requirements of the Zoning Code. An accurate and complete site plan is extremely important in expediting the permit application and inspection process.

Construction plans are required for residences exceeding 5,000 square feet in floor area. Elevation drawings are required for detached accessory structures demonstrating the height of such
structures. Link to an Example Residential Site Plan

Application Procedure

Home owners often have a Mortgage Loan Survey which works extremely well for a site plan. We do not normally require construction plans for single family construction at time of application. (Plans are reviewed for homes containing more than 5,000 square feet or more than 3 stories in height). The inspection division will field check for compliance with Building, Electrical, Plumbing, Model Energy Code and Gas/Mechanical Codes during construction.

At the time of application you must have the name of the property owner, proper street address and/or the tax map and parcel number to insure proper identification of the property.

When you arrive at the Department of Codes & Building Safety, you will be asked to sign in to see a Zoning Examiner.  Applicants are taken on a first come first, serve basis. A Customer Service Representative will ask you to provide information that will aid in expediting this permit process.

When a Zoning Examiner becomes available, your application information will be entered into a computer. The Zoning Examiner will then review your site plan.  If all the information you are providing is correct and in compliance with the codes, a Customer Service Representative will then issue the permit.

The Codes Department, when proper information is provided, and other department or agency approvals are not required, issues over 80% of the residential permits applied for on the first visit to our office. However, some applications require approvals from other Departments, such as Water and Sewer, Health, Planning Commission, Public Works, Historical Zoning, etc. When this occurs the Zoning Examiners will act as your counselor, providing you with information and a check list that will aid you in obtaining these approvals. A typical example of this is an applicant applying for a permit which is served by a private sewage disposal system (septic tank and overflow). This will require an approval from the Metropolitan Health Department prior to issuance of a permit that involves items 1-7, above.