Building Department

How do I get a permit?

The permitting process begins when the applicant comes to the Building Department and describes the project they wish to undertake. If a permit is required (See, when is a permit required), the applicant needs to first provide a plot plan showing the location of proposed and existing structures in relation to the property lines, and plans for the proposed structure. (See plan submittal requirements.) Depending on the project, the plot plan may vary from a formal survey document to a simple graph paper sketch by the applicant. The distance from the structure to each property line must be shown. The rest of this page describes the process to permit a home. For smaller projects not all steps apply.

The plot plan is reviewed by Planning and Zoning for compliance with zoning requirements, and by the Building Department for compliance with building codes. This process usually takes about two days.

After P&Z and Building Department approval, a Foundation Only permit is issued. This permit allows the applicant to begin site work, including grading and fill, and also to erect the foundation up to the mud sill (i.e. first piece of wood that attaches to concrete foundation.) You will be called by a representative of the Building Department when your Foundation Permit is ready. There is no charge for the Foundation Permit.

Next is the plan review. As soon as possible, the applicant should submit their complete plans for the structure, including elevations and floor layouts. (Depending on project scope, formal engineering or architectural services may be required.) These plans will be reviewed by the Building Department for compliance with applicable codes. This is the phase in the process where many potential problems are detected and corrected, before expensive mistakes get made in actual construction. The time span for this step varies depending on the project, but the process usually takes about two weeks for residential homes.

After the foundation is completed, an "as-built" survey usually must be provided. An "as-built" is necessary to show that the foundation, as described on the permit application, was actually built where it was shown on the plot plan. After the "as-built" is completed (applicant responsibility) and the "plan review" of the construction documents is completed (Building Department responsibility), the Building Permit itself can be issued.

A representative of the Building Department will call to let you know that your permit is ready to be picked up. At this time the permit fee is paid. The cost of the Building Permit is based on project value. Construction cannot commence until the applicant has the Building Permit in hand.

The applicant is responsible to call the Building Department to schedule required inspections. One working day's notice is generally required.

The Building Department prides itself on its commitment to customer service. Please let us know how we can help you, and always feel free to offer suggestions on ways we might improve. We look forward to serving you.


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