What are Permits?
Permits are the way the City of
Permits help to ensure that all construction within the City of
There are several different types of permits, based on the type of construction. Individual permits must be obtained for electrical, plumbing, mechanical work and sprinkler systems. Combination permits can be obtained for any of the following: demolition, fencing, roofing, swimming pools and all types of general building.
Permits should be obtained before any work on the project takes place. In order to obtain the necessary permits there are a few requirements. All construction, other than interior remodels and exterior repairs, must be shown on a site plan of the property. This site plan should be dimensioned and show the location of property lines, location of existing structures and location of new construction. For new construction and additions, floor plans, foundation plans, and elevation views must be submitted as well. In general, residential design can be done by the homeowner or builder and commercial design must be done by a licensed architect accompanied by drawings from structural, electrical, mechanical and civil engineers.
Once the plans are approved, the project must be built to those plans. Any proposed changes to the plans must be submitted to the Building Official in writing and must be approved before any changes are made to the plans.
When is a Permit Required?
Permits are required to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, plumbing, or mechanical system.
When is a Permit Not Required?
A permit is not required for items such as wallpapering, painting or similar finish work. Also, permits are not required for minor repairs such as replacing electrical receptacles and repairing of leaks in pipes, provided new wiring and piping is not needed to make the repair. There is a specific list of projects that are exempt from permit requirements and this list is available from the Building Official. If a permit is not required for the project the Building Official will, upon request, issue a written statement, listing the specific items that do not require a permit.
Who is Responsible for Obtaining Permits?
The individual or the contractor doing the work should always obtain their own permit. A homeowner can obtain their own permit only if they are going to do the work. If a contractor, or anyone other than the homeowner, is going to do the work they should get the permit. Homeowners are always responsible for what takes place on their property therefore, if a homeowner has someone do work for them that requires a permit, both parties are responsible.
Where are Permits Issued and How Long Does it Take?
Permits are issued from the Building Department located at City Hall, which is at 220 E. 1st. Permit applications can be sent through the mail, by fax or via e-mail. Permit issuance periods vary. Permits that do not require the submittal of any drawings or documentation can be issued over the phone to contractors who are registered with the city. Some permits may be issued over the counter, provided all required submittals are included with permit application. Other projects, new buildings for instance, require that plans be left for additional review. For most residential structures, this review should be completed within a few days. Plan review for commercial buildings could take two weeks or more to complete.