FREQUENTLY ASKED ZONING AND PLANNING QUESTIONS

 

 

Q:        How do I know when I need a building permit?

 

A:        City building permits are required whenever a person builds a new structure of any kind, or enlarges, relocates, or remodels an existing structure.  For purposes of this requirement, a “remodel” of an existing structure would include any renovation that includes any foundation, framing, electrical, plumbing, or gas work.  Remodeling that does not impact these components, i.e., new cabinets, flooring, etc., does not require a building permit.

 

Q:        Do I need a building permit if I am installing new appliances?

 

            A:        A building permit is not required for the installation of new appliances, so long as the installation process does not make substantive changes to the existing framing, electrical, plumbing, or gas work.

 

Q:        How do I get a building permit?

 

A:        Obtain an Application for a Building Permit from City Hall. Fill it out and attach a diagram, including measurements of the structure and measurements from the structure to the property lines. Once the application is approved, a building permit will be issued by the City/Zoning Administrator during regular business hours at City Hall.  You will be asked to pay a deposit on future building inspections necessary to complete the project.

 

Q:        Do I need a building permit if I am doing the work myself?

 

A:        Yes, work performed without the assistance of a contractor still requires a building permit.

 

Q:        Does a building permit expire?

 

A:        Yes, the permit expires six (6) months from date if work has not started: or two (2) years if the project has not been completed.

 

Q:        Why does the City require building permits?

 

A:        Building permits allow for proper inspections of work being completed within the City, which ensures compliance with codes and regulations.  In addition, these inspections help prevent building owners from inadvertently violating City zoning regulations that could force demolition of the new work.

 

Q:        How do I obtain the required building inspections?

 

A:        The City’s building inspector works on appointment only, and all inspections must be scheduled in advance through the City Administrator.  No inspections will occur unless all inspection fees have been paid in advance.

 

Q:        What if I need to cancel an inspection?

 

A:        Because the City pays its inspector per inspection, all inspections canceled less than seven days in advance will incur the inspection fee.  To reschedule the inspection, the property owner will be required to prepay the inspection fee again.

 

Q:        Why do I need multiple inspections for a single project?

 

A:        There are multiple components of a building inspection, including the foundation, framing, electrical, plumbing, and gas components.  As the project moves forward, some of the components that require inspection are covered and can no longer be inspected without demolition.  Therefore, incremental inspections must be scheduled and completed before work on the project continues.

 

Q:        If the City inspects my project and the work is later discovered to be faulty, is the City liable?

 

A:        No, the City is not liable for damages associated with any building project.  The City’s inspection seeks to ensure code and zoning regulation compliance, and is in no way an inspection of the project workmanship.  Property owners and contractors are solely responsible for the work they perform, and are responsible for ensuring code and zoning regulation compliance of any project.

 

Q:        What are the required setbacks?

 

A:        25 feet from the front property line, 10 feet from each side property line, and 20 feet from the rear property line.

 

Q:        What if my project is denied?

 

A:        The Zoning Commission has a Zoning Appeals Board that you can meet with to discuss your concerns.

 

Please see PERMITS if you see that one is needed