A building permit is required for almost all construction except for minor repairs and small, portable storage sheds. Zoning approval is required for portable sheds and other new structures even if a building permit is not required, to ensure that the construction conforms to all zoning requirements and is not in an easement. Permits also must be obtained for all plumbing, mechanical, and electrical work. Building permits must be applied for on the City's Building Permit Application or at the Department of Community Development, 3600 86th Street.
The review and approval of a building permit application is an administrative function performed by City staff. Permit applications are not reviewed by the City Council or any other policy body. The plans and specifications submitted with the permit will be reviewed by the Building Official/Plans Examiner for compliance with the City's Building Code. Staff will review the plans for compliance with zoning and other relevant regulations. If the plans and specifications submitted with the permit application are determined to be in compliance with City's Ordinances and Code, and all fees have been paid, a building permit will be issued.
Architectural and structural engineering certifications are required for most nonresidential construction. The certifying architects and engineers must be licensed in Iowa. Structural plans and specifications are reviewed by private engineers serving as consultants to the City, and their review fees will be included in the permit fee.
A site plan must be submitted for staff review and must be approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council prior to construction of any new development, except single-family detached residences. It may be possible to submit a permit application "at risk" prior to site plan approval, but a building permit cannot be approved until the site plan has been approved and any and all conditions of approval have been satisfied. This possibility should be discussed at a pre-application conference.