Through the years, I have met many people who wanted to build a new commercial building, add onto or renovate their existing building and thought that all they needed to do was go down to their local Building Department and get a building permit. They got a rude awakening when they were told they needed to deal with various different agencies before they could get approval to start their project. Most people are not aware that there are local (Zoning & Fire Prevention) ordinances, state (Building, Fire, and Mechanical) codes and sometimes private covenants or licensure requirements that need to be considered and incorporated into their project. Dealing with multiple organizations that require separate submittals with different procedures can be a nightmare.
In a nutshell…
- Local Zoning ordinances control the use of the land and have different requirements for type of use allowed on the property as well as setback distances from property lines, minimum number of parking spaces, required landscaping, flood control and stormwater management. Local Street, Fire, and Utility departments also have their own requirements and standards which are reviewed and approved through the Planning Department’s routing process.
- State Construction Codes regulate the design and construction of buildings & structures. Most commercial projects will require drawings by a registered design professional to be submitted to and reviewed & released by the state prior to obtaining a local building permit. Depending on the type of use and location of the project, submittal to other state agencies such as the Department of Health, FSSA, Department of Natural Resources, State Highway Department or Department of Environmental Management may also be required.
- If the property is located in an industrial or office park, private covenants attached to the deed may be more restrictive than the local zoning or state requirements. If the building use requires licensure to operate, such as a restaurant, daycare facility, or some medical facilities, compliance with more restrictive standards & codes may be also required.
As you can see, the forest of building regulations has grown dense and requires an experienced guide to help you, the Building Owner, get through it safely and by the most direct route. PDMi would love the opportunity to lead you through this process so you can avoid unexpected surprises along the way.
Give us a call…