city of columbus permits

Avoid Code Violations: How to Work with City of Columbus, Ohio Permits

Did you know that the City of Columbus issued over $211,000 worth of construction building permits in 2014? That means that a whopping 724 new buildings were constructed in a single year!

With so many fresh buildings popping up around Columbus, Ohio, it definitely pays to know your local building and zoning laws. Here’s what to do when your building is in violation of City of Columbus permits.

City of Columbus Building Permit Laws

Curious about the building permit laws in Columbus, Ohio? You’re not alone. 

To get started, most people need to submit a construction plan and get it approved by the local government. Why is this so important?

Because every building needs a permit to officially begin their construction project. As time goes on, the city’s building and zoning department will document your progress to make sure everything’s up to code.

Why do homeowners need to apply for building permits in the City of Columbus?

The most common reasons to apply for Columbus building permits are:

  • To lay the foundations of a brand-new construction project.
  • To make a big change to a space that already exists.
  • To change up the occupancy of a building that’s already been built.

Does your project need a construction engineer?

Most construction projects do, unless when they’re for one, two, and three-family residential homes, which are typically smaller projects. In fact, most home construction projects are as simple as replacing a window, roof, or door. 

Let’s get this straight: some commercial construction plans don’t require approval either. How so? This is determined by the City of Columbus on a case-by-case business.

Looking to apply for a permit for your residential building project? Then there are a few requirements that your structure has to meet first, including the:

  • Verification of your address.
  • Certification of your site plan
  • Plan approval for your construction site.
  • Building permit application process.

Don’t know where to start? Take a look at your city’s building codes and residential construction plans requirements!

City of Columbus Zoning Permits

What’s the real deal about zoning permits in the City of Columbus, Ohio? That depends on a few factors, including:

  • The amount of property that your site plan calls for.
  • The size of the building you plan to construct.
  • The exact placement of your structure on your property.

Why does this matter?

Because zoning guidelines lay down the law in terms of structure height and space. Not to mention regulating how you can actually use your land as well. 

What else are zoning laws good for? Other benefits of zoning laws include:

  • Protecting the public welfare of the community.
  • Making sure that the city is in order.
  • Helping to implement the goals of the local citizens.
  • Keeping land conflicts separate.
  • Managing the use of land in terms of public benefit.

Dying to know what the most popular construction projects in Columbus are?

The answer is simple: industrial, commercial, and residential projects are super trendy in Ohio right now.

What does this mean?

Basically, industrial, commercial, and residential homeowners have to go through three units before their projects can be approved:

  • Code development
  • Zoning clearance
  • Public hearings

What’s code development all about, anyway?

Essentially, it’s up to code development to research, update, and maintain the zoning standards in Columbus, Ohio.

Plus, coding development also handles applications for special research and project requests.

How important is zoning clearance?

Zoning clearance is vital because it helps to make sure that every construction plan is compliant with its current zoning code.

Sound confusing? It doesn’t have to be.

Interested in changing or building any new structure in Columbus? Then you’ll need a zoning clearance certificate.

Another word of advice: Be prepared to face a court hearing for your project. Why? Because this lets you alert the public of any changes to local property.


General Contractor Licensing

How do you find the right licensed contractor for your residential construction project?

According to the building code in Columbus, Ohio, it’s the Department of Building and Zoning Services’ job to issue license and registration info to private contractors.

That means that every contractor within the City of Columbus needs the proper license before they can bid on a construction job. 

What’s the point of issuing license and registration to general contractors?

In reality, the goal of providing license and registration to construction workers to guarantee that they meet the minimum construction standard that the city requires.

That way, the City of Columbus can promise to uphold the safety of its citizens as its top priority! 

What kind of contractors need an approved license from the city? These include:

  • General contractors
  • Demo contractors 
  • Journeymen plumbers
  • Sewage water contractors
  • Fire damage contractors

Do you know what type of project that you’re in the market for? 

Pro tip: most residential construction projects only require services from a licensed general contractor. 

Other Ohio Construction Laws

Depending on your project, you should hire a general contractor to:

  • Construct every new structure within the city.
  • Do a major repair to your multi-family unit.
  • Oversee the alteration of a one, two, and three-family residential home.

Are you planning to construct a new structure in Columbus, Ohio? Then you should definitely plan on hiring a licensed construction worker to help.

That is, unless you’re repairing a garage for a small family home.

Planning to do a major repair to your multi-family unit?

When you have four or more families on your property, you should expect to contract a professional to take care of such a large project.

What about changing up a smaller family home?

You’ll still need to talk to a licensed general contractor to oversee the alteration of a one, two, and three-family residential home.

Why? Because your construction professional will have to be subcontracted by the City of Columbus to complete work on your residential property. 

Want to sell your home? Don’t forget to shop around before you choose the best real estate company!

But what should you do if you receive a building violation in the first place?

Receiving a Building Violation Notice

Have you ever gotten a building violation notice from the City of Columbus? If so, then you may have broken the code of a property that you lease or own.

What does this mean?

That your place of residence has potentially violated the zoning, environmental, or housing codes for the State of Ohio. 

Need a push in the right direction? Luckily, we’re here to help. 

First of all, there are a couple of things that you need to do as soon as you receive a building code violation, such as:

  • Read the entire notice to find out about financial penalties and appeals.
  • Get in touch with your code enforcement officer at the bottom of the letter.

We can’t emphasize this enough: you should read your entire violation notice to find out about financial penalties and appeals before you take any action.

Why? Because you can learn more about the address of your violated property, as well as when your violation was noticed by your code enforcement officer. Also, your notice should mention what the code enforcement saw when they inspected your land too.

Looing to appeal your building violation notice? All you have to do is read through your letter to get started on appealing your infringement.

What’s the next step? Get in touch with your code enforcement officer at the bottom of the letter. How so? Just call the number listed right beneath their name. 

Once you contact the code enforcement officer that’s assigned to your case, you can ask them to give you more details about your potential building violation. 

What You Should Do Next

Not sure what you should do next? As soon as you get a building violation in the City of Columbus, you have two options:

  • Comply with the violations cited in your notice letter.
  • Appeal your building code violation if you think it was sent in error.

Do you think that your code enforcement officer actually got it right? Then you should probably just comply with the violations cited in your notice letter.

That means that you might have to work alongside your code enforcement officer to make sure that your building complies with the code of the city. You can also call the supervisor of your code enforcement officer to get your violation deadline extended.

What happens if you fail to appeal or comply with your building code violation?

If you decide that you don’t want your project to be up to code, then you may have to face a criminal or civil penalty.

It gets worse: You can literally receive a criminal penalty for a building code violation for violating zoning, environmental, or housing codes in the City of Columbus.

Of course, this only applies to those who have a first-degree misdemeanor. That means that you could be fined for $1,000. On top of that, you have to pay court fees and serve a six-month jail sentence too.

What about civil penalties? As long as your building continues to be non-compliant, the City of Columbus can press civil charges against the structure in violation.

As if that wasn’t enough, you can also be charged $250 every day and lost your land as well.

Do you feel like your building code violation notice was sent in error? Then there’s nothing wrong with appealing it if you think that the law got it wrong. 

Appealing a Building Violation Notice

How do you appeal a building violation notice in Columbus, Ohio? Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

When it comes to appealing your Columbus building violation, you need to do a few things:

  • Contact your code enforcement officer right away.
  • Write down a legal appeal request for your case.
  • Submit your appeal request in a timely manner.

Why do you need to contact your code enforcement officer right away?

Because they’ll be able to tell you everything you need to know about the next steps in your appeal process.

Looking for more guidance?

It doesn’t hurt to write down a legal appeal request for your case. Just make sure that your note is readable. Additionally, you should list the exact reason why you feel like you received your notice in error.

Now that you’ve jotted down your appeal, it’s time to submit your appeal request in a timely manner.

How long do you have to file an appeal for a building violation?

It depends on what type of violation you received. For instance, you have just over two weeks to file an appeal if your residence had a housing, weed, or solid waste infraction.

Did you receive a zoning violation letter?

Then you have a full month to contest your building violation case before it reaches the courthouse.

What about emergency violations?

For those whose building violation is a 9-1-1 situation, the City of Columbus will give you 15 days to file your appeal. 

Bottom line? Whether you comply or appeal your violation, it’s best to handle it right away before it’s too late! 

Your Guide to City of Columbus Permits 

Still wondering what to do when your building violates City of Columbus permits?

Thanks to our handy guide, you have everything you need to know about the general building, zoning, and permit laws for Columbus, Ohio.

That means that your next construction project should be a breeze!

Are you in the market to sell your home? Contact us to request a free quote today!

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