Commercial and Mixed Use Building Permits

The following permits are available for construction of a commercial or mixed-use building. It is important to note that acquiring the appropriate permits for the proposed project is not the only requirement of the Columbus City Code, in some instances. There are multiple historic districts and commission areas in our city that require a review of the proposed design, prior to obtaining the permits to begin construction. Please refer to the Online Zoning Map to determine if your project is located in one of these areas. A Certificate of Appropriateness will be required from the historic district or commission area for all projects located in these areas.

Depending on the scope of the project, one or more of the permits listed below will be required to construct your project. Contractors licensed and registered with the City of Columbus must perform this work. Please refer to the contractor license/registration information section to find out the details of this requirement.

Additionally, unless it has been determined by our office that the work to be performed does not require technical expertise, a design professional will be required to submit sealed documents for plan review. Once plan review has been performed and found to meet the intent of the code, our office will be able to issue the permit.

Permits are issued for each and every building regardless of how many buildings are located on a project site or parcel. Each building will require a certified address prior to issuance of a permit. Please refer to the Map Room for more information on obtaining the necessary certified address for your project.

The permit information below gives a brief explanation of the types of permits available for your project. Applications and informational links are also included for your use and assistance in obtaining the required permits.

New construction, additions, alterations and accessory structures
The construction of any new addition, alteration and accessory structure to a commercial or mixed-use building requires a building permit. Additional permits, identified below, may also be required based on the scope of the project.

Phased construction
These types of permits are generally associated with new construction and are requested to fast track a project. Prior approval from the chief building official is required to obtain these permits. Overall, fees for this process are higher than the standard plan review and permit fees, but there is a reduced square footage fee for any project with 3 phases or more.

Tents greater than 400 square feet require a building permit.

Roof, siding, doors and windows
When replacing a roof, siding, exterior door or window, an appropriate permit for this work is required. Any combination of the above items may be obtained under a single permit if applied for at the same time. This permit only comes with one inspection.

Important: If a combination of items are applied for, complete all work prior to requesting an inspection or an additional inspection trip will be required.

This RSWD Building Permit Application(PDF, 237KB) is used for roof, siding, doors and windows.

Construction of a fence over 6 feet in height requires a building permit. Masonry walls are not considered fences and require a building permit, regardless of height.

Construction of a deck not associated with a larger-scope construction project requires a building permit.

Installation of a patio on an existing building requires a building permit.

Parking lot
Construction of a parking lot requires a building permit. If lighting is being installed, an electrical permit is also required.

The above types of projects require a permit and will need to complete a Building Permit Application(PDF, 242KB).

A permit is required for these types of work per the Ohio Building Code (OBC).

These are the specialty trade permits associated with any new construction, additions, alterations, accessory structures or replacement of existing specialty trade systems. An independent plan review may be required if the work to be performed is not associated with other work included in a building permit.

Below are the trade permit applications.

Minor limited scope
These permits are considered to be associated with minor repair work, related to an existing commercial or mixed-use structure that requires a permit, but only one inspection of 15 minutes or less, and no plan approval. Refer to the MLS List(PDF, 145KB).

Minor limited scope projects require one of the below permit applications.

Medical gas
Installation of medical gas systems require a separate plan review and permit. The Medical Gas Application will be used to complete this type of project.

Advance Construction Start
Issued prior to plan approval, this permit allows owners to begin work on an existing building, up to the point of first inspection. No inspections are provided with this permit and it is intended for work involving fire damage, vehicle damage, weather damage, interior alteration and tenant-improvement projects or other minor work, as approved by the chief building official. This is not a plan approval or permit and the owner is performing work, at their own risk. A follow-up building permit is required, subject to the plan approval process.

Complete this form for a Advance Construction Start(PDF, 242KB). Additionally, you may need to complete one of the permit applications below.

Secure permit
When a building is damaged, abandoned and not secure from entry, a secure permit is required. This permit is valid for a 3 month period and must be renewed until the building has been brought back to a condition in which it can be safely occupied.

To apply for a secure permit you need to complete the Building Permit Application(PDF, 242KB).

A permit is required per the Columbus City Code-4109.09.

A demolition permit is required for commercial, mixed-use buildings and their accessory structures. A contractor licensed or registered with the City of Columbus is required to perform this work.

To complete any demolition work its required per Columbus City Code 4113.79, complete a Demolition Permit Application(PDF, 237KB).

Fire suppression
Fire suppression permits may be required in commercial, mixed-use building projects. A separate plan review may also be required.

Fire Alarm, detection, suppression and activation devices
Fire alarm, and other detection permits, may be required in commercial and mixed-use projects. A separate plan review may also be required.

Repair-and-replace permit
These permits are typically required when existing equipment in commercial and mixed-use projects are being modified or repaired.

The above projects are related to fire related projects. Below are forms and information that can be used to obtain a permit for one these projects.