Permit Information

Work Requiring a Permit (Permit requirements updated 1-1-11)

As described in the Michigan adopted codes, “Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure…shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.” If there is any question as to the need for a permit, contact the Building Department at (248) 530-1408. Permits are required for many types of jobs, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • New residential & commercial building construction
  • Additions, alterations or modifications to existing buildings
  • Decks (new and replacement)
  • Basement Waterproofing
  • Roofing (Tear-off and new installation)
  • Tennis courts, sports courts, swimming pools or similar accessory structures
  • Fences (for swimming pool areas)
  • Air conditioning units (Requires building permit for side-yard installations)
  • Generators (Building permit is required, as well as trade permits)
  • Retaining and screening walls
  • Signage
  • Window & door replacement (ALL)
  • Piers, walls and fences in front yard areas
  • Residential & commercial demolition
  • Siding and masonry veneer replacement
  • All indoor and outdoor electrical work requires an electrical permit
  • All indoor plumbing, water services, sanitary sewer services, storm sewer services, basement waterproofing drains, sprinkling systems and sump-pump installations require a plumbing permit
  • Any work relating to heating, cooling and ventilation systems requires a mechanical permit.
  • Low Voltage permits are no longer required; however, the low voltage work must be in place at the time of electrical inspection.

NOTE: Many of our permit forms have been updated. The current version of the specific permit forms may be found on our website or at the front counter. The required fees are posted on our website as well. Minimum permit fees will always apply.

Application Requirements

In all instances, a completed application with all required fees, AND:

Residential Permit Applications:

  • Interior Alterations/Others Not Described Below*
  • Two sets of plans and/or or project descriptions
  • Fences, generators, decks*, swimming pools*
    • Two sets of a site plan that shows proposed location on property
    • Two sets of complete building plans (decks and pools)
  • Additions under 600 Square Feet*
    • Two sets of a site plan that shows the proposed location on property
    • Two sets of a complete building plan
  • Additions over 600 Square Feet on the ground floor*
    • Soil Erosion Control permit issued by the MDEQ (If the ground floor is affected)
    • Three sets of a complete grading/site plan that shows the proposed location on property. (See the Grading Ordinance section of the City Code that provides details of what constitutes a complete grading plan.)
    • Three sets of a complete building plan with all construction details
  • New Homes*
    • Soil Erosion Control permit issued by the MDEQ
    • Three sets of a complete grading/site plan that shows the proposed location on property. (See the Grading Ordinance section of the City Code that provides details of what constitutes a complete grading plan.)
    • Three sets of a complete building plan with all construction details

Commercial Permit Applications*

The following items must be submitted to the building department at time of application:

  1. Two review sets of construction drawings, signed and sealed by a licensed design professional. Plumbing, Electrical, Mechanical, Fire Suppression and Fire Alarm drawings may be submitted later, but are required as part of those respective applications for permit.
  2. For new construction, three site plans that were approved by the City of Bloomfield Hills City Commission.

*NOTE: Once plans for these projects have been approved, and prior to issuance of the Building Permit, the applicant shall provide a CD/ROM copy of the approved plans for City records. Hard copies of the approved plans will be returned to the applicant as part of the permit for site records. Substantial changes to the plans during the course of construction shall necessitate that the applicant provide as “as-built” set of plans in CR/ROM format. And, once the final as-built grading plan has been approved by the City, applicant shall provide a copy of the same in CD/Rom format. (Effective December 8, 2007.)

Demolition Permits

The following items are required to be submitted by the owner or the owner's agent for a demolition project:

  1. Approved disconnect notices from all utilities:
    1. Electric
    2. Gas
    3. Telephone
    4. Water
    5. Sewer
  2. A survey of the property to be demolished.
  3. A soil erosion permit from the MDEQ
  4. A completed application with appropriate fees.

As the GENERAL CONTRACTOR, it is YOUR responsibility to monitor continued compliance by the subcontractors performing the demolition work.

Permit Forms

Permit forms may be obtained in our offices or downloaded from this site. If the form is downloaded from this site, it may be completed but must be printed for submission. The permit forms available here include:

  • Building (for new homes, additions and alterations)
  • Roofing
  • Basement Waterproofing
  • Siding/Veneer Replacement
  • Window replacement
  • Accessory Structure (Use Building)
  • Generator & Air Conditioner
  • Demolition
  • Mechanical
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Fire Alarm
  • Tent/Temporary Structure
  • Commercial Fire Suppression

Certificate of Occupancy

No building or portion of a building may be occupied until a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued and obtained. A Certificate of Occupancy will be issued when construction is completed in conformance with all applicable codes, and all required inspections have been approved. The Bloomfield Hills City Ordinance specifically prohibits the issuance of a Final Certificate of Occupancy prior to approval of the "as-built" grading plan.

A Certificate of Occupancy can be obtained two business days after the last required inspection has been approved. An Application for a Certificate of Occupancy must first be submitted to this office to assure that all inspections have been completed and approved, and that reimbursement to the City for all Engineering and Planning fees has been achieved.

Certificates of Occupancy would not be issued for "Stand Alone" permitted work. "Stand Alone" permits are issued for work that involves only one or two trades. Examples of "Stand Alone" permits would be furnace replacement, electrical panel upgrades and water heater replacement. Homeowners are cautioned to tender final payment to the contractor for the work only after it has been inspected and approved by this department. This will assure that the completed work is code compliant and installed to meet the prescribed levels of safety.

Zoning Ordinance

The City of Bloomfield Hills Zoning Ordinance controls the location, size and height of structures such as buildings, garages and additions to homes. The Zoning Ordinance also controls what you can do in different parts of the City. For example, you cannot conduct a commercial business in a residential area, except under certain conditions.

The Zoning Ordinance is designed to protect city residents, their homes and businesses from conflicting activities nearby. The text of this Ordinance may be found in the City Code section of this website.

Variances to the zoning ordinance require approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals. An application along with the required fee for a variance must be submitted to the City Clerk in order to be placed on the agenda for the Zoning Board of Appeals. Submission schedules and requirements may be found in the ordinance section of this website.

The Board meets according to the published schedule in the City Commission Room of the Municipal Building. The Board's agenda is restricted, so applications that are complete with all appropriate documentation will be heard in order of receipt until that docket is filled.

FAQ's About Permits

1. What time frame should I allow for a building permit to be issued?
Please allow up to ten business days for a review of the submitted building plans. If revisions are requested for further review, the revisions will be reviewed in the order they are received. Commercial plans for alterations need to be reviewed by all trade disciplines and the Fire Marshal. Therefore please allow for an additional two weeks. New Commercial construction reviews will take considerably longer.

2. As a homeowner, may I apply for a building permit?
Yes. However, the permit holder is responsible for the work to be constructed in compliance to the codes and a Homeowner’s Affidavit must be signed. If a State of Michigan licensed builder is hired by the homeowner to supervise the work, then we strongly recommend the permit be issued to the licensed builder.

3. Can I start work without a permit being issued?
Starting work without a permit is a violation of the State Construction Code and City Ordinance.

4. What type of fees should I anticipate when applying for a building permit?
An application fee, a department plan review fee, and a registration fee for licensed contractors will be required at time of application. In addition, if consultant plan reviews (City Planner and City Engineer) are required, then an escrow deposit to be applied against their fees will also be required. A fee schedule is available upon request at the front counter and on the published list on this web site.

5. Do I need to apply for a permit in person?
Applications are accepted by mail; however, all licensed contractors and builders need to provide photo identification (driver's license and current Residential Builder's Board State license) with each application. In any instance, the applications must be signed and accompanied by a check for the required application fees.

6. Why do I need a permit for a swimming pool?

The Michigan Residential Code mandates that an application for a building permit be submitted for all above ground and in ground swimming pools containing 2 or more feet of water. Electrical and mechanical permits are also required. All outside pools must be provided with a safety enclosure in compliance with Appendix G of the Building Code.

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