City Building Department

For illustrative purposes the following description applies to a City that has a combined Building and Zoning Application. All NIC's customer interface processes are flexible and can accommodate a variety of local traditions and organizational structures.

Individuals wishing to obtain building permits submit an Application along with appropriate drawings (usually 4 sets) at a customer services counter in City Hall. The City's counter clerk accepts the application, advises the customer that they will get a phone call when the permit is ready and explains how to get permit status information. One copy of the submittal goes to zoning, one set to the Fire Department and two sets are placed in NIC's "in" box. (Permits that do not require zoning approval or construction drawings are usually issued at the time of application.)

NIC collects the applications daily and process them, i.e.:

  • A Certified Plans Examiner reviews the application/construction drawings to ensure compliance with all applicable codes, solicits input from the Fire Department and interacts with the applicant, if necessary, through correction letters, phone calls, e-mails, until the construction drawings are revised and/or "marked up" to meet code requirements.
  • A Permit Administrator prepares the Building Permit, including fee calculations and all legally required data.
  • A Certified Building Official reviews the documentation, interacts with the applicant if necessary and approves and signs the permit.
  • NIC returns the approved permit packet to the City customer service counter. The packet contains the permit, job site copy of approved plans, list of required inspections and how to schedule inspections.
  • NIC calls the applicant to advise them that the permit is ready for pick-up and the total amount of permit fees that are due.

The applicant goes to the customer service counter at City Hall, pays the permit fees and receives the permit packet.

When contractors wish to schedule inspections, they call the City's published Building Department phone number which is answered by NIC as "inspection services" and they book an inspection. The inspections are performed by NIC's certified building and/or electrical and/or mechanical inspectors and the written results of the inspection are given to the contractor on site. When all inspections have been approved, NIC prepares and issues a Certificate of Occupancy directly to the applicant or via the City's Zoning office. NIC maintains complete records of every stage of the process on behalf of the City. On completion of a project the permit file is kept in City Hall in accordance with the City's records retention policy.

In addition to all the daily routine tasks, NIC provides a Certified Building Official to perform all required statutory functions and participate as a City staff team member in pre-development meetings, building rehabilitation opportunities, structural damage assessment, disaster preparedness, etc.