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    Commercial Permit Questions

    1. What work does Montgomery County Building Regulations Division regulate?
    2. Is any construction exempt from building permits?
    3. What permits do I need if I'm just moving into an existing space, and doing no remodeling?
    4. What do I need to submit in order to get a permit?
    5. How long does it take to get a permit?
    6. Can I get a partial permit to get construction started more quickly?  
    7. How can I group permits for multiple tenants or dwellings?
    8. Once I obtain a permit, what inspections do are required?
    9. What are your local climatic design criteria for structural design?
    1. What work does Montgomery County Building Regulations Division regulate?

    One, Two and Three Family Dwellings and their accessory structures, commonly referred to as "Residential Construction": Per local resolution, Montgomery County regulates new construction, additions, and alterations of these dwellings and their accessory structures, including work such as finishing basements, converting garages to living spaces, and deck construction. Enforcement extends to both structural and non-structural construction, and includes mechanical and electrical work as well.

    All other Commercial and Multi-Family Residential Structures, commonly referred to as "Commercial Construction". Per state law, this construction is regulated by the Ohio Board of Building Standards, and is enforced locally by Montgomery County. This includes new construction, additions, structural and non-structural alterations, and changes of occupancy. Enforcement also covers mechanical and electrical work, and fire suppression and alarm systems.

    In addition to code compliance listed above, we also check for compliance with Flood Plain Damage Prevention Standards and Airport Zoning requirements around Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

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    2. Is any construction exempt from building permits?

    Maintenance and repairs may be made without building permits, but such repairs cannot include any structural work, mechanical or electrical work, or construction or removal of non-structural walls or partitions. Permits are not required for cosmetic changes such as painting or carpeting, but such work must still comply with applicable codes, such as not exceeding applicable flame spread requirements. Refer to OBC Section 101.2 and 105.2.

    Some work is exempt from local code enforcement, such as state or federal projects built on state or federally owned land, used for governmental purposes. In those cases, the state or federal government oversees code compliance. Other buildings such as those used for agricultural purposes are also exempt. If you have questions about whether your project is exempt, be sure to check with the building department before proceeding. Refer to RCO R 105.2, and OBC Section 101.2.

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    3. What permits do I need if I'm just moving into an existing space, and doing no remodeling?

    Continuation of existing uses. To use a building in the same manner as previously approved, such as a dress shop occupying a former men's clothing store, and the former use had been legally approved, no new Certificate of Occupancy is needed. C.O.'s are issued for a specific use of a building or space, not a specific tenant, and do not expire if the use does not change.

    Same overall use, but some specific changes in occupancy. If any significant changes are proposed in how the spaces are used, even if the overall use remains the same, the changes must be approved by our department. Examples include converting offices to storage rooms (may require fire rated separations or fire sprinklers), or storage rooms to employee lounges (may require additional mechanical ventilation).

    New use of an existing space. Some proposed occupancies are considered a Change of Use, and may increase the amount of people using the building enough that additional exits, toilet facilities, ventilation systems and fire suppression systems are required, such as locating a church in a space previously approved for a business use. Also when a new use goes in a building, specific code requirements for that use must be met, such as installing alarm systems in churches or daycare centers.

    Same use, I think, but I can't prove it. A variety of documentation approaches may be considered. Contact your design professional or our department if you have questions. Montgomery County maintains extensive permit approval records which are available to the public for research any time during normal business hours. Contact our office for details about our Records Research Policy.

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    4. What do I need to submit in order to get a permit?

    Commercial permit applications must include two or three copies of drawings and specifications describing the work for which the permit is sought, and how it will meet applicable code requirements, along with a completed application form. Submittal requirements for various types of permits are described in more detail on the back of the Commercial Permit Application Form, Part A.

    Upon approval of a permit, we will return one set with approval marks and notes, and keep one set on file in our offices. (When a third set is required, it is sent to the local fire department for review and comment). Refer to back of Commercial Permit Application for more detailed information.

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    5. How long does it take to get a permit?

    Most Commercial Permits are processed within seven to ten working days after receiving sufficient information to do a plan review. Turn around for some partial permits is three to five working days.

    When submittals are found to be deficient, either because the submittal is incomplete or the work proposed is code deficient, the applicant is notified of the need to submit additional or corrected information, and the "turn around clock" stops until a response is received. Time spent waiting for such responses is not counted against turn around goals.

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    6. Can I get a partial permit to get construction started more quickly?

    A variety of Partial Permits are available to expedite construction. The most common is the issuance of a Footing/Foundation Permit which is processed in one to three days. Shell Permits are processed in the same time frame as complete construction permits, but allow expedited construction since work can proceed before all interior detailing is completed. Again, see the back of the application forms for submittal information.

    Some over the counter permits are available for Electric Permits, Gas Piping Permits, Residential Mechanical Permits, and Demolition Permits. 

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    7. How can I group permits for multiple tenants or dwellings?

    Each finished building, tenant space, or dwelling unit requires a Certificate of Occupancy. Multiple C.O.'s in a single building can be applied for with one drawing submittal, but may require individual applications for each space. For multi-family dwellings, a single application listing all addresses can be submitted, and you will have to pay for multiple C.O.'s. For other multi-tenant buildings, a separate application form will have to be submitted for each tenant.

    Shell Only spaces may be combined with applications for adjoining finished spaces. Multiple buildings being constructed on a site can be submitted with one set of drawings, but a separate application must be submitted for each building, and you will have to ensure that the approved permit set is at each building site at the time you schedule inspections for that building.

    Applications for sub-permits such as electric or gas piping may be grouped similar to the primary building permits discussed above. Additional inspections may need to be paid for, however. See applicable parts of the fee schedule for more details.

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    8. Once I obtain a permit, what inspections do are required?

    Both Commercial and Residential work must have rough inspections of construction progress before work is covered up, and final inspections after work is complete. Typically all sub trade inspections such as electrical and mechanical must be approved before the main permit (general construction) inspection will be done. Approved plans must be on the jobsite for each inspection. Refer to the Commercial Inspection Checklist or Residential Inspection Checklist for more detailed information.

    Note: Footings, Slabs, and Gas or Electric Trenches must be inspected before concrete is poured or backfill material is placed.

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    9. What are your local climatic design criteria for structural design?

    Commercial Criteria:
    Frost Depth - 32"
    Ground Snow Load - 20 PSF
    Wind Speed - 90 MPH
    Seismic Zone - 1.

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