The Community Development Department coordinates the many aspects involved in Upper Arlington’s growth, development and preservation, with the goal of enhancing the aesthetic appearance and economic vitality of the community.
The department is comprised of three divisions:
The Building Division works with residents, businesses, schools, contractors and design professionals to ensure new and remodeled buildings are constructed in compliance with State of Ohio and City of Upper Arlington minimum building codes and standards. Staff reviews residential and commercial construction plans, issues permits, and provides onsite inspections of these buildings and mechanical systems. The division is also responsible for the administration of annual General and Trade contractor registrations.
The Property Maintenance Division ensures that all residential and commercial properties are properly maintained over time.
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The Master Plan serves as the principal guiding document when addressing long-term goals, growth and development issues. It is the broadest, most comprehensive policy document for the City, designed to set objectives and implementation strategies that will ultimately protect and preserve the community’s makeup and quality of life.
The Upper Arlington Master Plan addresses important issues related to land use, economy, community appearance, community facilities and services, housing, transportation, technology and sustainability. These elements express the community’s interest in developing a plan that supports a high quality of life and improved provision of services and facilities through sound land use, revenue enhancement and targeted redevelopment efforts.
Adopted in 2001—following an extensive, three-year review and update process—the Master Plan replaced an extremely outdated planning document from 1962. Per a directive of the Master Plan to undertake a review and update process every 10 years, an updated version of the Master Plan was adopted in 2013.
The entire 2001 Master Plan can be accessed via Archives Portal – City Plans search.
The City’s Geographic Information System (GIS) maps can provide you with convenient, 24/7 access to:
- The City’s zoning map
- Parcel information
- Identification of historically significant properties within the Historic District
- Identification of City trees
- Subdivision plats
In 1985, a portion of Upper Arlington south of Lane Avenue, known as “Old Arlington,” was designated the “Upper Arlington Historic District” and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The area was recognized for its high-quality Twentieth Century American Colonial and English Revival Style homes. Many buildings in the district contribute to the unique character of the area, and if this built environment were to be significantly altered, the City could lose an irreplaceable asset—its visible historic identity. That said, there will always be a demand for newer, more modern homes.
In an effort to preserve the City’s historic structures while allowing them to be upgraded, City Council adopted legislation in 2009 designed to discourage, but not prohibit, total demolition. The regulations apply to total or extreme demolition cases that directly affect the historical significance of a home. A six-month delay period provides an “intermission” so that alternatives to total demolition can be thoughtfully considered. These regulations are found in Articles 5, 6, and 7 of the Unified Development Ordinance.
The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) combines zoning, subdivision and all related development provisions into a single ordinance. The result is a simplified development approval process, streamlined administrative procedures and a more user-friendly process for developers.
The UDO establishes an appropriate framework for preserving and enhancing Upper Arlington’s residential nature, while encouraging redevelopment that meets Master Plan goals, by providing:
- Overlay zoning districts for commercial areas
- Residential conservation guidelines
- Street and walkway connectivity and pedestrian orientation
- Commercial design standards and guidelines
- Zoning incentives
- Multi-family design standards
- Increased landscaping and screening standards for commercial development
The UDO streamlines procedures and timelines for anyone wishing to undertake a construction project in the community, from professional developer to homeowners:
- It allows non-controversial applications to be placed on a consent agenda, expediting the review process.
- It is sensitive to developers, streamlining the process for projects that are consistent with the Master Plan.
- It simplifies the regulatory environment, and consolidates development standards and regulations into a concise document.
- It affords stability and predictability for an appropriate pattern of land uses.
It creates more opportunities for administrative review, thereby reducing cases that go before the Board of Zoning and Planning.
Quick Links to UDO
- Applications & Permits
- Building Code – Chapter 13 of City’s Codified Ordinances
- Call Before You Dig
- Contractor Registration
- Franklin County Property Search
- Franklin Soil & Water Conservation District
- GIS Mapping
- International Code Council (ICC)
- Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC)
- Ohio Board of Building Standards (OBBS)
- Ohio Building Code
- Ohio Revised Code 727
- Permits Record Search
- Property Maintenance Code
- Residential Code of Ohio
- Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)
Building, Planning & Zoning (12)
Yes, a separate bond form is required for each trade even if one company is registered for multiple trades.
Typically a permit is required from the Engineering Division when sidewalks are replaced in the public right-of-way. However, the January 2019 sidewalk repair notices mailed to non-compliant properties also function as the permit for purposes of the Sidewalk Maintenance Program. A free permit from the Parks & Forestry Division is required when excavation is performed within 10 feet of a street tree. Permits are not required for leveling or grinding of existing concrete sidewalks.
To schedule an inspection, call the “Inspection Line” at 614-583-5080. Once a building permit has been issued, a series of inspections takes place to ensure the work is being performed according to the approved plan.
Yes, registrations are required for general, electricians, plumbers, HVAC, sewer and driveway/sidewalk contractors.
Yes, if the shed is less than 200 square feet, a Certificate of Zoning Compliance is required. If the shed is 200 square feet or larger, a building permit is required.
Yes, a fence permit is required to build a new fence or if more than 25% of an existing fence is being replaced.
A building permit is required:
- To construct a deck
- To finish a basement or alter an existing basement
- If there is any framing being removed or added to kitchen/bathroom or if the layout is altered
- If non-loadbearing walls and/or soffits are being removed, altered or added
- To add a porch or covered entry
- If roof decking, exterior sheeting or framing is being replaced along with shingles or siding
- If exterior wall and/or header framing is being altered during window replacement
An HVAC permit is required to install or replace a furnace, RTU, air conditioner, mini split system or range hood, and any time supply air, return air or dryer vent ductwork is added, altered or removed, as well as for new or replacement ventilation fans, etc.
A plumbing permit is required to install or replace a boiler, water heater, water meter, and any time supply or waste lines are added, altered or removed, or boxes, switches, circuits or fixtures are added.