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 Board of Zoning & Planning (BZAP) reviews all planning and zoning related applications, including variances, conditional uses, signage plans, subdivisions, site plans and development plans. The Board also makes recommendations to City Council pertaining to rezoning requests and changes to the Unified Development Ordinance, the City’s zoning code.
The Board of Zoning & Planning typically meets on the first and third Mondays of each month. The first meeting is an informal Work Session, where commercial projects are typically discussed. The formal meeting follows on the third Monday, at which time the Board takes action on all items on the agenda.
Visit our Online Agenda Portal or Archives Portal for current or past Board of Zoning & Planning meeting agendas and minutes.
Application & Plan Submission
All residential and commercial building permit applications are date-stamped upon submittal and reviewed in the order in which they were received. The review of residential building permits takes seven-10 business days. The review of commercial building permits takes 10-15 business days.
Residential and commercial building that have a change in the footprint proceed to step 2, residential interior remodels proceed to step 4.
The Unified Development Ordinance regulates land use and development within the City. Zoning regulations protect property values by ensuring new development is compatible with the surrounding community and maintains the character of established neighborhoods.
Building plans are reviewed by the Planning Officer–as well as the Engineering Division and Parks & Recreation Department on all new buildings–to ensure compliance with all provisions of the Unified Development Ordinance. If plans are in compliance, they are approved and forwarded for Building Review. If plans do NOT conform to Unified Development Ordinance zoning requirements, the applicant is given two options:
- Redesign the project to comply, OR
- Seek a variance from the Board of Zoning & Planning. Contact the Planning Division for assistance with the variance process by completing the email form below.
Variance Process – Should your improvement project not meet the City’s zoning standards, a variance may be required. A variance is a granting of relief from Unified Development Ordinance standards, and can only be authorized by the Board of Zoning & Planning. In order for a variance to be granted, the Board of Zoning & Planning must find that practical difficulties unique to the property exist that prevent full compliance with the zoning requirement. Download our Guide to Variances and the Variance Process brochure below.
Board of Zoning & Planning Deadlines – The following deadlines are in place to allow enough time for Staff review prior each Board of Zoning & Planning Work Session:
- Preliminary/Final Development Plans – 5 pm of the second Monday before the end of each month
- Rezoning Requests – 5 pm of the third Monday before the end of each month
- Meeting Minutes – To access Board of Zoning & Planning meeting minutes, which include documents submitted for all agenda items, visit – Board of Zoning & Planning Meeting Minute Archives. Archives Portal
Once zoning approval is received, plans proceed to the Chief Building Official (residential projects) or the Commercial Plans Examiner (commercial projects) to ensure compliance with Chapter 13 of the City’s Codified Ordinances, the Ohio Building Code, and/or the most recent version of the Residential Code of Ohio.
The purpose of the building code is to provide minimum standards and requirements for construction and construction materials to make buildings safe and sanitary for their intended use and occupancy.
If plans fail to meet code, a correction letter will be issued explaining reasons for the plan rejection, and citing specific sections of the code. Two new sets of plans must be resubmitted highlighting all revisions, along with a letter addressing the corrections. Resubmitted plans are reviewed on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
All residential and commercial trade permit applications are date-stamped upon submittal and reviewed in the order in which they were received. The review of residential trade permits takes five-10 business days. The review of commercial trade permits takes 10-15 business days.
Requests for inspections must be submitted by 3 pm for service on the next business day. Inspection requests must be submitted:
- Online via our Online Applications & Permits Portal through your Permit/Account
- By phone: 614-583-5070
- Leave the following details when you call: Address, permit number, requested date of inspection, contact information
- Building, HVAC, and Driveway Approach inspections occur Monday–Friday except on City holidays.
- Plumbing inspections must be scheduled with Franklin County Public Health at 614-525-3160.
- Residential Electrical inspections occur Monday, Wednesday and Friday only.
- The Electrical Inspection Request Line is 614-583-5081.
- Commercial inspections occur each business day.
|Type of Permit||Application Fee*||Plan Review Fee||Permit Fee||3% Com
|Residential Code||OBC||Zoning||Residential Building||Commercial Building **|
|New Building: Residential||$194||$194||$56||$56||TBD||$24 per 100 SF||Yes|
|Commercial||$26 per 100 SF|
|Additions/Remodeling/Repair||$56||$158||$56||$56||TBD||$14.50 per $1,000 valuation||Yes|
|Decks||$56||$158||$56||$56||TBD||$14.50 per $1,000 valuation||Yes|
|Detached Garage/Carports & Accessory |
Buildings over 200 SF
|$56||$158||$56||$56||TBD||$17.50 per 100 SF||Yes|
|Electrical (Minimum) - See application for detailed fees||$75||Yes|
|Fixtures & Outlets||$6 + $2 each||Yes|
|Permanent & Temporary Service||$40||Yes|
|Fire Protection (Alarms) - See application for detailed fees||$160**||Yes|
|Fire Suppression (1-25 Heads) - See application for detailed fees||$160**||Yes|
|Gas Line||$75 + $10 per stop|
|HVAC (minimum) See application for detailed fees||$75||Yes|
|Residential Plumbing (1st Fixture)||$60||No|
|Each additional fixture||$15||No|
|Commercial Plumbing (1st Fixture)||$200||No|
|Each additional fixture||$20|
|Sign - Illuminated||$150||Yes|
|Zoning: Variance Application||$300||No|
|Certificate of Zoning Compliance||$75|
|Board of Building Standards Appeal||$275||No|
|Building Card Replacement||$58||No|
|Stamp/approve additional sets over 2||$14.50/set||No|
* In addition to plan review and permit fees.
**Additional Commercial plan review fees incurred to be invoiced monthly at an hourly rate.
Contractor Registration Fees
|HVAC: Warm Air Heating||$100|
|Steam & Hot Water||$100|
|Driveway (Approach) & Sidewalk||$100||$5,000|
The Building Division and Planning & Zoning Division has a series of informational brochures available that summarize many of the regulations, permit requirements and procedures for various projects and issues related to our divisions. They can be accessed by clicking the Applications & Permits link below.
- Administrative Hearing (PDF 909KB)
- Bond Form (PDF Form 3KB)
- Certificate of Notice (PDF 170KB)
- Contractor Registration Requirements (PDF 100KB)
- Demolition Application Owner Statement (PDF Form 162KB)
- Demolition Sign Affidavit (PDF Form 124KB)
- Engineering Residential Plan Review Checklist
- Home, Garage, Vehicle & Boat Sales (PDF 425KB)
- Proclamation and Executive Order--Remote Inspections (PDF 227KB)
- Remote Inspection Release Hold Harmless Indemnification and Waiver (PDF Form 303KB)
- Remote-Virtual Inspection Guidelines (PDF 100KB)
- 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.