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FAQs



General Questions

Can I get a special inspection?

Yes. A special inspection without the submission of plans is permitted for a limited number of small projects. An example of a special inspection would be a temporary pole mounted electrical service. A special inspection still requires a permit and requires the successful completion of an inspection. Please check FAQ's to review more detailed instructions regarding special inspections.

Can I get a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for my project?

Yes. Life safety issues (ie. electrical systems, fire protection systems and plumbing systems) need to be addressed prior to requesting a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) permit.  A TCO has no cost, but requires successful completion of at least the life safety issues and structural inspections before issuance.  If you should have any further questions, or wish to inquire about the suitability of a TCO for your project, you may contact our office at 419-698-7071, or contact your inspector.

How do I get my Certificate of Occupancy?

You must notify the Building Department at least 5 days prior to your intent to occupy and schedule final inspections.  Once your plans have received full approval and your project has successfully completed ALL final inspections, a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued automatically.

What is the difference between the Ohio Basic Building Code and the Oregon Building Code?

The Ohio Basic Building Code (OBBC) applies to construction for all buildings or structures except 1, 2 and 3 family detached dwellings and is usually referred to as the commercial code. The Oregon Building Code or the OBOA 1,2&3 Family Dwelling Code applies to residential 1,2 & 3 family dwellings and their accessory buildings.

When is a Certificate of Occupancy required?

When the occupancy type of a building is changed or when an addition or new building is completed, a Certificate of Occupancy must be obtained before the structure can legally be occupied.

May I fax an application or plans?

Yes, an application may be faxed with payment by credit card, if plans are required.

When is the best time to call for an inspection?

Staff will take inspection request calls anytime and can usually arrange a time with you.  There should be 24-hour notice before inspection time.  Inspectors are usually available for consultation and appointments from 8:00 am - 9:00 am or 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm - Monday thru Friday.

How soon can I start my job?

You may begin construction once your project has received a partial or full plan approval. A partial plan approval allows you to build only to the point outlined in your correction letter. For example, if you have received a partial plan approval for footings/foundation, you cannot build beyond that point.  A correction letter and partial approval permit are issued to indicate the limits of work authorized and what additional information is required for final approval.

How long is a permit valid?

All permits expire by limitation if work has not begun within twelve months from the date of permit issuance or when the work has been discontinued for six months. However, if the owner requests a renewal prior to the expiration of the permit, the permit can be extended for an additional twelve month period for a fee. For a wrecking permit to remain valid, demolition must begin within 120 days.

Where do I apply for a permit?

All applications for permits are accepted at the permit desk in the Building & Zoning Inspection Office in the east wing of the Oregon Municipal Building located at 5330 Seaman Road.

When are plans required to be certified by a registered engineer or architect?

Plans and associated construction documents for new construction and major alteration work for buildings and structures regulated by the Ohio Basic Building Code are required to be prepared by an Ohio registered architect or professional engineer.  Residential work may also be required to be sealed by an architect or engineer if such work is extraordinary in nature or is an alternative to the strict interpretation of the code.

How many plans do I need when applying for a permit?

The minimum for commercial and industrial projects is four (4) sets of sealed construction drawings and six (6) sets of site and utilities drawings along with your application.  For residential projects the minimum is three (3) sets of construction drawings and three (3) sets of site and utilities drawings along with your application.  You must also submit at least one (1) model energy report for every project, and one (1) site drainage permit.

The reason for a delay in the issuance of a certificate of plan approval and permit is the submittal of incomplete plans.  In order to insure a timely review of your plans, please review the submitter checklist prior to the initial submission of your plans. Find the plans review check list in OBBC Section 4101:2-1-19 for commercial projects or Ohio Residential Code Book Section 106 for residential. 

The City of Oregon Building & Zoning Inspection Department has jurisdiction in that they are a local certified building department for state of Ohio projects.  Please check with your Lucas Co Health Department regarding areas which do not have public sewer and/or public water.

Alterations: (decks, signs, awnings, retaining walls, sheds, interior demolitions, etc.) 
3 sets of plans
1 set of site plans

Kitchen Hood Fire Suppression, Fire Alarm & Sprinklers: 
4 sets of plans and cut-sheets
4 sets of hydraulic calculations if applicable.

Swimming Pools: (in-ground and above ground) 
1 set of plans
1 set of site plans

Tents: 
1 set of plans
1 set of site plans
1 copy of certificate verifying fabric is flame resistant

Parking Lots and Excavation and Fill: 
3 sets of grading & elevation plans plus
2 sets of storm water calculations for site plans

Demolition:
No plans necessary. A separate application describing the structure to be demolished is required.  Also required is an inspection of the sanitary sewer kill and the water line termination.

What do I need to submit to obtain my permit?

You need to submit a permit application, the fees due, a minimum number of set construction drawings (plans) and specifications.  For any property that has a septic system or private well, you will also need a pre-plan approval (pink slip) from the Lucas Co. Health Dept.

What are the permit fees based on?

The permit fee for new buildings and additions, either commercial and residential, are based primarily on the square footage of construction using the fee schedule contained in Section 1361 OMC.  The Fee schedule is a grid based on the complexity and size (square footage) of the project.  A chart that allows you to compute your fees are not part of the building permit application form but is available upon request.  In order to issue a correct permit and certificate of occupancy, it is necessary for you to fill out all of the sections on the application form.  There is some work and some structures that do not relate to square footage and in those instances the permit fees are valuation based.  Other permit fees are based on the flat rates of work done as shown on each application form.

When filing building plans, the minimum fee due is $50.00 for zoning on any project plus a minimum plan examination fee of $60.00 for any OBBC work.  This makes up part of the fees due at application and must be paid at the time the plans are filed.

What types of work requires a permit?

A permit is required for all major repairs, alterations, new buildings and additions, most excavation and filling of land, swimming pools, ponds, installations of signs, sanitary and storm sewer installations, sidewalks, driveway approaches and paved parking areas greater than 800 square feet in area.  Permits without plans are also required for alteration or replacement of heating equipment, air conditioning equipment, boilers, plumbing system or any changes in the electrical systems.  Routine maintenance or minor work, both defined in the code, can generally be described as flat work on grade, painting, wallpapering, siding, replacement windows (no size change), or re-shingling roof and similar work which typically does not require a permit.

The following work does require a zoning permit but is exempt from building permits:

  • Storage sheds, located in a rear yard of a single family dwelling in accordance with the Zoning Code, which are not greater than 200 square feet in area and not taller than six feet in average height.
  • Play equipment not greater than 12-1/2 feet in height that is not enclosed and not provided with electric or heating equipment.
  • Changes in the occupancy of a building or tenant space.

Why do I need a permit?

City ordinance specifies that a permit be issued when work is to be performed on a structure. The resulting inspection may uncover shoddy work, faulty materials, deviations from plans, or violations of the code that could result in unsafe or hazardous conditions for you, your family, your employees or the general public.

The code also requires an investigation fee equal to and in addition to their regular permit fee when work is done without a permit.


Residential Repair

How long does it take to get a permit?

Most repair permits can be processed for the next business day and applications normally take less than ten minutes to complete.  Permits requiring plans that must be reviewed take more time, but the permit desk strives to issue permits promptly.  Normal turn around is 5 days for residential sets and 10-14 days for commercial sets.  You will always have some response, even a rejection, within 30 days of the date of submission.

Does the city want to inspect the soil before I dig the hole?

Soil inspections are performed after the hole is dug, immediately prior to the placement of the concrete for the footers.  The "hole" must be the required depth, below the frost line in most cases, which is 36-inches below grade.  The soil at the point of termination must be original material, not fill, and must be clean and dry.  If the plan calls for reinforcing steel, it must be in place at the time of the inspection.

Must I have a survey performed to install a fence?

There is no requirement to have a survey prior to the installation of a fence.  However, a survey is highly recommended to insure against any charge of infringement upon a property line by adjoining property owners.

Which side of the fence (good or bad) does my neighbor need to face toward my yard?

The building department has no jurisdiction over the aesthetics involved in the installation of the fence. Accepted practice has been to present the "good" side of the fence to the adjoining property, so as to allow the appearance to be fully appreciated by the individual looking "in" at the property on which the fence has been installed.

How many layers of roofing may be applied before layers must be removed?

New roof coverings shall not be installed without first removing the existing roof coverings as follows.  Whenever the existing roof is water soaked or deteriorated to the point of being unacceptable as a base for additional roofing, or when the existing roof covering is wood shake, slate, clay or cement tile, or when the existing roof has two or more layers of any type of roofing.

When do I need plans?

Plans are required to accompany all permit applications except for minor repairs or as otherwise approved by the Commissioner of Building and Zoning Inspections.

When do I need a permit?

Except when doing minor repairs, a permit is required to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, relocate or demolish a structure or building equipment installed therein; or to change a structure to another occupancy, or to excavate or fill an area in excess of five feet in vertical depth, or 100 cubic yards per each 5000 square feet of site area.  Included are pools, ponds and overflow and site drainage plans.


Code Enforcement

How do I obtain an extension of time for compliance with orders from the Building Department?

Short extensions of time, in order to comply with orders, are based on the progress of the repairs, efforts made to comply and may be granted at the discretion of the district inspector after consulting with his/her supervisor

How do I put my rent in escrow?

Either the Legal Aid Society, the Oregon Municipal Court system or your attorney can provide the information outlining the process of rent escrow.  Legal consultation is highly recommended.

If I tell my landlord about problems with my apartment and they fail to make the repairs, can I not pay my rent?

Any failure to pay rent can be grounds for eviction. Any recourse on your part should only be done after seeking legal advice.

Can I remain anonymous?

Anonymous complaints can only be accepted on conditions that can be viewed and identified from areas that are accessible to the general public.  It is preferred that you provide a name so the city may follow-up with "action taken reports."

How do I file a complaint against my neighbor?

Complaints can be filed by writing the Building and Zoning Inspection Department and identifying the conditions which are alleged to be in violation of the various codes. Complaints can only be accepted on the conditions which can be seen from the public areas, or which the complainant can legally provide access to view.

What are my options when I receive notice of violation or an order to make repairs on property I own?

The first option would be to abate the violation or comply with the required repairs.  Another option would be to appeal any order that you do not think is not applicable to your property. The third option would be to ignore the orders and accept further enforcement actions, such as criminal prosecution or civil fines.


Electrical Inspections

What are the latest changes to the National Electrical Code?

2008 NEC Effective residential changes:

  • 210.4(B) Handle-ties are required on breakers serving common neutral (multi-wire) circuits.
  • 210.4(D) Wires of Multi-wire circuits shall be grouped (such as wire-tire) where entering from conduit into a panel if these are not a cable assembly.
  • 210.8(A)(2) Exceptions 1 and 2 (removed) Single receptacles are freezers and other receptacles in Garages are no longer exempt from GFCI.
  • 210.8(A)(3) Exceptions 1 and 2 (removed) Single receptacles at sump pumps and other receptacles in unfinished basements are no longer exempt from GFCI.
  • 210.12(B) AFCI protection (most likely in the form of circuit breakers) are required for outlets and lighting, smoke detectors, etc in:  Family rooms, dining Rooms, Living Rooms, Parlors, Libraries, Dens, Bedrooms, Sunrooms, Recreation Rooms, Closets, Hallways, or similar spaces.
  • 210.52(E)(3) All decks 20 sq ft or larger require receptacles.
  • 250.94 An external ground bar of a least 3 lugs or spaces is required to be mounted on or near the meter sockiet for the purpose of providing a ground for the telephone, cable, or others.
  • 406.11 ALL receptacles involved in or on a residential property are required to be tamper-resistant. (to include detached garages, shed, pole structures, swimming pools).

Does a receptacle for the laundry equipment always require a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)?

No, only if there is a laundry-tub located in the laundry room, GFCI is required for any receptacles outlets in the room. 2008 NEC 210-8.

In a four story apartment building is non-metallic sheathed cable (romex) approved?

Romex is allowed, in general, in wood construction as per National Electrical Code (NEC 2008) 334.10.  Excluding assembly-type uses (over 50 persons).

Can three wire (SEC) be used for a circuit to a range, oven, or dryer?

No. Thttp://oregonohio.quantum-coders.com/administrator/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&layout=edit&id=1352#editorhe 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC) 250-140 states it is required that a four wire cable to these units is used.

Can I upgrade a service and relocate the service drop?

Yes, however, service drop locations must be approved by the Toledo Edison, Engineering Operation Department before the customer begins work.  Consult Toledo Energy/FirstEnergy regulations, Section 305 of the Edison Service Handbook, or call the Edison toll free at 1-800-447-3333.

How much does a permit cost?

Permit costs are based on per unit size and type of work done on the property. Please call 419-698-7071 for a quote or see the permit form.  Forms are now available from the City of Oregon Web Site.

When do I need an Electrical permit?

A permit is required for installation of electrical wiring or equipment in any building, structure or premises, alterations made in any such existing installation including service upgrades.  Permits are not required for minor repair work, including replacement of lamps or the connection of portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.

Are Electrical contractors required to be licensed?

Yes, an Electrical contractor's license is required to do all electrical projects requiring a permit and inspection.  The only exception to the licensing law is in a single-family residence. The resident owner may do the electrical work on his owner residence after obtaining the required permits. The homeowner is not exempt from using licensed contractors for work on rental property or commercial property owned.


HVAC Inspection

Is combustion air always required to be piped in from the outside?

No, in an unconfined area where the inspector determines there is enough infiltration or room volume is sufficient, piping in of combustion air is not required.

Are unvented gas-fired space heaters permitted in the City of Oregon?

Yes, in 1, 2, and 3 family dwellings provided they are equipped with an oxygen depletion sensor.  Also they must follow manufacturer's installation instructions for separation from combustibles & other ventilation requirements.  No other types of unvented equipment is permitted.  Some models are restricted from installation in bedrooms and bathrooms.

How far from the property line is an air conditioning condensing unit required to be set back?

There is no set back requirement, but it must be on the property it serves.  Recommendation for any mechanical equipment is 10'.

Are all chimneys required to be lined?

Yes, with either tile or an approved chimney liner, depending on the appliance(s) that is being served.

When do I need an HVAC permit?

A permit is required for any new and replacement heating, air conditioning and ventilation equipment or systems in all buildings.

How much does a permit cost?

Permit costs are based on per unit size and type of work done on the property. Please call (419) 698-7071 for a quote or see the permit form.  Forms are now available from the City of Oregon Web Site.

Are HVAC contractors required to be licensed?

Yes, a HVAC contractor's license is required to do all HVAC projects requiring a permit and inspection.  The only exception to the licensing law is in a single-family residence. The resident owner may do the HVAC work on his owner residence after obtaining the required permits. The homeowner is not exempt from using licensed contractors for work on rental property or commercial property owned.


Plumbing Inspections

Is PVC plastic pipe approved for use in commercial buildings?

PVC plastic pipe is approved for use in all plumbing systems; however, it is considered to be a combustible material and must be properly fire stopped. PVC pipe shall not be used when other piping materials are specified on the prints.

Who inspects the water service from the main to the building?

The Building Inspection Department inspects the water service from the water main to the water meter. Only the plumbing inspector inspects the water distribution system after the meter.

When is a kitchen grease interceptor required?

A kitchen grease interceptor is required on all fixtures which are grease producing. Specifically, in a restaurant where there is a three bowl sink and a dishwasher.  Normally, the food prep sink is not grease producing.

What is the maximum temperature setting for a shower valve?

120 degrees Fahrenheit or 49 degrees Celsius is the maximum temperature setting for a shower valve installed after July 1, 2007.

When is a thermal expansion control device required?

A thermal expansion control device is required when a backflow prevention device, check valve, or pressure-reducing device is installed in the cold water system to a water heater.

What is the maximum water pressure allowed?

When the normal water pressure on any branch line exceeds 80 PSI or the specified limiting pressure of any fixture or appliance connected thereto, a water pressure-reducing valve shall be installed.

When is the best time to call for an inspection or talk to a plumbing inspector?

Staff will take inspection calls anytime and can usually arrange a time with you.  Inspectors are usually available for consultation and appointments from 8:00 am - 9:00 am or 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm - Monday thru Friday, except holidays.

How much does a permit cost?

Permit costs are based on per unit size and type of work done on the property. Please call 419-698-7071 for a quote or see the permit form.  Forms are now available from the City of Oregon Website.

When is a plumbing permit needed?

A plumbing permit and inspection is needed whenever you install a new plumbing fixture, replace a plumbing fixture including water heaters; install, alter, repair or make any connection with any potable water distribution pipe, house or building sewer or building drain, soil, waste drain or vent pipe or any plumbing system pipe or plumbing appurtenance connected thereto. This includes the storm sewer, sanitary sewer and water service outside the building inside the property line. No permit or inspection is needed to clean out drain lines or replacement of washers, faucets, valves or repairing existing fixtures.

Are plumbers required to be licensed?

Yes, a licensed plumber is required on all plumbing projects requiring a permit and inspection.  The only exception to the licensing law is for the resident homeowner.  The resident owner may do the plumbing work on his owner residence after obtaining the required permits. The homeowner is not exempt from using licensed contractors for work on rental property or commercial property owned.


Sewer & Septic Systems

Do I need to get my septic system or well approved before I apply for permits?

Yes.  Every permit application, on property not having sanitary sewer, must be accompanied by a Pre-Plan Approval (pink slip) from the Lucas County Health Department.  Approval forms (pink slips) can be obtained by calling the Lucas Co. Health Dept. at 419-213-4100.

How much does a permit cost?

Permit costs are based on per unit size and type of work done on the property. Please call 419-698-7071 for a quote or see the permit form.  Forms are now available from the City of Oregon Website.

Are sewer contractors required to be licensed to work in Oregon?

Yes, a licensed sewer contractor must be licensed and is required on all sewer projects requiring a permit and inspection.  There is no exception to the licensing for sanitary sewer contractors.  Unlike other work, the resident owner may not do the sewer work on his own residence, rental property or commercial property he owns because the work is in the public right-of-way and connects to a public utility line.