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Commercial Building Permit Process

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Below is the step-by-step process of the commercial building process. If you have questions concerning these steps, please contact 3-1-1.

Application          Review                 Issuance              Inspection              Certificates

Application for a Building Permit 

A completed Building Permit Application is always required when applying for a permit.  If exterior work is included then a Zoning Analysis Application must be submitted with the application.   Most projects require some drawings or sketches to define the scope of the work, but some very small work can be described in words and the permit issued over-the-counter at the time of application.  Any project that includes an addition or any sitework will also need a copy of a current Plat of Survey. For most projects three sets of drawings are required, but those including sitework or requiring a Food Establishment License an additional set is needed.  Additional general discussion regarding building permits is given in Frequently Asked Building Permit Questions.


Review of a Building Permit 


Aside from the over-the-counter reviews noted above, all projects are reviewed by Building and Zoning staff, with some projects requiring addition review from Engineering, Fire, Preservation, and Health Departments.  All reviews are done concurrently by the various disciplines.  Reviews by Engineering for grading; storm water, or utility connections will need calculations submitted.


Issuance of a Building Permit 


Once the application has been reviewed and approved the building permit enters the permit issuance step of the process.

The names of any contractor who will work on the projects must be submitted and registration is required for every contractor.  For a list of types of contractors and their respective registration requirement refer to the Contractor Registration data.  The total estimated value of the construction cost for the project must be submitted and City of Evanston worksheets signed by the contractors are required for any Electrical, Plumbing, or HVAC on the project.

Refer to Permit Applications and Forms for these and other forms.  If information is missing the applicant is contacted and once all the required information is submitted the building permit fee is calculated and the applicant is contacted to be given the fee amount.


Inspection for a Building Permit 


As construction proceeds various inspections by City staff are required.  Refer to Building Permit Inspections for a complete listing of the inspections required.  Call 3-1-1 (847-448-4311) to schedule an inspection and be sure to have the project address and permit number when calling.   The contractor responsible for portion of the work being inspected must be present at the time of inspection.  On some projects additional inspections by Fire or Health Department staff may be required and these can be scheduled with those departments.  Effective March 16, 2015, same day cancellation, missed inspection or failed inspection will result in a $45 re-inspection fee for each inspection.


Occupancy Certificates for a Building Project 


Once all required final inspections have been made and approved a Certificate of Occupancy Request Form  can be submitted for review.  When processed, usually in one to two days, a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued.  This Certificate comes in two forms, Temporary and Final, depending on the information submitted.  A Final Certificate of Occupancy (FCO) is issued with a onetime payment and a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) requires a monthly charge.   

In general, on most projects, the lack for a Notarized Sworn Statement of Construction Costs means that only a TCO can be issued.