Apply for a Building Permit

Frequently Asked Questions

Permitting FAQ's

When is a building permit not required?

A building permit is not required for work such as wallpapering, painting, or similar cosmetic work. In addition, walls or fences six feet (6’) or less in height provided they are not within a Regulatory Flood Plain, and they do not obstruct or divert stormwater, retaining walls four feet (4’) or less in height  (unless supporting a surcharge), or platforms, decks and walks thirty inches or less above grade do not require a building permit, but will require a zoning permit. Also, certain minor plumbing, mechanical and electrical work, including the replacement or repair of fixtures does not require a permit.

Other projects, which do not require a building permit, are identified in Chapter 1 of the IBC, IRC, IMC, IPC, IFGC, IPMC. Although a building permit is not required for these projects, zoning approval or other departments may be required.

What about zoning requirements?

The Zoning Code, as adopted by the Oro Valley Town Council, establishes zoning districts and standards for the Town of Oro Valley. The Zoning Code outlines various requirements, including the uses of land, buildings and improvements for each zoning district.

During the plan review process, zoning requirements are reviewed by planning and zoning staff.  For zoning requirements related to a specific property, contact a planner in the Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Department at (520) 229-4800 for more information.

If your project happens to not require a building permit, for example a 120 square foot storage shed, the zoning standards must still be met for the specific zoning district.

What is a permit and why do I need one?

Permits enable Oro Valley to monitor and regulate construction to ensure public safety. Guaranteeing the safety of the occupants of a building is the primary purpose of construction codes.

Oro Valley has adopted the following codes:

-2018 International Building Code (IBC)
-2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
-2018 International Fire Code (IFC)
-2018 International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC)
-2018 International Mechanical Code (IMC)
-2018 International Plumbing Code (IPC)
-2018 International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC)
-2018 International Residential Code (IRC)
-2018 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code Amendments

-2017 National Electrical Code (NEC)

-ICC A117.1-2009/2010 ADA standards for accessible design

Oro Valley issues building permits based on the type of construction project. Most single family home construction and small homeowner projects require a building permit that includes electrical, plumbing, and mechanical permits. The construction of a new home, home additions, and pool additions may also require a grading permit when any ground is disturbed.

How long does it take to get a building permit?

Depending on the type of project, time frames for permit issuance may take 7 - 20 business days for review.

The actual length of time required to review plans may vary depending on the complexity of the plans, the total number of plans under review, and the availability of the appropriate plans examiner.

What if I do not get a building permit?

If a required building permit is not obtained prior to the start of construction, the property owner may be subject to fines, penalties and/or legal action. The property owner must immediately obtain permits for the work and pass all required inspections. If permits are not acquired, the structure or site must be returned to its original condition.

How do I get a building permit?

In order to obtain a permit, construction plans and a site plan must be prepared and submitted to the Oro Valley Permitting Division. Construction documents shall be of sufficient clarity to indicate the location, nature and extent of the work proposed. Additional information may be required based on the type of project. To determine the type of information required for your permit, please refer to the appropriate checklist for your project.

You may call the Community and Economic Development Department at (520) 229-4800 with questions about your project.


Step 1.Complete the Building Permit Application

Permit Application(PDF, 1MB)

Step 2.Put the completed application and any applicable documents in PDF format 

Step 3.Email to:

Step 4.Staff will respond that the submittal has been received

Step 5.Plan review may take up to 7 - 20 business days depending on the type of work


Over the Counter Review

Step 1.Over the counter reviews are available Thursday mornings

Step 2.To reserve an available time slot, customers must email their submittal package Thursday morning between 8:00 - 10:30

Step 3.Email to with "Over the Counter" in the Subject

Step 4.Time slots are on a first come, first serve basis with up to 8 reviews available

Step 5. Be advised that one submittal is allowed per customer and limited to reviews that can be completed in about 15 minutes

Step 6.More complex reviews will still need to be done under the standard review process

Go to Checklists and Forms for a list of submittal items related to your project