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Phase III: Building Plan Review


(Subject to design conditions your building plans may be simultaneously submitted with Final Design Review drawings.)

What forms do I need?

  • Apply for your Oro Valley Business License. Please note that a business license is location specific so if this is your second Oro Valley location or relocation from an old space, a new application is required. Visit Oro Valley’s website for a list of available business license forms.
  • A permit application and commercial building drawings must be submitted for review. Download our applications and checklist by visiting Oro Valley’s website, or visit the CED permit counter and request a building permit application. A copy of this form is also included in the appendix of this guide. A completed application and complete construction plans are essential elements of a complete permit submittal.
  • For a streamlined submittal process, please bring the latest Commercial Building Plans Checklist. Visit the town’s website for the latest form.

What are the steps?

  1. Complete an application for a building permit. Please complete all applicable fields including full contact information, site address and suite number, name of business and property owner information. Also, be sure to sign and print your name in the designated areas on the application.
  2. A licensed architect or design professional is required to prepare permit drawings. The Town of Oro Valley’s CED provides a criteria checklist to help assure that minimum plans are submitted.
    1. The checklist is generic in nature and is not an exhaustive list of required elements. In many instances, the proposed scope of work is less than the checklist demonstrates. The checklist is a tool to guide the permit applicant through the submittal process.
  3. If the minimum criteria is present on the plans, the application is logged in, processed and routed to all necessary plan review disciplines. Plan review fees are due at the time of permit application. Fees are based on the actual cost of construction; estimates are provided by you or your designer/contractor and associated fees are calculated at time of submittal.
  4. Plan review timelines are 20 days for new commercial buildings. CED can furnish a copy of timelines and definitions upon request, or you may visit Oro Valley’s website for detailed information.
  5. There’s a possibility that the plan review may not be approved during the initial submittal. If this is the case, the applicant will be contacted and a comment letter and marked “redline” drawings will be released for corrections. At this time your design professional will need to address the itemized comments, and provide corrected drawings for a second review.
    1. If three or more reviews are required, the plan review staff may request a meeting with the business owner and their hired design professional to assist with the review process.
    2. Each plan submittal will receive a complete plan review. There are exceptions to this rule if the plans have major deficiencies or are missing components that do not allow a complete review. If the plan set is “incomplete,” the plan review will be stopped and the applicant is immediately notified.
  6. All permits have required inspections that can easily be requested/scheduled in person (while your permit is issued), or by scheduling online at Click the “Online Services” tab and choose “Online Permit Services” under the Permit and Inspection Search section. Inspections can be requested as early as the next working day; however, the observed cut-off time for next day inspections is 3:30 p.m.
  7. Your inspections were successful and the building, fire and zoning inspectors have approved and signed your inspection documents. Please return all of your permit documents, including final inspection reports that were provided, back to Oro Valley CED. A permit technician will verify all paperwork is in order and will start the process of generating a C of O for your business. Please note that we ask for 24 hours to process your C of O. Once your C of O is issued, your business is ready to open to the public.
  8. Keep your C of O in a safe and accessible location. Businesses are subject to annual fire department inspections, and your C of O is typically the first item fire staff will ask to see. C of O’s contain valuable information such as square footage, occupant use, and other building code information. One tip is to frame your certificate and hang it on the wall, next to the utility closet, restroom hallways or the reception area. Failure to provide evidence of your C of O may result in additional visits to Town Hall for record requests or in some cases, a new C of O application process.

We understand that with most things in life, time is money and surprises can add unintended time to your project, which affect your bottom line. This category provides you a basic guideline of when you can expect certain aspects of the permitting process to be completed. Please note that every project, building site and tenant space comes with its own unique set of challenges, schedules and setbacks. The following list provides some guidance so that you can have a better idea of Oro Valley’s policy on reviews, permits and inspections.


  • Commercial Building Plan reviews are typically completed within 20 working days from date of submittal. Goal review dates reflect the maximum review time allowed for first and second plan reviews. Third and subsequent reviews are less and vary based on the changes made to the plan set.
  • Inspections are required and can typically be requested as early as the next working day (see Step 6 in the previous section for specifics). Inspections are necessary as they provide assurance that the space you wish to occupy meets the minimum life/safety requirements, are a close representation of what was submitted on the construction plans and verify the space was not considerably changed by the previous tenant or landlord.
  • A business license is typically not issued until the C of O is issued. C of O’s are also not issues without a business license application.

Know these important details

  • All plan reviews and inspections can be tracked in close to real-time on a portal via the town’s website. This allows all involved parties to have remote access to the status of the review, read plan review comments, or see what inspections have been completed.
  • With approved and issued permits, code allows the use of temporary banners (e.g. “coming soon,” “now open,” etc.) as well as permanent wall and monument signage. Always check with your landlord/property manager for any requirements exclusive to the development, such as a Master Sign Criteria for the commercial development. Sometimes the property may have inherently stricter sign regulations than what is prescribed in the Oro Valley Zoning Code.

Other options to consider

  • Depending on the type of business, other factors may need to be considered. For example, if this is a food-related business, Pima County Health Department approvals are required.
  • If you plan on selling alcohol, a state license is required and additional lead time is necessary. Please visit our prefix section for the appropriate contact information.
  • Possible zoning issues (E.g., change to building footprint, permitted uses, sufficient parking, etc.)
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