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Building Permit Process
All new construction and most remodeling projects require a permit in Lake Oswego, particularly when building safety may be affected. The City of Lake Oswego administers State building, mechanical, fire and life safety codes and the City's development codes and ordinances to ensure buildings are safe and meet zoning requirements. The building department's inspectors monitor construction through the inspection process.
To apply for a building permit, come to the Permit Center Monday-Friday between 8:00 a.m. & 12:00 p.m.
- Two (2) sets of plans are required, whether for a residential project or a commercial project.
- The documents and plans should be legible and drawn to scale and include a site plan of the property.
- The site plan is required to show all property lines, lot dimensions, existing and proposed improvements with distances to property lines indicated, and the location and size of all trees located on the property.
- The construction plans should include floor plans for each level, all elevations, the dimensions of each room, the location of all doors and windows, and framing and other construction specifications.
- A building permit application must accompany your plans.
- Tree Removal and Tree Protection applications (if applicable) must be submitted at the same time as the associated building permit application.
- You will also be asked for your contractor's name, phone number, and State Contractor's Board license number (unless you are doing the work yourself as a homeowner). Your contractor should provide you with that information, because all contractors must be licensed by the state to work in Oregon and have either a City of Lake Oswego Business License or a Metro Business License.
- To apply for a permit for a project that is limited to electrical, mechanical, or plumbing work -- or a combination of any of the three -- no construction plans are needed. However, a complete description of the proposed work -- and a site plan if you seek to install an air conditioner, heat pump or gas generator -- will be required. Your site plan must show the distance from the air conditioner/generator to all property lines. It will then be checked against zoning requirements so that the new unit does not encroach into the setback (the area that must remain free from permanent equipment or structures).
- Submitted plans are reviewed to ensure that the proposed work complies with the current State adopted codes. These codes may be viewed online at the State's Building Codes Division's website: http://www.cbs.state.or.us/bcd/programs/online_codes.html .
Please keep in mind that City staff cannot design your project for you. We can advise you of current building codes, but if your project is complex or your knowledge of building concepts is limited, you may need to hire a professional to design even a "small" project. Also, before investing time and money in a design, please check with the Planning Department. They can tell you which City codes and ordinances apply to your project, such as setback restrictions, height restrictions, and maximum building footprints for a building lot that must be met. Also, if the proposed addition or alteration would require the removal of a tree, you must first obtain a tree cutting permit from the Planning Department.
- An initial plan review will be performed by a building plans examiner. If changes or clarifications need to be made prior to approval of the plans, the plans examiner will develop a list of plan check corrections that are needed on your plans so that they comply with current codes. This list is emailed to the contact person on your building application and revision sheets (or a new plan set) and any requested supplemental material correcting these items should be re-submitted and the plans will be re-reviewed. If all the corrections have been made, the plans will be approved and taken to the permit technician who will prepare the permit for issuance. Every project is assigned a plan review number that will remain the permanent record number. If you can cite that number whenever you have questions about your application or permit, we can be more efficient in helping you.
- You will be asked to pay a plan review fee as part of your building permit application. That fee pays the cost of reviewing your construction plans and documents and is non-refundable. Once your permit is ready to be issued, you will then be required to pay the actual permit fees.
- A permit application expires 180 days after the application date. Most plans are reviewed within four weeks from application.
To find out how to request an inspection, please go to the Inspection Process.