Building Development

Building permits are a vital aspect in meeting the minimum acceptable standard of codes. An investment in the home or business you are about to build or remodel is a serious decision. When that building project does not comply with the codes, life safety, and building integrity would be compromised.

The following building codes are in effect:

  • 2018 International Building Code
  • 2018 International Existing Building Code
  • 2018 International Residential Code
  • 2018 International Mechanical Code
  • 2018 International Fuel Gas Code
  • 2018 Uniform Plumbing Code
  • 2018 International Fire Code
  • 2017 National Electrical Code

All plans submitted as of January 1, 2013 must be designed per these codes.

Plan Reviews

Support Building Safety

Building Permit Requirements 

This working document shall be used as a tool to delineate the permitting process, and help answer Frequently Asked Questions. As a local government is it critical that our processes are streamlined and we are consistent in the information we provide our customers.

When do you need a permit?
The best way to find out if you need a permit is by calling the Building Department at 816-271-4751. Discuss your plans with the Building Department before beginning construction to determine whether or not you need a permit. The Building Department can answer any construction related questions, and transfer you to other applicable departments.

Permits REQUIRED for the following types of projects:

  • Deck or Porch - Patio Cover, Ramps, etc.
  • Accessory Structure - over 120 square feet
  • Fences over 30 inches tall
  • Retaining walls over 48 inches
  • Pools, hot tubs, sprinkler system
  • Driveways
  • Roofing
  • Room additions
  • Attached and detached garages
  • Air conditioning units
  • Solar panels
  • Gas lines
  • Land Disturbance (more than 1000 square feet)
  • Furnace
  • Water heater/Boiler
  • Fireplaces (wood, pellet, gas)
  • Basement finishes
  • Remodeling
  • Electrical modifications
  • Plumbing modifications
  • Structural modifications
  • Electric to gas conversion

Permits NOT REQUIRED for the following types of projects:

  • Storage sheds 120 square feet or less
  • General landscaping
  • Concrete Sidewalks (private property)
  • Painting
  • Fences less than 30 inches tall
  • Fence maintenance or repair
  • Retaining walls 48 inches or less
  • Painting
  • Flooring
  • Wallpaper
  • Replacing plumbing fixtures
  • Cabinets and countertops
  • Windows and doors (same size)
  • Adding insulation
  • Changing light fixtures

This is not a complete list of all types of projects

The City of St. Joseph Building Department can assist with any additional information needed pertaining to your specific project. Please contact the Building Department at 816-271-4751 with any additional questions or if you do not see your project listed above.

Over-the-counter Permits 

Over-the-counter permits are permits that can be issued without the need for plan review. Some types of over-the-counter permits are: roofs, fences, and other miscellaneous repairs. For over-the-counter types of building permits, you may print out the permit application from the Forms Section on the City’s website and submit it to the City’s Building Department for processing. Over-the-counter permits are typically issued at time of application.

  • Fence Permits: Fence permits are issued through the Planning and Zoning Department. Fence requirements and applications (PDF) can be found on the City’s website.  Applicants wishing to place a fence on a property line must have a recorded survey to determine property boundaries.
  • Roof Permits: Roof permits are issued through the Building Department.

Development Review Permits 

When you submit a completed application, a staff person from the Building Department will give you an approximate date when you can expect the project to be ready for permits. The actual time it takes to receive approval is determined by clarity and completeness of the application, materials, as well as the number of other applications being reviewed. If your submitted application and materials are complete, accurate and meet all the code requirements, the possibility of your application requiring resubmittal is reduced.

RESIDENTIAL: The review time depends on the scope of work, number of trades, flood zone, etc. Once a completed application is submitted to the Building Department, staff will ensure that appropriate departments review the application prior to the issuance of permits.

  • Building Department staff shall prepare a residential plan review checklist for all projects, prior to beginning the application review.
  • When Planning and Zoning is applicable (new construction, deck, ramp, etc.), the application shall be submitted to a Planning and Zoning staff member prior to any other reviewer to determine its compliance with the current zoning code.
  • If floodplain is applicable, the application should be directed to Public Works for approval.
  • After Planning and Zoning/Public Works has approved the application, the application will then be directed to Building Inspectors for review.
  • Once all fields on the residential plan review checklist have been signed off, the application will be given back to permit clerks for issuance of permits.

* If at any point during the application review process additional information or clarification is needed, the applicant’s contact information is provided on the checklist.

ACCESSORY STRUCTURE: Applicants wishing to construct an accessory structure should fill out the permit application check list (PDF). All requirements should be met prior to submittal and acceptance of an application. Once an application review checklist has been completed by city staff, the application goes to Planning and Zoning staff to determine compliance with City Code. Planning and Zoning will then forward the application back to the Building Department to determine compliance with the current Building Code.

  • The process for Accessory Structures is the same as listed above in Residential permits.

COMMERCIAL: Applicants working on commercial projects shall begin the process with the Development Review Coordinator. The Development Review Coordinator will ensure that all materials and information have been submitted, and will discuss the review process with the applicant. Depending on the scope of work being completed, the application may be entered as a “project” in Accela (a specialized computer system used by City Staff).

Residential Permit Flow Process

Commercial Application Process

Residential Permit Process Commercial Permit Process