Commercial Building Guide

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This guide provides details about how to proceed with a building, construction, moving, demolition or other commercial related project.

Just choose from the options below to determine the information you will need, the permits required and almost anything else about your latest project.

For more information, contact the Building Inspections department at (701) 746-2631.


Building a new commercial building.Commercial building frame_png

  1. Your first step is to contact the Planning Department. Various property items must be in place in order to construct a new building. The Planning Department will also request a site plan for the proposed development. The Building Inspections Department cannot issue a building permit until the site plan is approved.
  2. Check with the Building Inspections Department to make sure the site is not located in the 100-year floodplain. Buildings cannot be built in this area without adhering to strict flood proofing regulations.
  3. Submit two sets of plans to the Building Inspections Department. The building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, fire, and health inspectors will review them and they have two weeks to finish this process. After the review is complete, a list of corrections must be obtained. These corrections must be resolved before a building permit will be issued.
  4. When the building permit is ready to be issued, a reasonable value including materials, labor, and subcontractor’s work must be attached to the project. The names of the general contractor and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing subcontractors must be provided. The permit fee must be paid at this time. The fee is based on the value of the work (see commercial fee table). The Building Inspections Department accepts cash or check. There is an additional minimal fee to process credit card payments.
  5. A sewer connection fee might be applicable if sewer lines must be connected to the building. These are usually assessed in the newer parts of town. Contact the Building Inspections Department to see if this fee is necessary.
  6. Water, sewer, or other tapping fees might be applicable if installation of a service was not assessed under a special assessment district. These are usually only applicable in newer areas of town. This fee must be paid before any permits can be issued. Check with the Building Inspections Department to see if this fee is necessary.
  7. Mechanical, plumbing, and electrical permits will be necessary. The subcontractors are responsible for taking out these permits but work cannot proceed without them.

Pouring a new driveway or replacing an old one.

  1. A driveway permit must be obtained if the curb is cut or any part of the City’s sidewalk is being replaced to construct the driveway. If you are unsure whether a permit is needed, please contact the Building Inspections Department.
  2. Make sure you are familiar with the code requirements if you are pouring the driveway yourself. The Building Inspections Department can answer any questions you may have and also has a handout on driveways.
  3. An individual will be available to issue the permit when you come in. The name of the contractor must be provided if you are not doing the work yourself along with the dimensions of the driveway. The fee is based on the following information and must be paid at the time the permit is issued. The Building Inspections Department accepts cash or check. There is an additional minimal fee to process credit card payments.
  4. Contact the Engineering Department to set line and grade stakes in the proper location for a new driveway.

Commercial Driveways, New and Replace - $35.00

Pouring a new or replacing a sidewalk.

Sidewalk

  1. Any time a public sidewalk is poured or replaced, a permit is needed. An individual will be available to issue the permit when you arrive at the Building Inspections Department. The name of the contractor must be provided if you are not pouring the sidewalk yourself. If doing so, the proper code requirements must be followed. The Building Inspections Department can answer any questions you may have. A handout is also available concerning sidewalks.
  2. New sidewalks and sidewalk replacement must be approved through the Engineering Department. They will set line and grade stakes at the proper location.
  3. The length of the sidewalk must be provided. The fee must be paid at the time the permit is issued and is based on the following schedule. The Building Inspections Department accepts cash or check. There is an additional minimal fee to process credit card payments.

Rebuild, Replace, or Repair - $20.00

New - $15.00 plus $.05 per lineal foot

Putting up a sign for your business.

  1. New sign site plans must be submitted to the Planning Department for approval.
  2. Once the site plan has been approved, the inspector can issue the permit. The name of the contractor and the value of the sign must be provided. The fee is based on the following schedule. The Building Inspections Department accepts cash or check. There is an additional minimal fee to process credit card payments.

New Signs - $21.00 per $1,000.00 of valuation

Neon Signs - $40.00

Portable signs are no longer allowed in the City of Grand Forks’ jurisdiction.

Putting an addition on your commercial building.

  1. Submit a site plan to the Planning Department to have it approved. A site plan must be approved before a building permit can be issued.
  2. Submit two sets of plans to the Building Inspections Department. The building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, fire, and health inspectors will review them. They have two weeks to finish this process. After the review is complete, a list of corrections must be obtained. These corrections must be resolved before a building permit will be issued.
  3. When the building permit is ready to be issued, a reasonable value including material, labor, and subcontractor’s work must be attached to the project. The fee is based on this value (see commercial fee table). The names of the general contractor and the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing subcontractors must be provided. The permit fee must be paid at this time. The Building Inspections Department accepts cash or check. There is an additional minimal fee to process credit card payments.
  4. Mechanical, plumbing, and electrical permits will be necessary if the addition warrants such work. The subcontractors are responsible for taking out these permits but work cannot proceed without them.

Remodeling your commercial building.

  1. The steps taken for a commercial remodel are dependent on how extensive the remodel is. If it involves only moving a wall or other similar work, the plans and review steps can be omitted and the building permit issued at the time you come in. If you are unsure how extensive your work is and the requirements thereof, contact the Building Inspections Department.
  2. Check with the Planning Department to verify if site plan approval is required on planned work.
  3. Submit two sets of plans to the Building Inspections Department. The building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, fire, and health inspectors will review them. They have two weeks to finish this process. After the review is complete, a list of corrections must be obtained. These corrections must be resolved before a building permit will be issued.
  4. When the building permit is ready to be issued, a reasonable value must be attached to the project including materials, labor, and subcontractor’s work. The fee is based on this value (see commercial fee table). The general contractor and the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing subcontractors must be provided. The permit fee must be paid at this time. The Building Inspections Department accepts cash or check. There is an additional minimal fee to process credit card payments.
  5. Mechanical, plumbing, and electrical permits will be necessary if the remodel warrants such work. The subcontractors are responsible for taking out these permits but work cannot proceed without them.

Repairing your commercial building, i.e. re-roofing, residing, new windows, etc.

Building repairs

  1. The steps taken for a commercial repair are dependent on how extensive the repair is. If it involves only re-shingling or sheet rocking or other similar work, the plans and review steps can be omitted and the building permit issued at the time you come in. If you are unsure how extensive the repairs are and the requirements thereof, contact the Building Inspections Department.
  2. Submit two sets of plans to the Building Inspections Department . The building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, fire, and health inspectors will review them. They have two weeks to finish this process. After the review is complete, a list of corrections must be obtained. These corrections must be resolved before a building permit will be issued.
  3. When the building permit is ready to be issued, a reasonable value must be attached to the project including materials, labor, and subcontractor’s work. The fee is based on this value (see commercial fee table). The names of the general contractor and the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing subcontractors must be provided. The permit fee must be paid at this time. The Building Inspections Department accepts cash or check. There is an additional minimal fee to process credit card payments.
  4. Mechanical, plumbing, and electrical permits will be necessary if the work warrants these types of permits. The subcontractors are responsible for taking out these permits but the repair work cannot proceed without them.

Demolishing a building.

  1. An individual will be available to write the permit when you come in. The name of the general contractor must be provided if you are not demolishing the building yourself. The permit fee of $30.00 must be paid at this time. The Building Inspections Department accepts cash or check. There is an additional minimal fee to process credit card payments.
  2. A deposit for the abandonment of the water service is required if a professional plumber does not disconnect the service before the demolition is to take place. This deposit can range from $1,000 - $10,000 depending on circumstances and is determined by the Building Inspections Department. Once the water service is properly abandoned, the deposit will be returned.
  3. A deposit of $1,000.00 is required on all demolitions for clean up. Once the lot is inspected by the Building Inspections Department and deemed cleaned, the deposit will be returned.

Excavating in the City of Grand Forks’ right-of-way.

  1. The right-of-way includes any streets, alleys, avenues, public sidewalks, berms, etc. If you have any questions on whether you are digging in the public right-of-way, please contact the Building Inspections Department.
  2. An individual will be available to issue the permit when you come in. The name of the excavator must be provided if you are not digging the hole yourself. The reasons for digging in the right-of-way and the size of the hole are also required.
  3. The permit fee is based on the following formula and must be paid at the time the permit is issued. The Building Inspections Department accepts cash or check. There is an additional minimal fee to process credit card payments.

Under 200 Feet Long - $50.00 base fee for any excavation or the first 200 feet on trench

Over 200 Feet Long - $50.00 plus $25.00 for each additional 200 feet

Work performed without a permit - $100.00

  1. All utilities should be given sufficient notice before any digging commences in order that all utility lines can be located.
  2. All water and sewer excavations will require an inspection by the Plumbing Inspector and a representative from the Engineering Department before back filling.

Selling Christmas trees.Tree lot

  1. Any individual or retail outlet wishing to sell Christmas trees must obtain a permit from the Building Inspections Department. Sales can only be conducted within commercial zones.
  2. An individual will be available to issue the permit when you come in. The location of the sales must be provided. The fee is $50.00 and must be paid at the time the permit is issued. The Building Inspections Department accepts cash or check. Credit cards are not accepted.

Opening a temporary greenhouse.

  1. Any individual or retail outlet wishing to operate a temporary greenhouse must obtain a permit from the Building Inspections Department. Sales can only be conducted within commercial zones.
  2. An individual will be available to issue the permit when you come in. Know the location the sales are to take place. The fee is $50.00 and must be paid at the time the permit is issued. The Building Inspections Department accepts cash or check. Credit cards are not accepted.

 Miscellaneous Fees

  1. Board of Adjustments Fee - $85.00
    1. Variance Application Form
  2. Board of Appeals Fee - $55.00
  3. Parabolic Antenna Permit - $55.00
  4. Copying Fees:
    1. Per Page - $0.25
    2. Building Permit Reports -varies by report
    3. Technical Data, per page - $2.00
  5. Storm Water Pollution Permit (One & Two Family) - $25.00
  6. Zoning Letter - $35.00

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