Saturday, February 28, 2015


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The Planning, Building & Zoning Department is a four-person department whose responsibilities are to evaluate all building permit requests. The individuals involved are the secretaries, Town Adminstrator, Building Inspector, and Zoning Inspector.

When a request for a building permit is received, the secretary takes the information and submits it to the Zoning administrator for zoning evaluation, i.e.: yard set backs, easements and current Ordinance requirements. If acceptable, he signs the permit and submits it to the Building Inspector.

The Building Inspector evaluates the permit for proper materials and construction practices. If acceptable, he calculates the fee requirements and he signs the permit and then it is issued. The person requesting the permit pays the fees, and receives the permit which has one year to complete the project. If the project isn't completed in one year, the resident may apply for a one-year extension at half the cost of the original permit. During the course of the project, inspections are made, and depending on the complexity of the project, by one or both inspectors. Once the project is completed, a final inspection is made and an occupancy permit is issued.

If during either evaluation there are concerns, questions or required changes, the inspectors will contact the person requesting the permit for additional information and or visit the site of the project for additional information or clarification.

Who needs to apply for a building permit?

It has been said that if you put anything together with a nail, screws or nuts and bolts, you need a permit. However, there are projects that do not require permits. It is suggested that when in doubt check with the PZB department. We are here to help you.

What happens if I do a project and did not seek a permit?

If you do any building or changing a structure without a permit, you will be "red tagged", fined, and be required to apply and pay for a permit. The reason for the permit and inspections is to assure that what is being done, is safe, located properly and that the correct construction methods are followed.

What types of permits are available?

The following types of permits are available:

  • New Structure permits, i.e. houses, condos, multiple family
  • Building offices, stores, and etc.
  • Garages and storage buildings
  • Foundation Repair
  • Fences
  • Swimming pools
  • Decks
  • Renovation permits for repairs on and in any type of structure
  • Additions, Alterations
  • Occupancy permits
  • Demolition permits
  • Unsafe building permits
  • Sign permits

What are the guide lines for approval?

The authority for inspection and approval of any project are the State and Local building, plumbing, electrical and structural codes. Also:

  • IDEM-Indiana Department of Environmental Management
  • DNR-Department of Natural Resources, and Storm water Ordinance
  • FEMA-Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Cedar Lake Zoning Ordinance
  • Cedar Lake Subdivision Ordinance

In addition, the PZB department through the Building Inspector is responsibility for inspection of structures that may be designated as Unsafe Building, which may be recommended for demolition.

The Zoning Administrator evaluates all permit requests to see if they comply with the zoning ordinances, floodplain management and land-use requirements, prior to the Building Inspector evaluation of the methods of construction and calculates the permit fees.

Inspections are conducted before, during and after construction completion and prior to occupancy permit approval. Any inspection failure will necessitate a re-inspection fee and re-inspection.

Questions or concerns, please call the Planning Building and Zoning Department at 374-7400, we are here to help!

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