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Planning Department Review of Building Permits
The Summit County Building Department processes, collects fees for, and issues all building permit applications in the unincorporated areas of Summit County. If you have questions about obtaining a building permit, call the Building Department directly at 970-668-3170. 

The Summit County Planning Department reviews applicable building permits in accordance with the regulations set forth in the Summit County Land Use and Development Code. During this process, we review issues such as zoning compliance, permitted uses, setbacks, building height, lighting, landscaping, driveway design, site grading, and site characteristics, such as wetlands and steep slopes.

Plan Submittal
Building permit plans are submitted directly to the Building Department.  However, before submitting plans, it is important to complete the following steps to ensure your submittal contains the necessary information for review.

Step 1:
During the planning stages, it's important to review the submittal requirements (pdf), discussed in additional detail below, and complete the following steps in order to understand the parameters for development on a specific property: 

Review Your Plat: You must show property lines, lot dimensions, building envelopes, and easements as well as demonstrate compliance with all plat notes. To obtain a copy of a plat, contact the Clerk and Recorder at 970-453-3470, or the Planning Department at 970-668-4200.            

Determine Your Zoning: Before most land use questions can be answered, it is important to know the zoning of your property. Use the Real Property and Maps Query to find the zoning for a property. If the property is located within a planned unit development (PUD), the PUD can be reviewed on the Planned Unit Development page. The PUD usually defines the allowed uses, property setbacks and height restrictions.

Determine Setbacks and Development Standards: Setbacks are the minimum distance which shall be maintained between a property line and any structure built on the property. Setback requirements based on zoning are located in Figure 3-6 (pdf). The Zoning development standards include maximum zoned density, height limits, site area, site coverage, open space, and walls / fences requirements. Zoning development standards are located in Figure 3-5 (pdf).

Assess Site Characteristics: Consider the driveway design and determine if environmental constraints are present on your property. You may need to have a survey completed to show the topography, wetlands, streams, floodplains, etc. Contact the Engineering Department for questions related to site characteristics.

Step 2: Preparing Plans
It is important to submit all required information when applying for a building permit. Incomplete plans may not be accepted, and a lack of information will cause delays in the review process. See the complete list of Submittal Requirements for Planning and Engineering (pdf) related to building permit review, including but not limited to:

  • Site Plan
    • Scale must be 1:10 or 1:20
    • Access (existing and proposed)
    • Existing and proposed grading (1 or 2-foot contours)
    • All environmental constraints (stream, wetlands, floodplains, etc.)
    • Snow storage
    • Property lines and setbacks
    • Roof outline, foundation line, and ridge height
  • Height calculations (pdf)
  • Exterior light cut-sheet(s) (pdf)

Also see the submittal requirements (pdf) for the Building Department.

After Permits Are Issued
The Building Department will notify an applicant once the submitted plans have been approved and a building permit is ready for issuance. After construction begins, inspections take place during the construction process to ensure compliance with the approved plans. 

The Building Department conducts most inspections on-site; however, the Planning Department will review Site Improvement Location Certificates (S-ILCs) to ensure that a structure does not encroach into a setback or exceed the height limit in a zone district. A surveyor will prepare and submit the ILC to be reviewed by the Planning Department. 

  • An ILC is required to verify height whenever a structure is proposed within one foot of the height limit.  
  • An ILC is required to verify the location of a structure whenever plans show an improvement within ten feet of a setback.