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Building Permits

Why is a permit required?

A building permit is required to ensure that the project you are constructing conforms to the minimum standards of the Chicago Building Code.  The Chicago Building Code exists to safeguard public health, safety, and welfare. 


When is a permit required?

Building permits give you, your insurance company, neighbors, and the City assurance that specific minimum standards are met in constructing, repairing, or altering your home or building by complying with the Chicago Building Code. These standards are intended to protect the integrity of the buildings, the welfare of the public, and your safety. Click here for a guide on the permitting process.


When is a permit NOT required?

There are a series of repair permits that do not require a Building Permit. Click here for a list of projects that do not require Building Permits


What are you building?

If you are repairing existing elements on any building you may use the Easy Permit Process. If you are a residential homeowner and are replacing elements of the building you may also obtain a permit through the Home Owner Assistance Program. If your project requires drawings, the permit process for this work is the Standard Plan Review or Developer Services process.


Additional Resources:


Permit Overview: A Guide to Getting Started 

Track the Status of a Permit Application

Porch and Deck Information

Construction Site Cleanliness

My commitment to residents has been to ensure that our Ward remains a clean place to be -- and that includes construction sites.  All contractors are responsible for understanding the municipal code, as it relates to their operations. Below are some commonly-noticed items that residents request assistance with, and should serve as a reminder to those who may seek to build in the 2nd Ward, to be mindful of while undertaking a project of any size.


Rodent Baiting (§13-32-140)

The Municipal Code requires all new construction sites, prior to excavation, to prepare a rodent control management plan which lays out the process for detection, inspection, and treatment of rodents at the site.  The plan shall also include abatement provisions for the abatement, conducted by a State certified structural pest control company. These abatement provisions shall include above-ground bait boxes established around the perimeter of the site.


A written record of the plan must be held by the owner of the property, as well as records of any pest control measures performed by a pest management professional at the site. These records must include the official reports and receipts prepared by the structural pest control company.  These records must be held at the construction site until construction is completed and must be made available upon the request of any authorized City personnel.


Violating any of these provisions, or falsifying any of these documents shall be subject to a fine ranging between $500 to $1000 for each offense, with each continuing day constituting a separate offense.


Construction Site Cleanliness (§13-32-125)

  • Operating a clean construction site is important to the overall health of the neighborhood, including rodent mitigation. 

  • All sites shall use adequate wetting, or other abatement measures, to prevent the dispersion of dust and debris from the construction site.

  • All sites shall use a continuous chain-link fence, anchored in such a manner as to be able to resist wind loads of 30lbs. per sq. ft. (winds upwards of 100 m.p.h.).  The fence shall include fabric mesh to collect dust and dirt and cover the entire perimeter of the property.  When the site is not active, all gates shall be closed.  Any damage that occurs to the fence must be repaired immediately by the general contractor.

  • Any construction site with four or more floors shall enclose the floors where activity is currently engaged with fabric mesh around the outer perimeter of the floor.


Dumpsters and Garbage Collection

Dumpsters and debris collection shall be stored on the construction site, behind the fence, unless specifically permitted for public-way use. All dumpsters shall be serviced regularly in such a manner so as to avoid a collection of contents from extending past the top of the dumpster.  Construction debris must be separated from any regular garbage, litter, or landscape waste.

  • Smaller garbage containers, for the collection of litter, shall be provided on-site with at least one (1) container for every 4,000 sq. ft. of the area and all litter shall be removed daily.

  • Debris, at no point, shall be dropped or thrown from any floor. All debris must be removed through chutes, or by lowering them in buckets or containers. 

  • At the end of each day, all materials and debris shall be collected and stored in a neat and orderly manner.  Furthermore, the General Contractor shall make all efforts to ensure that no dirt or debris leaves the construction site. Methods to prevent this include wheel wash stations, employing the use of street sweepers, and the stoning or paving of haul roads.

  • When tuckpointing is involved, the area being ground shall be enclosed to contain dust and debris.

  • Anyone who violates this section of the Municipal Code can be subjected to penalties between $500 and $1000 dollars, for each day the offense is allowed to continue.

  • Under this section of the code, it is important to remember that owners can also be held liable for the conduct of the crews at the construction site. We urge owners to help the City, by ensuring that their contracts with construction companies ensure that the crews will abide by all City ordinances related to the scope of their work, and promptly address any violations that may arise during the course of the work.


Construction Noise Ordinance (§8-32-140)

Generally speaking, building construction, demolition, and repair-related activity can be done between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.  The ordinance applies to any tools that use mechanical equipment or are operated by fuel or electric power, within 600 feet of any residential building or hospital. 


The prohibition does not apply to construction crews arriving to begin the day or light construction activity that does not utilize the above-mentioned tools. Furthermore, public works projects, authorized by a government agency, and work of an emergency nature is exempted.


Posting of Permits (§13-32-010)

No work may be done without the proper permits and with those permits posted on-site.  The permit shall have good, working, and accurate contact information, so that the City may contact the contractors and owner in the event of an emergency.  Failure to post the permits, or provide accurate contact information may cause the City to revoke the permits.


Applicants who violate this ordinance can be subjected to fines ranging between $500 and $1000, for each day the violation is allowed to continue.


Tree Protection (§10-32-120)

During all excavation, construction, repair, demolition, or removal projects, the owner of the property shall install devices designed to protect the entire tree (roots, trunk, crown) from damage.  These devices shall be installed with the proper permits, issued by the Commissioner of Streets & Sanitation.


If at any point, a tree or shrub becomes damaged or dies during the course of the work, the costs of remediation shall be borne by the party responsible, in some cases that party will be the General Contractor or owner.


Any person who violates this section shall be fined in accordance with Section 13-12-040 for each offense. Each day such violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. Any owner, developer, or general contractor who is responsible for any construction site at which operations are conducted in violation of the provisions of this section shall be liable for the penalties provided by this section and shall be jointly and severally liable for such penalties with any subcontractor to which a violation is directly attributable. 

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