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City of Akron

FAQ

  • Who issues my building permits and who do I have to submit plans to for review?
  • Why does the Summit County Department of Building Standards issue my building permit and not the City of Akron?
  • How do I submit my plans to the City?
  • The Summit County Department of Building Standards has reviewed my project but will not issue my permits. Why?
  • How long will my project take to review?
  • As a contractor, do I need to register with the City of Akron to work in Akron?
  • My project has been rejected by the Zoning Department. Does this mean I will not be able to build my project?
  • I need a Certificate of Occupancy for my business. Where do I get it and what do I need?
  • Can I use the Certificate of Occupancy from the previous business owner?
  • I am going to replace my driveway/parking lot. Do I need a permit for this?
  • I want to replace the sidewalk and drive apron in front of my home. Do I need a permit for this?
  • I am going to do some landscaping around my home. Do I need a permit?
  • I am going to build a retaining wall. Do I need a permit and where can I build it?
  • I want to build a fence on my property. Do I need a permit and how close to the property line can I place it?
  • I want to finish my basement. Do I need a permit?
  • How long is my permit good for?
  • If I do not use my permit, can I get a refund?
  • What is a SWPPP and why do I have to submit one for smaller projects less than one (1) acre?
  • Now that I have to submit a SWPPP for all projects, do they have to be submitted by a licensed design professional?
  • Who do I contact for inspection?
  • Do I need a permit for a garage sale?
  • Do I need a permit for a home security system?
  • The power company will not turn my power on until I get my service inspected. Who does this?
  • Do I need a permit to have a block party or host a charity event on public property?
  • Do I need a permit to have a party at Lock 3?
  • Do I need a permit to film a movie in city limits?
  • Does the City of Akron require a point-of-sale inspection?
  • Why do Pit Bulls have to be registered and not other breeds?
  • Can the City of Akron take my dog if I do not register it?
  • Do I have to register my dog if it’s a mixed breed?
  • Do I only need to register my dog once?
  • Do rental properties need to be registered?
  • How do I find out if a property has orders to comply?
QWho issues my building permits and who do I have to submit plans to for review?
A: Your project may require multiple permits that may be issued by Summit Count Department of Building Standards and the City of Akron. All projects within the City of Akron must be submitted to Summit County as well as the City of Akron.  
 
The Summit Count Department of Building Standards reviews and issues permits for the following:
 
• Projects that are covered under the Ohio Building Code
• Projects that are covered under the Ohio Residential Code
 
City of Akron will review projects and issue permits for the following:
 
• Fire Prevention
• Grading/Paving
• Public Right-of-Way Work
• Public Utility Conflicts
• Sewer
• Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP or SWP3)
• Traffic Code
• Water
• Zoning Code
 
QWhy does the Summit County Department of Building Standards issue my building permit and not the City of Akron?
A: In 2009, the City of Akron Building Department was combined with Summit County Department of Building Standards.
 
QHow do I submit my plans to the city?
A: The City of Akron would like one (1) hard copy of plans stamped by a licensed design professional, as well as an electronic copy in PDF format. If you are a resident performing work on your own home, you may submit detailed drawings of the work you wish to perform. Additional hard copies will be requested as needed at the submitter’s expense.
 
QThe Summit County Department of Building Standards has reviewed my project but will not issue my permits. Why?
A: The Summit County Departments of Building Standards issues the building permits for the City of Akron and can not issue building permits without Akron Approval. This may require a separate plan review from the City of Akron.
 
QHow long will my project take to review?
A: We allow our plan reviewers approximately fourteen (14) business days to review your project. It may take longer depending on how large or complex the project is.
 
QAs a contractor, do I need to register with the City of Akron to work in Akron?
A: The City of Akron will only register Sewer Builders. All other trade contractors (e.g. general, electrical, HVAC, plumbing) must register with the Summit County Department of Building Standards. The City of Akron requires all contractors regardless of trade to register and obtain a Certificate of Registration with our Income Tax Division at 330-375-2039 for projects within city limits.
 
QMy project has been rejected by the Zoning Department. Does this mean I will not be able to build my project?
A: No, you may just need to file a Zoning Appeal with the Zoning Department.  They can help guide you through this process.  If your appeal is not approved, you will not receive Akron Approval and or be issued your permit(s).
 
QI need a Certificate of Occupancy for my business. Where do I get it and what do I need?
A: To obtain a Certificate of Occupancy you must submit a Certificate of Occupancy application, a floor plan, and a building floor plan if your business is located in a larger building (e.g. strip mall or high rise) to both The City of Akron and Summit County Department of Building Standards. There will be a $50 Hazard Inspection fee from Fire Prevention and the Summit County Building Standards will issue the Certificate of Occupancy.
 
QCan I use the Certificate of Occupancy from the previous business owner?
A: No, each Certificate of Occupancy is for an individual business and must be updated to the current tenant even if the businesses are similar.  
 
QI am going to replace my driveway/parking lot. Do I need a permit for this?
A: Yes, you will need a Grading and Paving Permit. A plan review will be required for all Grading and Paving Permits.
 
QI want to replace the sidewalk and drive apron in front of my home. Do I need a permit for this?
A: Yes, you will need a right-of-way permit. You will need to contact Engineering Services at 330-375-2831 prior to requesting a permit to verify your drive apron meet City standard size.
 
QI am going to do some landscaping around my home. Do I need a permit?
A: No. Landscaping in your flower bed or repairing bare spots in your yard does not require a permit.
 
QI am going to build a retaining wall. Do I need a permit and where can I build it?
A: If your retaining wall is thirty-six inches (36”) or less, it will not require a permit. If your retaining wall is over thirty-six inches (36”), you will be required to obtain a permit with the Summit County Department of Building Standards. Contact The City of Akron Zoning Department at 330-375-2350 to find out about Zoning Code Requirements.
 
QI want to build a fence on my property. Do I need a permit and how close to the property line can I place it?
A: If you’re going to install a fence that is six feet (6’) or less, it will not require a permit. If you’re going to install a fence over six feet (6’) you will be required to obtain a permit with Summit County Department of Building Standards. Contact the City of Akron Zoning Department at 330-375-2350 to find out about Zoning Code Requirements. 
 
QI want to finish my basement. Do I need a permit?
A: Yes, permits will be required for this work. The Summit County Department of Building Standard will issue the permit(s) needed for this type of work.
 
QHow long is my permit good for?
A: All building permits are valid for twelve (12) months from the date of issue. After one year, you will be required to reapply for your permit(s) if work has not started. If work is in progress, you may apply for a six (6) month extension.
 
QIf I do not use my permit, may I get a refund?
A: Expired and unused permits are not eligible for refund.
 
QWhat is a SWPPP and why do I have to submit one for smaller projects less than one (1) acre?
A: SWPPP stands for Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan. Although the EPA only requires a SWPPP for projects one (1) acre and over, the City of Akron is enforcing this as part of Section 192.107 of the Akron Building Code. This requires that all construction debris and construction site run-off be contained on site.  SWPPP for projects less than one (1) acre will not have to be submitted to Summit Soil and Water Conservation and will only be reviewed by the City of Akron.
 
QNow that I have to submit a SWPPP for all projects, do they have to be submitted by a licensed design professional?
A: Yes and no. Projects that are one (1) acre or more will have to be submitted to Summit Soil and Water Conservation, which will require a design professional to develop and submit. Projects that are less than one (1) acre can be a clear detailed drawing showing how you intend to keep construction debris and construction site run-off contained on site and out of the public sewers and adjoining properties. There are detailed specs and a check list on the Plans and Permits website.
 
QWho do I contact for inspection?
A: You will need to contact the following departments:
 
Right-of-Way Permits - Engineering Services
Zoning, Pools, Grading & Paving Permits – Engineering Bureau
Sewer Permits – Sewer Maintenance
SWPPP Inspections – Environmental Engineering
Water Line – Water Distribution
 
Their contact information can be found under our Contact Us link. The Summit County Department of Building Standards will inspect all permits that they issue.
 
QDo I need a permit for a garage sale?
A: A permit is not required for garage sales. Each address is limited to three (3) garage sales per calendar year. Each garage sale may not last for more then three (3) consecutive days.
 
QDo I need a permit for a home security system?
A: There is a home security system license required by the City of Akron. This license can be obtained through The City’s  Assessments & Licenses Division. They can be reached at 330-375-2484 or by email at [email protected].
 
QThe power company will not turn my power on until I get my service inspected. Who does this?
A: You will need to contact the Summit County Departments of Building Standards for an electrical inspection at 330-630-7280.
 
QDo I need a permit to have a block party or host a charity event on public property?
A: You will need to contact Brittany Schmoekel at 330-375-2852 or by email at [email protected]. She is the Community Events Coordinator for the City of Akron.  
 
QDo I need a permit to have a party at Lock 3?
A: You will need to contact Tish Jernigan at 330-375-2877 or by email at [email protected]. She is the Lock 3 Coordinator for the City of Akron.
 
QDo I need a permit to film a movie in city limits?
A: You will need to contact Stephanie York at 330-375-2345 or by email at [email protected]. She is the Director of Communications for the City of Akron.
 
QDoes the City of Akron require a point-of-sale inspection?
A: No. Any inspections performed on properties for sale are done by the buyer or an inspector they hire.
 
QWhy do Pit Bulls have to be registered and not other breeds?
A: The Pit Bull is just one of three terms used to define multiple breeds of dog in Muni Code 92.25 Control of Dogs. The other two terms covered are American Bulldogs and Canary dogs. These terms are broken down further into breed under the Muni Code Control of Dogs. This code also covers ANY DOG FOUND TO BE VICIOUS REGARDLESS OF BREED.
 
QCan the City of Akron take my dog if I do not register it?
A: Section 92.26 Seizure of the Muni Code allows the Animal Warden to petition a court of competent jurisdiction to order the seizure of any dogs under the Control of Dogs code.
 
QDo I have to register my dog if it’s a mixed breed?
A: Yes, all dogs that are mixed with any of the breeds covered under Control of Dogs must be registered with the City of Akron.
 
QDo I only need to register my dog once?
A: No, you will have to register your dog every year in January. If you move out of the city limits or the dog passes away, you must notify us to have the dog removed from our registration list.
 
QDo rental properties need to be registered? 
A: Yes, all rental properties must register with the City of Akron Public Service Department of Housing Division as well as with Summit County Rental Registration.
 
QHow do I find out if a property has orders to comply?
A: You will need to contact the City of Akron Public Service Department of Housing Division at 330-375-2366.

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