Frequently Asked Questions

Future Plans

Q: The City’s overall plan for future economic social and physical development
A: City of Green Bay Smart Growth 2022 Comprehensive Plan

Q: What specific plans for my neighborhood, commercial corridor, and other sub-areas exist?
A: City of Green Bay Smart Growth 2022 Comprehensive Plan – District Plan
A: Military Ave Market Study and Corridor Redevelopment Plan
A: University Ave Corridor Redevelopment Plan
A: Downtown Design Plan – 2013 Update

Q: What are the plan for future streets, parks, parkways, and residential areas?
A: City of Green Bay Official Map
A: Street reconstruction: Contact Operations Division of Public Works.
A: Park development: Contacts Parks, Forestry, and  Recreation
A: Development Districts Map

If you have further questions, please contact staff at (920) 448-3400.

Land Divisions

Q: When must a division of land be reviewed by the City?
A: Any division of land within the incorporated area of the City or its extraterritorial platting jurisdiction which results in a land division as defined by this ordinance shall be surveyed and a Certified Survey Map (CSM) or Plat of such division approved and recorded as required by the State Statutes and this ordinance.
A: Common exemptions: See Section 14-202 of the Subdivision and Platting Code.

Q: How can I divide this lot?
A: Whether an existing lot or parcel can be divided depends on several factors
– Compliance with the Subdivision and Platting Code
– Compliance with the Zoning Code & Zoning Map
– Presence of or ability to extend city services and streets
– Compliance with the Official Map

Q: Who can prepare a Certified Survey Map, Subdivision Plat, or other dividing instruments?
A: A licensed and professional surveyor.

If you have further questions, please contact staff at (920) 448-3400.

Floodplain

Q: Is a property located in a Floodplain?
A: See the interactive parcel map
– Search or zoom to parcel and use interactive layers in the top-left corner tool bar.

Q: What are the standards for constructing in a floodplain?
A: See Section 13-300 of the Zoning Code.
A: See City of Green Bay Floodplain Brochure.

Q:What are the  requirements for existing structures within the floodplain?
A: See Section 13-300 of the Zoning Code.
A: See City of Green Bay Floodplain Brochure.

Q: What can be done if a floodplain map may have an error or be to be modified?
A: FEMA Contact

If you have further questions, please contact staff at (920) 448-3400.

Zoning

Q: What is the zoning of a property?
A: A: See the interactive parcel map.
– Search or zoom to parcel and use interactive layers in the top-left corner tool bar.
– Search zoning code use tables found in each district section and those with a “P” are permitted and those contain a “C” are required to obtain a Conditional Use Permit.

Q: The process to rezoning a property
A:  The process may take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to complete.

  1. Verify the potential zoning options by reviewing the Zoning Code and zoning map
    1. Use tables are found in each district section and those with a “P” are permitted and those contain a “C” are required to obtain a Conditional Use Permit. Identify current district and the desired districted to be rezoned. If questions arise, please contact staff for assistance at (920) 448-3400.
  2. Apply:  complete Request for City Action application, required fee made payable to the City of Green Bay and any supporting documentation.
  3. Planning staff will notice property owners within 100’, the Alderperson and the affected neighborhood association of the Plan Commission meeting at which the applicant should attend.
  4. The staff will provide a report and recommendation at which time the Plan Commission will make a recommendation to the Common Council.
  5. The Common Council will review the request as part of the Report to Council and a resolution may be prepared for a first reading of the ordinance.
  6. A final reading and Public Hearing would be conducted at the next available Council meeting.

If you have further questions, please contact staff at (920) 448-3400.

Q: The process to obtaining a Conditional Use Permit (CUP)?
A:  The process may take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to complete.

  1. Verify the potential of a CUP by check the Zoning Code.
  2. Use tables found in each district section and those with a “C” are required to obtain a Conditional Use Permit.
  3. Apply: complete Request for City Action application, required fee made payable to the City of Green Bay and any supporting documentation such as maps, operating plans support from surrounding neighbors.
  4. Planning staff will notice property owners within 100’, the Alderperson and the affected neighborhood association of the Plan Commission meeting at which the applicant should attend.
  5. The staff will provide a report and recommendation at which time the Plan Commission will make a recommendation to the Common Council.
  6. The Common Council will review the request as part of the Report to Council and a resolution may be prepared for adoption at the same time.

If you have further questions, please contact staff at (920) 448-3400.

Q: What is a Planned Unit Development (PUD)?
A: A Planned Unit Development (PUD) is a type of building development and also a regulatory process. As a building development, it is a designed grouping of both varied and compatible land uses, such as housing, ecreation, commercial centers, and industrial parks, all within one contained development or subdivision. UD as a regulatory process is a means of land regulation which promotes large scale, unified land development by means of mid-range, realistic programs in chase of physically curable, social and economic deficiencies in land and cityscapes. Where appropriate, this development control promotes:

  • A mixture of both land uses and dwelling types with at least one of the land uses being regional in nature
  • The clustering of residential land uses providing public and common open space
  • Increased administrative discretion to a local professional planning staff while setting aside present land use regulations and rigid plat approval processes
  • The enhancement of the bargaining process between the developer and government municipalities which in turn strengthens the municipality’s site plan review and control over development for potentially increased profits due to land efficiency, multiple land uses, and increased densities.

If you have further questions, please contact staff at (920) 448-3400.

Site Plan

Q: What is a site plan?
A: Is a graphical representation of a proposed development that depicts building footprints, property lines, parking, green space fencing, dumpsters, etc.  Plans are to be legible and drawn to an engineer’s scale. Site plan review is the process of reviewing documents and drawings required by the zoning ordinance to ensure that a proposed land use or activity meets zoning ordinance standards as well as state and federal statutes. A site plan includes existing and proposed man-made features, as well as natural site characteristics. A site plan is required when improvements are to be done on a site that include earth filling, paving or building construction.

Q: How do I submit a site plan?
A: See the SITE PLAN INFORMATION GUIDE

Q: Can I apply for a variance?
A: A site plan and/or a building plan is submitted for review to the Building Inspection Department.  After a plan review the staff will discuss options to meet the ordinance.  If a hardship can be demonstrated, the applicant may apply to the Board of Appeals  for a variance or relief from the applicable ordinance.  Please contact staff at (920) 448-3400 for further details and assistance.

Inspection

Q: How do I schedule an inspection?
A: Call (920) 448-3300 to schedule a building, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, or clearwater inspection.

Q: How do I enter a complaint about a residence?
A: Call (920) 448-3300 to enter an anonymous complaint.

Q: When is a plumbing permit required?
A: Whenever the plumbing drain, waste, vent, or water supply systems are altered.  Examples:  relocation of a plumbing fixture, installation of a new water heater or dishwasher

Q: Who can obtain a plumbing permit?
A: Any licensed plumbing contractor or homeowner who owns and occupies a single-family dwelling.

Neighborhoods

Q: How do I purchase a tax-foreclosed property?
A: Call the Brown County Treasurer’s Office at (920) 448-4074.

If you have further questions, please contact staff at (920) 448-3400.

Plumbing Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does the City of Green Bay still require Clearwater Inspections for Sale of Property?
A. No. Per new State Statute requirements, SS 706.22, the City of Green Bay can no longer require Clearwater inspections for the sale of property.  A homeowner can voluntarily request a Clearwater inspection, but will need to submit the request for the inspection in writing.  The City will issue orders on any Code Violations found as part of the inspection.  All typical fees will apply.

Q. How can I hook up to the mini-storm?
A. If it is available, hook up can be done at any time by a licensed contractor.  If it is not available, then you will have to request that it be installed in front of your property.  You can request this through your Alderperson, or call the Engineering Department at 448-3100.

Q. How do I obtain a heating license for the City of Green Bay?
A. You must show proof of your state license along with a $2,000 surety bond and pay $100 for a license.  Renewal fee for a single category license is $50 each year, multiple categories is $100.

Electrical Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When is an electrical permit required?
A. Any electrical work in conjunction with a building permit requires an electrical permit.  Where no building permit has been issued, and more than three outlets (receptacles, lights, switches, etc.) are added, an electrical permit is also required.  (This usually excludes minor repairs.)

Q. Can I do the wiring myself or do I need to hire a contractor?
A. The owner of an existing single-family dwelling where they reside may obtain an electrical permit for wiring in that dwelling.  New residences, work on electrical services, and all other wiring in the City must be done by an electrical contractor licensed in Green Bay.  If you are hiring a licensed electrical contractor to do the wiring, they will submit the electrical permit.  (There is no need for you to meet with an electrical inspector in City Hall.)

Q. How do I obtain an electrical permit?
A. If you intend to do the wiring yourself, you must meet with one of the electrical inspectors in Room 610 of City Hall at 100 N. Jefferson Street.  A helpful suggestion would be to call (920) 448-3300 prior to coming to confirm the inspector will be in the office when you arrive.  Please bring a floor plan with you to the Inspection office showing the locations of all receptacles, lights, switches, etc. that you intend to install.  The inspector will then ask you some basic wiring questions to determine if you are knowledgeable about that wiring, such as:

  • What type of wire are you using?
  • What is the size of the wire?
  • What size overcurrent device will protect the wire?
  • How will you ground the device or equipment?
  • If ground fault protection required?

If you can answer these basic wiring questions and/or others, the inspector can issue an electrical permit to you.

Q. What is the fee for an electrical permit?
A. It depends upon the work being done, but in most cases it is $50 for a residential project and $70 for a commercial project.

Q. How do I become a licensed electrical contractor in Green Bay?
A. To become a licensed electrical contractor in Green Bay, please submit the following:

1. A copy of the state master electrician certification for the contractor or a full-time employee (more than 30 hours per week) of the contractor who will be signing electrical permits.

2. State on your company letterhead with business address and phone number that the state certified master electrician is the owner of the company or works more that 30 hours per week for the company.  Also, state that the certified master electrician is “not using their state certification to obtain an electrical contractor’s license for any other company”.

3. A current, original copy of your company’s certificate of insurance for public liability (with bodily injury and property damage limits of at least $500,000 per occurrence and $500,000 aggregate), and also $500,000 of products-completed operations coverage.

4. $100 for the initial license fee.  The license is renewed annually on July 1 for $50.  If the license is not kept current by renewing annually, the $100 initial license fee will be assessed again to obtain a new license.

Inspections Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I’m new to Green Bay and want to build a home.
A. The City cannot recommend a builder but can offer you a link to the Brown County Home Builders Association and the Realtors Association of Northeast Wisconsin.

Q. Who do I call for defects in my home?
A. If you are a renter, call your landlord and inform them of the problem.  If the problem persists, you may call our office or file an online report.

Q. I want to build a shed.
A. See building setback information above.

Q. How much does a permit cost?
A. Permit costs vary by construction type.  Check out the fee schedule.  This should give you a guide as to how much you need for each project/phase of construction.

Q. Do I need a permit for a shed, fence, or swimming pool?
A. Yes, you need a permit for all of these.  There are requirements you have to follow for location and setback.  Call the Inspection Department at (920) 448-3300 for more specific information.

Q. Do I need a permit for a fire pit?
A. No, but there are rules regarding fire pits.  Read about fire pit regulations.

Q. Do I need a permit for roofing or siding?
A. Yes, but only on a 3 or more unit building or within a historic residential area.  See the fee schedule for costs.

Q. Do I need a building permit for interior remodeling?
A. Generally, no.  If you are replacing kitchen cabinets, for example, you do not need a permit.  However, if you are doing remodeling that requires new plumbing, heating, or electrical work, you will need a permit.  Contact the Inspection Department at (920) 448-3300 for more specific information.

Q. After taking out a permit, when do I call for inspection?
A. Your inspector will inform you when you take out the permit when they should be called to make the inspection(s). Please call (920)448-3300 to schedule.

Q. My neighbor’s grass is too long and full of weeds.
A. The Operations Division of Public Works handles these concerns.  Fill out an online report or call (920) 492-3731.

Q. My neighbor put out their garbage, and pickup isn’t until tomorrow.
A. The Operations Division of Public Works handles these concerns.  Fill out an online report or call (920) 492-3731.

Q. My garbage wasn’t picked up today.
A. The Operations Division of Public Works handles these concerns.  Fill out an online report or call (920) 492-3731.