Building Inspection

Building

The Building Inspection Division strives to provide the citizens of Green Bay with the highest inspection standards consistent with the adopted codes and regulations.  This is accomplished through the consistent and equitable application of regulations in the built and natural environment through plan review, inspections, enforcement, and the issuance of permits and licenses.

The Building Inspection Division inspects both residential and commercial buildings.  Building Permits are issued for:

Single- and Multi-Family Homes
Apartment Complexes
Condominiums
Commercial Buildings
Alteration/Improvements

Requirements

Building permits are required for all construction, including alterations and improvements.  Apply for permits at the Building Inspection office, 100 N. Jefferson Street, Room 610.  Permits are required to approve plans that are in compliance with the building and zoning codes before work begins.  Permits are also very important to ensure quality construction and to have the work inspected for resident safety.  Failure to obtain a building permit may result in the doubling of permit fees, a municpal citation of over $500, and the work ordered redone or removed if in non-compliance.

These projects require a Building Permit Application (short form):

  • Fence
  • Driveway expansion
  • Yard shed

Use the Building Permit Application (long form) for all other building projects.

The following projects require submission of site and building plans:

  • New home construction
  • Additions to homes
  • Decks and porches
  • Detached garages
  • Yard sheds larger than 150 square feet

The following types of projects require a site plan submission:

  • Yard sheds smaller than 150 square feet
  • Swimming pools and outdoor hot tubs
  • Fences
  • Driveway expansions
  • Radio tower
  • Site filling or excavating

The following projects require a floor plan and/or building plan submission:

  • Interior alterations changing floor plan
  • Basement remodeling
  • Structural alterations
  • Stoop, stairs, ramps smaller than 25 square feet, landing

The following projects require a project description:

  • Siding
  • Roofing
  • Window/Door replacement
  • Fireplace or chimney
  • Foundation repair
  • Wrecking buildings
  • Moving buildings

Building permits are required for most projects except for purely cosmetic projects such as painting and flooring.  An owner/occupant can obtain permits and do their own work.  All rental properties require a licensed contractor to pull the permit and perform the work.  Following is a list of common projects requiring a permit:

  • Siding/Windows/Doors (commercial properties, apartments – 3 units or more, homes in historic district)
  • Driveway paving
  • Sheds
  • Garages
  • Roofing (commercial properties, apartments – 3 units or more, homes in historic district)
  • Electrical wiring
  • Water heater
  • New bathroom
  • Basement remodel
  • Decks/Porches
  • Pools/Spas
  • Raze Buildings
  • Interior Remodel
  • Fence
  • Plumbing Work
  • Temporary Tent Event

It is ultimately the responsibility of the property owner to make sure a permit is obtained.  If you hire a contractor, make sure you see a permit card displayed in your front window before work begins.

Permits are obtained at the Building Inspection Office, City Hall, 100 N. Jefferson Street, Room 610, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  To obtain a permit, you may need the following:

  1. Site Plan – A site plan is a bird’s eye view of your property drawn to scale showing property lines, buildings, and driveways.  Include as many measurements as possible, especially distances from buildings to the property lines.
  2. Building Plan – For anything involving structural changes or new construction, a framing plan is needed.  Often you can obtain this when you order your lumber, especially for garages and sheds.
  3. Estimated Project Cost
  4. Names of All Contractors – This includes plumbers and electricians, along with state credential numbers, addresses, and phone numbers. All trades permits must be submitted with the Building Permit Application.
  5. Historic Preservation Commission Review – Any property located in the historic district must go before this Commission before building permits for exterior work will be issued.  The Commission meets the second Monday of every month at 4:15 p.m. at City Hall in Room 310.  Please reference the Historic Preservation Commission Permit Process for information on how to get on the agenda.

To schedule an inspection, call (920) 448-3300 between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM at least one business day prior to inspection date needed.  FINAL INSPECTIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL PROJECTS.  It is the responsibility of whoever pulls the permit to call in inspections.

Erosion Control Permits
Submit application and erosion control plan demonstrating reasonable compliance with Chapter 34, Green Bay Municipal Ordinance and/or DSPS 20.09(4), Department of Safety and Professional Services Uniform Dwelling Code prior to commencing land-disturbing construction or land development activity.

Applicability

Permits

Commercial/Residential Building Permit Information

New One and Two Family Residential UDC Permit Information Packet (Revised 11/2017)

ResidentialBuildingPermitInformationPacket

BuildingPermitApplicationLongFormUpdated

Residential Building Permit Short Form (To be used for fences, driveway expansions, and yard sheds only)

Accessory Building (see Residential Building Permit Information Packet)

Addition/Alteration/Repair (see Residential Building Permit Information Packet)

Pool/Spa (see Residential Building Permit Information Packet)

Raze & Requirements

Signage

Erosion Control Permit Application

Erosion Control Packet

Fill

Setbacks

A structure (whether it is a principal building such as a house or whether it is an accessory structure like a detached garage, shed, or playhouse) may be erected, placed, or maintained in accordance with the minimum yard setback requirements identified below.  A yard setback is the open area on a lot situated between the allowable building area and the property lines.  A permit is required for the erection of any structure on a lot.

The owner is responsible for properly locating all property lines before construction.  See the Building Inspection Department, Assessor, or the Planning Office for a copy of your lot.  Also available online see the Parcel Information Map >> (interactive) for more information.

See Chapter 13 for detailed information including height restrictions, minimum lot area, and building area for the typical single-family zoning district.  See Section 13.23 – Height, Area, & Setback Regulations:  First & Second Residence District.

IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ!

This is a very general depiction of a complicated code.  It may not reflect actual setbacks for your particular property.  Please contact the Inspection Department at (920) 448-3300 to verify what the required setbacks are on your particular lot.

Plan Review

SITE PLAN INFORMATION GUIDE

Site Plan Information Guide

Site Plan Form

Site Plan Review Application

Make an Online Payment

Make your payment HERE  (this requires project number from Inspection Department.)
Instructions for Online Payment

Flood Protection

Flood Protection Information

Believe it or not, Green Bay has experienced substantial flooding in the past and will again in the future.  The primary source of this flooding is the high water level of the bay affecting the Fox River, the East River, Mahon Creek, and many smaller creeks and drainage ways.  Intense rainfalls, rapid thawing of ice and snow, and ice dams also cause flooding in areas of the City that normally do not experience flooding.  This is intended to answer some of your questions and offer ideas on what to do in case flooding is a concern to you.

Flood Risk Potential:  Are you aware of your risk for flooding?

Areas adjacent to the bay, rivers, streams, creeks, and drainage ways serve as temporary storage areas for high water.  If you live near or inside one of these areas, you more than likely will be impacted by the high bay levels.  Do you know what measures are needed to protect your property from flooding?

There are many relatively flat areas of the City and areas having unusual drainage patterns.  If you live downslope of an area that drains near or through your property, you could be at risk for flooding.  Would you like to learn more about localized flooding and how to protect your property?

Our parkways, ditches, and stream banks provide effective drainage controls from flooding by providing storage areas for high water or flooding conditions.  However, when people dump or throw garbage, grass clippings, leaves, brush, fallen trees, or other debris in them, drainage ways can become potential sources for flooding.  If you live near a drainage way, report any debris in these areas, and of course, DO NOT DUMP or throw anything into them as it is a violation of Green Bay’s Municipal Ordinance.

City Services:  Did you know that City services are free?

Stop in the Inspection Division office in Room 608 of City Hall at 100 N. Jefferson Street to see if your property is located in one of the mapped Special Flood Hazard Areas.  If it is, you can obtain handouts or talk with an inspector about protecting your property from flooding.

If you would like someone to visit your property to help evaluate your risk of flooding and explain possible ways of stopping or lessening the effects of damage, call the Inspection Division office at (920) 448-3300.

The City periodically inspects the parkways, streams, and drainage ways for accumulations of debris and blockages.  If you have questions about them or wish to report a blocked drainage way, call the Operations Division at (920) 448-3535.

Protecting Your Property

There are several ways to protect a building from flood damage.  Keep flood waters away from your building by re-grading your lot or building a floodwall or earthen berm around your property.  These methods work if your lot is large enough, the flood depth is not too deep, and the property is not in a channel or floodway.

You can also waterproof foundation walls and seal up openings below flood levels, such as windows.  This can be done by replacing them with glass blocks or by raising window wells above potential water levels.

A more permanent solution is to raise the house above flood levels.  A small woodframe house can be elevated for approximately $10,000.  Sound crazy?  Check out the house at 601 Hartung Street.  This house was moved to that location and set on a new foundation that is two feet above the base flood elevation for the area.

Rain and groundwater is clear water that must be kept out of sanitary sewers by law, also known as clear water separation.  Clear water illegally entering sanitary sewers surcharges the sewers during heavy rains, increasing the potential for basement flooding.  Many houses, even those not in a floodplain, have sewers which back up into the basement because of surcharged sewers.  During the 1990 flood, most of the reported basement flooding resulted from water backing up through basement floor drains or from overflowing fixtures located in the basements.  Compounding the problem, electrical power outages left many sump pumps without power and water-filled basements.

Proper installation and maintenance of backwater valves for plumbing fixtures installed below sidewalk grade can help prevent sewer backups.  Backwater valves can be purchased at your local hardware store, or you can talk to a plumbing contractor about installing one for you.

These measures are called floodproofing or retrofitting.  It is important to note that alterations to your building or land may require permits.  Even regrading or filling in the floodplain requires plan approval and land-use permits.

If you are warned of possible flooding, it’s important to take action early.  Shut off gas and electricity and move valuable contents to high ground if possible.  It is unlikely that you will get much advance warning so make a detailed checklist in advance to help ensure you don’t forget anything.

More information can be found at the FEMA >> website.

Codes

Chapter 13 – Zoning Code

Chapter 14 – Subdivision & Platting

Chapter 15 – Building Code

Licensing

To obtain a building permit in the City of Green Bay, a contractor must carry the State of Wisconsin Dwelling Contractor Certification and a Dwelling Contractor Qualifier Certification from the Department of Safety and Professional Services.  Prior to issuing a local building permit on a one- or two-family dwelling, the City will continue to verify that a contracting business owner possesses or employs at least one individual who holds both certifications.  If you have any questions regarding these certifications, contact the State of Wisconsin Licensing Department at (608) 261-8500.

Fee Schedule

Click HERE for the current fee schedule

 

Monthly Reports

2017

2016

2015

2014

Yearly Summary Yearly Summary Yearly Summary
 December December December
 November November November
 October  October October October
 September  September September September
 August  August August August
 July July July July
 June June June June
 May  May May May
April  April April April
March March March March
February  February February February
January January January January

 

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).

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.

For a comprehensive list of services provided by the City of Green Bay, click here.

If you still have questions, please do not hesitate to call our office at (920) 448-3300.

Other Helpful Resources

To speak to someone regarding your project, please contact the appropriate inspector:

West Side – Steve Terrien, (920) 448-3295, stevete@greenbaywi.gov

East Side – Paul Martell, (920) 448-3312, paulma@greenbaywi.gov

Commercial – Rob Cormier, (920) 448-3304, robco@greenbaywi.gov

PLUMBING

Our plumbing inspectors oversee both commercial and residential properties.  Permits are required for new construction.

Plumbing permits are issued for:

One and Two Family Homes
Apartment Complexes
Condominiums
Commercial Buildings

Plumbing permits are required when any plumbing work is being done.  Permits are required for turf watering systems, sanitary sewers, storm sewers, and water heater replacement, etc.

To schedule an inspection, call (920) 448-3300, Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM at least one business day prior to inspection date needed.  FINAL INSPECTIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL PROJECTS. 

The owner of an existing single-family dwelling where he/she resides may obtain a plumbing permit for work in that dwelling.  Work must be done by a licensed contractor in any rental property.  If you are hiring a licensed plumbing contractor to do the work, the contractor will submit the permit.

The City requires that plumbing contractors be master plumbers licensed with the State of Wisconsin in order to work within the city limits.

Make an Online Payment! – requires project number from Inspection Department.

Licensing

Licensing

Fee Schedule

Fee Schedule

Codes

Chapter 16

SPS 382

Plan Review

Plan reviews are required for all commercial projects.  They must be submitted and approved before work begins.  All plans must include project specifications.

Mini Storm Sewer Connection

Mini Storm Sewer Connection

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.

For Specific questions regarding Clearwater Inspections, please contact the appropriate inspector:
West Side – Jason Sladky, (920) 448-3298, jasonsl@greenbaywi.gov
East Side – Pete Skogg, (920) 448-3298, petersk@greenbaywi.gov

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.

Contact

Please contact the appropriate inspector with questions regarding your plumbing projects:

West Side – Jason Sladky, (920) 448-3298, jasonsl@greenbaywi.gov

East Side – Pete Skogg, (920) 448-3297, petersk@greenbaywi.gov

Plumbing Permits

Licensed Contractor Plumbing Permit

Homeowners Application Plumbing Permit

Storm Sewer Connection Permit – Special Assessment Election

Turf Watering System Permit Application

Hold Harmless Agreement/Permit for Underground Sprinkler System in Public Right-of-Way

Storm Sewer and Water Connection Permit -External_

Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning

The Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning (HVAC) inspectors oversee residential and commercial buildings.  Permits are required for new construction.

HVAC permits are issued for:

One and Two Family Homes
Apartment Complexes
Condominiums
Commercial Buildings

HVAC permits are required when any heating work is being done.  Permits are required for furnace replacements, air conditioning replacements, etc.  An inspection is required by the City upon completion of work.  Inspections can be scheduled by calling (920) 448-3300, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM.

The owner of an existing single-family dwelling where he/she resides may obtain a HVAC permit for work in that dwelling.  Work must be done by a licensed contractor in any rental property.  If you are hiring a licensed HVAC contractor to do the work, he/she will submit the permit.

Licensed Contractor Heating Permit

Homeowners Application Heating Permit

Make an Online Payment! – requires project number from Inspection Department.

Instructions for Online Payment

Licensing

To obtain a HVAC license with the City that must be renewed every year, the Inspection office needs the following:

  • A $2,000 surety bond filed with the Risk Management Department (920- 448-3125), 100 N. Jefferson Street, Green Bay, WI 54301
  • A copy of your driver’s license
  • A copy of your State of Wisconsin Credential card and HVAC Qualifier Certificate
  • $100 license fee

Fee Schedule

Fee Schedule

Codes

Code – Chapter 19

Plan Review

Plan reviews are required for all commercial projects.  They must be submitted and approved before work begins.  All plans must include project specifications.

Contact

Please contact the appropriate inspector with questions regarding your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning projects:

Residential West Side – Jason Sladky, (920) 448-3298, jasonsl@greenbaywi.gov

Residential East Side – Pete Skogg, (920) 448-3297, petersk@greenbaywi.gov

Commercial – Rob Cormier, (920) 448-3304, robco@greenbaywi.gov

Electrical

The Electrical Division inspects residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.  Permits are required for new construction and remodeling projects.  For your own safety, always contract with a licensed electrician.

Electrical permits are issued for:

One- and two-family homes
Multi-family dwellings including apartment complexes Condominiums
Commercial buildings
Industrial buildings

An electrical permit is required when any electrical work is being done in conjunction with a building permit.  If no building permit is required, and more than three outlets (receptacles, lights, switches, etc.) are added, an electrical permit is required (this usually excludes minor repairs).

The owner of an existing single-family dwelling where he/she resides may obtain an electrical permit for wiring in that dwelling.  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).

If you intend to do the wiring yourself, you must meet with one of the electrical inspectors in City Hall at 100 N. Jefferson Street.  Please call (920) 448-3300 to schedule an appointment.  Please bring a floor plan with you showing the location 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 wiring are you using?
  • What is the size of the wire?
  • What size overcurrent device will protect the wire?
  • How will you ground the devices or equipment?
  • Is ground fault protection required?

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

To schedule an inspection, call (920) 448-3300, Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM at least one business day prior to inspection date needed.  FINAL INSPECTIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL PROJECTS. 

Attention, Electrical Contractors!
Before any electrical work can begin, the permit and fee needs to be received by the Inspection Division.  No appointments can be scheduled until this happens.  In a case where the building contractor paid for all permits, it is the electrical contractor’s responsibility to mail, fax (920) 448-3117, or email inspmail@greenbaywi.gov a copy of the electrical permit.  On commercial or industrial permits, please send the Fault Current information when required.

Licensed Contractor Electrical Permit

HomeownersApplicationElectricalPermit

Make an Online Payment! – requires project number from Inspection Department.

Licensing

To perform electrical contracting work in the City, a firm shall be properly licensed by the State of Wisconsin.  At the time of requesting an electrical permit from the City of Green Bay, you will be required to provide your WI State License and WI Master License.

Fee Schedule

Fee Schedule

Codes

Chapter 17

SPS 316

Our Inspectors also abide by the National Electric Code – NFPA 70.

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.

Contact

Please contact the appropriate inspector with any questions regarding your electrical projects:

West Side – Steve Krueger, (920) 448-3307, stephenkr@greenbaywi.gov

East Side – Kevin Davister, (920) 448-3309, kevinda@greenbaywi.gov