MOST CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS REQUIRE A PERMIT (including patios, driveways, parking lots, decks, fences, etc.). Call Community Development before starting any interior or exterior property improvements.
Depending on the type of work proposed and scope of the project, one or more building permits may be required. (See side-bar at the left) or choose the PDF application below.
General Permit Application Form
Permits represent the Village’s means to ensure that all construction adheres to an established standard. The Village reviews permit documents to make sure that new buildings and modifications to existing structures meet local, state and national standards for construction safety.
Permit Application and Review Process
Once the Village receives a completed permit application (including detailed construction plans), a Project Manager will be assigned to your project. The Project Manager will serve as the contact for any questions. Typically, a first review will take ten business days to complete. Subsequent reviews take about five business days, upon receiving revised construction plans or other requested information.
Most projects require two reviews before a permit is issued. The Project Manager gathers comments and questions from other Village departments and prepares a review letter outlining those requests for documentation. Once the permit application is approved, the administrative staff contacts the applicant by phone to advise that the permit is approved and what fees are due.
Fees and Bonds
Permit fees cover the Village's costs to review applications and inspect construction. Fees will be applied upon approval of the permit application and must be paid before the permit is issued and work can begin.
Bonds are often required to ensure that applicants complete certain aspects of the job and protect public infrastructure. Bonds are typically returned to applicants once the project is completed satisfactorily.
Once fees and bonds are calculated by each department reviewing the project, a quote for the total cost with an itemized breakdown will be provided.
How do I get my bond money back and how long will it take?
Once all final inspections are conducted and passed, the process to refund bonds is started automatically by the assigned Project Manager. Checks are generally mailed out within three weeks. In some cases, only a temporary certificate of occupancy and partial bond release is granted. This may be due to seasonal or weather-related conditions.
During the course of your project, a variety of required inspections may need to occur. Most inspections require 24-hour notice. Plumbing inspections require a minimum notice of 48 hours.
How do I schedule, confirm, or change the time of my inspection?
Call the Inspection Hotline at (630)434-5529. Be ready to provide a contact name, phone number, street address, permit number, and the requested type of inspection. Calls received by 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday will allow you to schedule an inspection for the following day, or thereafter, at the next available time slot. Certain types of inspections are scheduled only as morning (8:30 -11:30 a.m.) or afternoon (1:30-4:00 p.m.) appointments.
General Accessory Structures (Zoning Ordinance - Section 6.010)
- No more than three (3) accessory structures are permitted per lot.
- Setbacks - Properties zoned R-4, the side and rear setback is five (5) feet. All other residentially zoned properties have side and rear setbacks of six (6) feet.
- Separation Distance - if the accessory structure is outside the principal building setbacks, the accessory structure must be setback a minimum of ten (10) feet from the house.
- Accessory structures may not exceed twenty-three (23) feet to the highest point.
- The combined size of all accessory structures cannot be larger than one thousand (1,000) square feet or the size of the primary structure (house), whichever is less.
- Most accessory structures count toward building coverage (maximum 32% of lot area).
- Accessory structures cannot be located within an easement.
- Driveways must be a minimum of ten (10) feet wide and cannot exceed twenty-five (25) feet in width at the property line.
- Detached garages that are 500 square feet or less in area do not count toward building coverage if the lot is 60 feet wide or less.
- Dwelling units are prohibited above any detached garage.
- Sheds less than 100 square feet may not require a building permit provided:
- The height of the shed does not exceed ten (10) feet.
- If there is a slab, grading or excavation work associated with the construction of the shed, a stormwater permit may be required.
- The Village requires consulting with Community Development staff on the placement of the shed before construction.
A commercial additon is a project that adds square footage to the primary structure. If an addition adds six hundred (600) square feet or more of gross floor area to an existing building, the applicant must follow the “Demolition/Construction Site Management” general rules. (See related document listed below.)
Required any time electrical work is being upgraded and/or changed.
Commercial New Building
Any construction of a new building must follow the “Demolition/Construction Site Management” general rules. (See related document listed below.)
New tenant and/or change of tenant for an existing business.
New decks, porches and gazebos require a construction permit. Some repair work also requires a permit. New decks, porches and gazebos must meet building, zoning and engineering requirements.
Permit required for complete tear down and removal of a structure.
Driveways installation, removal, replacements, and modifications require a permit. Call Community Development with questions (630) 434-5515.
Submit two (2) copies of a plat of survey showing the proposed improvements and the completed permit application.
Fences, including walls and plants in the nature of a fence, may be erected in conformance with the following guidelines:
- It shall be unlawful to erect or alter any fence within the Village unless a permit has been issued by the Village.
- No fence shall be constructed in any yard, which by nature of the material used for its construction, its design or its location, would impair public protection or public safety by obstructing the vision of persons using the street, sidewalks, or driveways on or adjacent to such yard.
- All fences shall be constructed so that structural elements, if any, are located on the side of the fence facing toward the property on which the fence is constructed.
- All fences are to be constructed INSIDE your lot line.
- If the proposed fence is to be located in an area where the remote water meter reader now exists, please contact our Water Department at 630.434.5460, to set up an appointment to relocate the unit.
- Remember call JULIE , toll-free at 1.800.892.0123 before you start your fence project so that you do not risk injury or costly repairs.
HOW TO OBTAIN A FENCE PERMIT :
- Bring two (2) copies of your Plat of Survey at time of permit application to the Community Development department. These copies will be kept by the department.
- Indicate with a red marker on the Plat of Survey copy the placement of your fence (inside your lot line).
- Fill out fence application form and submit with the plat of survey.
- After the fence application is reviewed and approved, applicant will be notified and a fee of $62.00 will be required at permit pick-up time.
- A fence permit shall be valid for a term of six (6) months.
Flatwork requires a permit. Call Community Development with questions (630) 434-5515.
Signs - Permanent
Unless exempt pursuant to Section 28.9.030, no person shall erect or display any sign unless issued a permit.
- Application. Any person or activity proposing to erect or display a sign shall file an application on a form provided by the Village of Downers Grove.
- Fees. All applicable permit fees shall be paid in full as required.
- Conformance with the National Electrical Code. All signs in which electrical wiring and connections are required for direct or indirect illumination shall conform to the applicable provisions of the National Electrical Code.
- Wind Pressure and Dead Load Requirements. Signs shall be designed and constructed to withstand a wind pressure of not less than forty (40) pounds per square foot of net surface area and to receive dead loads as required in the building code.
- Insurance and Bond Requirements. Every applicant for a permit for a sign which will extend over a public right of way or which is so located that it may fall upon the same, shall file with the Department of Community Development before the permit is granted, an encroachment license agreement indemnifying the Village and holding the Village harmless from any liability as well as a liability insurance policy covering all damage or injury that might be caused by each of said signs, or certificate of insurance therefore, issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in the state of Illinois and satisfactory to the Department of Community Development, with limits of liability of not less than $1,000,000 for property damage and $1,000,000 for personal injuries. The Village, its officers, agents and employees shall be named as additional parties insured. Such liability insurance policy shall be maintained in force throughout the life of the permit, and if at any time it shall not be in full force, the Department of Community Development shall revoke the permit.
- Completion of Authorized Work. If the work authorized under the permit has not been completed within six (6) months after the date of issuance, the permit shall become null and void.