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Building Permit Review Process

The City of Boulder uses a phased review process. The review is divided into two phases. The first phase includes reviewing zoning and engineering issues. The second phase includes reviewing building and utilities issues. This process allows for a coordinated review from several staff members to process your application more efficiently.

Review times vary according to the scope of the project and the clarity and completeness of submitted materials. Check the status of a permit online using the "Permit Status Report" in the related links section.

How long does it take to get a permit?

When you submit your completed application, the project specialist will give you an approximate date when you can expect to hear from the city. The actual time it takes to receive approval is determined by the clarity and completeness of your application materials, as well as the number of other applications awaiting review. If your submitted documents are complete, accurate and meet all the code requirements, the possibility of your application requiring resubmittal is reduced.

Over-the-counter permits

For some smaller projects such as fences, roofs, single family electrical systems, and single family heating and air-conditioning systems, a permit may be issued over the counter. A project specialist in the Planning & Development Services Center will determine if your permit may be issued at the time of application or if it will need to follow the review process. The specialist will be able to give you an estimate on how long the process will take if it has to go through review.

Possible over-the-counter permits

  • Basement Finishes
  • Residential Electrical and Mechanical Work
  • Fences and Retaining Walls
  • Floodplain Development
  • Interior Residential Renovations and Remodels
  • Mechanical/Wood Stove Installation
  • Mobile Home Installation
  • Plumbing
  • Right-of-Way
  • Roofing/Siding
  • In Property Water/Sewer

Estimated Review Times

Scope of Work Estimated Review Time

Residential Alterations and Additions

Up to 20 business days

New Single-Family Dwellings

Up to 40 business days

Commercial Alterations and Additions

Up to 25 business days

New Multifamily Dwellings

Up to 60 business days

New Commercial Buildings

Up to 60 business days

If staff determines that additional information is needed or is missing, you will be contacted by mail or phone. This may increase the review time.

If for any reason a permit is not issued within 180 calendar days from the day of initial payment, your application will expire. You may apply for an extension to your 180-day limit by contacting the Chief Building Official at 303-441-1880, or [email protected]

You must receive an extension before your application expires.

If after your 180-day time limit, you still want to try to get a permit, you must start over by submitting all new applications and documentation.

 

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