Commercial building permits are applied to buildings that are spaces that are occupied by businesses that intended to be used for profit. This can include office buildings, retail spaces, warehouses, professional establishments and more.

Here are the steps to apply for a Commercial permit:


A residential building has one or two separate residences where a person may live in or regularly stay. Each residence includes independent cooking and bathrooms.

This can include:

  • Single or multi-family homes
  • Apartments
  • Condominiums
  • Townhouses
  • And more

Here are the steps to apply for a Residential permit:

Manufactured Dwelling

A prefabricated residence has standardized parts constructed and assembled in a factory. It’s then transported and affixed to a location.

The City of Independence Building Department requires a permit for putting a manufactured dwelling home on your property.

We follow the State of Oregon Manufactured Dwelling Code and Services.

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

ADU’s are additional, smaller dwellings on the same property as your home. Unlike a guest house, an ADU must be an independent dwelling unit having both a kitchen and a bath.

This includes:

  • A “mother-in-law” cottage
  • A basement apartment
  • An apartment over a garage
  • A garage transformed into a living space with a kitchen and bathroom

Some defining traits of ADU include:

  • Only one ADU unit per lot
  • No off-street parking spaces
  • Square footage is limited to 800 square feet
  • Height is limited to 15 feet average roof height
  • Minimum size of 300 square feet
  • An ADU must include a bathroom and kitchen
  • Does not have a direct interior connection to the main house

A guest house is not an ADU because it’s a detached accessory building maintained for the purpose of providing temporary and free living accommodations but remains dependent on the main dwelling for cooking and the bathroom. Temporary uses are limited to no more then 6 months in a calendar year and it may not be converted to a dwelling unit.

The process to get an ADU approved

An ADU is considered a special use, meaning no land use application is required but permits are required:

  • Residential Permit – to include SDC’s, water hook-up, and school tax fees
  • Electrical – Get this through Polk County
  • Mechanical Permit
  • Plumbing Permit

Additional Resources

Historical Properties

Building Inspections

You can schedule an inspection for your construction project by calling 503-837-1199 during regular business hours.

Inspections are available Monday through Thursday 9 am to 3 pm except on holidays and closed 11:30-12:30. Call before 7 AM for same day inspections.

Times are not guaranteed. Inspector workload and routings determine the time of day when inspections are done.

Electrical inspections go through Polk County. Please contact them to schedule.