The Building Department administers and enforces the State codes for building, plumbing, mechanical and fire/life safety within the City limits. This includes plan review, issuing permits, and conducting inspections.
Please send permits to:
- or drop them off at the front desk of City Hall: 555 S Main St. Independence OR. 97351 during open office hours – Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (closed 11:30-12:30 and holidays)
When you are ready for an inspection please call the Inspection Line at 503-837-1199
Inspections are available Monday-Thursday 9am-4pm except on holidays.
For same day inspections please call before 7 AM the day your needing the inspection
Electrical inspections are through Polk County.
Frequently Asked Questions
A building permit is required to construct, enlarge, alter, move or demolish any one-or two-family dwellings or related structures. Examples include:
- Adding a room.
- Building, demolishing, or moving a carport or shed of more than 200 square feet.
- Finishing an attic, garage, or basement to make additional living space.
- Cutting a new window or door opening or widening an existing opening.
- Moving, removing, or adding walls.
- Building a stairway.
- Building a retaining wall more than four feet high.
- Building a deck more than 30 inches above grade.
- Moving more than 50 cubic yards of earth or any amount of cut or fill on sites affected by waterways or slop hazards.
- Re-roofing only for commercial buildings.
- Historic homes.
For more information, please contact City Planner at 503-837-1164
- Blowing insulation into existing homes.
- Installing storm windows.
- Replacing interior wall, floor or ceiling covering, such as wallboard or sheet vinyl.
- Putting up shelving and cabinets.
- Installing gutters and downspouts.
- Replacing or repairing siding on a wall that is three feet or more from a property line.
- Replacing doors or windows in an existing opening.
- Concrete that is not in the public right of way.
- Building a patio or deck that is not more than 30 inches above grade.
- Re-roofing only residential buildings.
Checking your contractor’s license can help you as a homeowner avoid potential scams and ensure that the work your contractor is doing is done correctly and up to code. Find more information about finding a reliable contractor and how to avoid construction fraud.
Fence permits are required for any homeowner or contractor putting up a fence. Please be sure to review the fence permit carefully as there are certain restrictions to height, placement of fence, and material that can be used.
A plumbing permit is not required in the following circumstances:
- When a property owner does “ordinary minor repairs” to plumbing systems on his or her own property, which means repair, replacement, or maintenance of existing accessible fixtures, parts, and appliances and their related water and drain attachments. Do not alter an existing plumbing system without a permit.
- When a property owner or licensed plumber performs emergency repairs to, or replacement of, freeze-damaged or leaking concealed piping, provided new piping doesn’t exceed 3 feet in length.
A plumbing permit is required for the following items:
- Replacing water heaters.
- Altering piping inside a wall or beneath a floor and for plumbing in all new installations.
- Repairing, altering, or replacing freeze-damaged or leaking concealed piping (if new piping exceeds 3 feet).
- Remodeling or adding on to your one or two-family dwelling home when existing plumbing is to be relocated. This includes the installation of building sewers, water service, and exterior rain drains.
Mechanical work on one or two-family dwellings includes work on heating, cooling, or ventilation systems, including bath vents and wood stoves. Installation, alteration, or repair of gas piping between the meter and an appliance or other equipment, including all liquefied petroleum gas piping, is also considered mechanical work. A permit is required for the following:
- Installing or changing any part of a heating or cooling system that must be vented into any kind of chimney, including un-vented decorative appliances.
- Installing a woodstove, fireplace insert, pellet stove, or related venting.
- Installing, altering, or repairing gas piping between the meter and an appliance (indoors or outdoors).
- Installing bath fans, dryer exhausts, kitchen range exhausts, and appliances that are required to be vented.
You do not need a permit for an uninhabitable one-story detached accessory structure used as a tool and/or storage shed for a residence as long as the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet and the walls are no more than 10 feet measured. All detached accessory structures must maintain a minimum of 5 feet set back from rear and side property lines.