Frequently Asked Questions


What are the application requirements for a zoning permit?

A completed Application for a Zoning Permit form, supporting documentation, application fee, and any additional information determined to be necessary by the Development Department. If you are unsure about the application process, please feel free to call us at 513-539-7374 x 1019 or email

What types of projects require a zoning permit?

Signs, mobile food vending (food trucks), decks, concrete pads/patios, pools, fences, sheds, etc. If you are unsure whether your project will require a permit, please feel free to call us at 513-539-7374 x 1019 or email

How long does it take to get a zoning permit approved?

The typical window is three to five business days for jobs that require only zoning approval. Please keep in mind the approval window does not include any necessary approvals from the Board of Zoning Appeals, Planning Commission, and/or City Council.

Where can i find the form for a zoning permit?

Our zoning permit application and handouts are located under the Forms tab of this webpage. The Front Desk of the City building can also provide a paper copy upon request.

when does my zoning permit approval expire?

It depends. Most permits expire after six months. However, temporary uses (for signs, as an example) can expire after 14 or 30 days, while new business permits do not expire.

what are the requirements for building a fence?

A zoning permit is required. Fences can be located up to the property line; however, please be aware of any public or private easements that may affect the location of your fence. Fences must have the finished side facing outward. In residential areas, fences are generally 4 feet in height and may be approved up to 6 feet in height in certain areas. Please review the Fences and Retaining Walls handout.

do i have to have a permit to build a freestanding deck, not attached to my house?

All decks require a zoning permit. Any deck that is over 200 square feet and/or serves as a point of egress from a building (i.e. a house) requires both a zoning permit and a building permit. A deck that serves as a point of egress means you can step out from your back door and onto your deck, regardless of whether the deck is physically attached to your home or not. If the deck is truly a freestanding deck, 200 square feet or less, and is not a point of egress, a zoning permit is still required.

i am replacing my deck, fence, shed, etc. in the same spot and the same size. do i need a permit?

Yes. Permits would be required as if it were an entirely new structure.

building permits

who is nic?

Because the City does not have an in-house building department, National Inspection Corporation (NIC), located in Dayton, OH, is a third party the City utilizes for building plans review and inspections services. NIC has worked with the City for nearly 20 years and also provide services to other jurisdictions in the region.

what types of projects require a building permit?

Some examples include:

  • All new buildings
  • All additions and some alterations to existing buildings
  • All additions and alterations to electrical, plumbing, or HVAC
  • Electric service upgrades
  • Electric service changes
  • New or replacement HVAC equipment or ducts
  • Residential accessory buildings more than 200 SF in area
  • Residential and commercial roofing projects
  • Swimming pools more than 24” deep (both in‐ground and above‐ground)
  • Some commercial signs including ground, freestanding, pole and wall signs
  • Commercial tents (Fire Department approval is also required)
  • Demolition of a structure (residential and commercial)
  • Changing the building occupancy and/or use of a structure
  • A new tenant to a commercial space to obtain an inspection to occupy.

If you have questions as to whether the work you plan to do requires a permit, please contact National Inspection Corporation (NIC) at 888-433-4642.

why do i need a permit?

The City of Monroe, through the actions of City Council to adopt a building code, believes a city must have minimum standards of construction to ensure the public health, safety and welfare. The minimum standards of construction reduce potential hazards and unsafe construction practices and help provide sufficient access to buildings to all persons as well as the means to safely leave a building during an emergency situation. The permitting process is the means to ensure the minimum standards can be met. Additionally, the State of Ohio requires compliance with the building codes through legislation.

how do i apply for a building permit?

Submit an Application for Building Permit along with all supporting documentation in person at the City building or via email to Depending on the project, the supporting documentation may include drawings showing a site plan of the property, details of proposed demolition and/or construction, floor plans showing how a building space will be used, engineering design data, plan drawings and schematics of mechanical systems such as electric, fire safety systems, and heating, cooling and ventilations systems.

what are the building fees?

The fee schedule for building permits is located on the back of the building permit application.

how long does it take to get my permit approved?

Plans are reviewed and sent to National Inspection Corporation (NIC) in a timely manner and in the order in which they are submitted. The review time is impacted by the completeness, complexity, and technical nature of the project. The typical review turnaround time is 7 to 10 business days following the receipt of application.

how many sets of plans do i need to submit?

Typically, two sets of plans. However, three sets of plans are required for projects requiring Fire Department review such as new construction commercial buildings, racking, fire suppression, fire alarm, and occupancy permits.

how do i schedule an inspection?

Please call NIC directly at 888-433-4642.

which codes do the city follow?

The City follows the Planning and Zoning Code and International Property Maintenance Code.

As of July 1, 2019, NIC utilizes the following codes:

  • Commercial: 2017 OBC, OMC, OPC, NFPA 70 (electrical), Ohio Energy Code based on 2012 IECC, ASHRAE 90.1 2010, 2016 NFPA 13 (sprinklers), 2016 NFPA 72 (alarms), 2015 IFGC (fuel gas code)
  • Residential: 2019 RCO, 2017 NFPA 70 (electrical), Ohio Energy Code based on 2018 IECC, 2018 IFGC (fuel gas code), 2017 OPC