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Commercial Building Permits

Polk County processes Commercial Building Permits for the following jurisdictions:

  • Polk County (outside city limit boundaries)
  • City of Falls City

View the Building Permit application.
View the Commercial Building Permit process flowchart.


Building permit issuance takes approximately 2-6 weeks for commercial projects. To ensure that your permit is processed without delays, review the items below to ensure all required information is submitted.

Building Permit Applications

A Building Permit application should include the following information:

  • Complete Building Permit application. Note: all sections need to be completed. If you have questions on how to fill out a portion of the form, please contact us by phone at (503) 623-9237 or e-mail the Permit Specialist.
  • Don’t forget to initial Permit Terms and Conditions and sign the Building Permit application.
  • Submit three (3) sets of plans (construction drawings) for commercial projects.
  • Submit three (3) detailed plot plans for commercial projects on 8 ½ x 11. You may want to view a sample plot plan.
  • A deposit may need to be paid when the application is submitted depending on the project valuation and type of construction. Contact staff for deposit amounts when submitting an application for a commercial project.

Visit the following links for additional information on Water Source, Septic Permits, Road Access Permits, Road Access Easements, Address Applications, and School Excise Tax Information.

Additional Permits

A typical commercial Building Permit may include additional permit applications such as, an Electrical Permit, Plumbing Permit, Mechanical Permit and Septic Permit(s). Septic Permits may include a Septic Authorization, Septic Alteration/Repair Permit or Septic Site Review and Septic Construction Permit. All other permits will have separate permit numbers in addition to the Building Permit number.

After Your Application is Submitted

When your application is submitted, the plans examiner will review the plans and contact you if additional information is required such as, engineering, truss information, etc.

The Permit Specialist will review your project in the form of a Site Plan Review to make sure it complies with the Polk County Zoning Ordinance for things such as use of the structure, required setbacks, projects within the floodplain, projects within or near significant resources and wetlands, height and story requirements, and other development standards. The Permit Specialist will also verify that all other required documents and permits have been submitted prior to approving Site Plan Review such as: Water Availability Statements, Septic Permits, Access Permits, Easements, Excise Tax Information and Urban Growth Boundary city reviews. You will be contacted by the Permit Specialist if additional information is required in order to complete the Site Plan Review.

Once your plans have been approved by the plans examiner and the Site Plan Review is approved by the Permit Specialist, we will verify if additional information is needed such as, signed Plumbing Permit application(s) and address assignment.

Permit Holder Terms and Conditions

The permit holder shall be deemed the person or firm that is authorized to make all decisions regarding the permit, including permit information, notices, cancellation, transfer, extensions or refunds.

Commercial Building Permit Terms and Conditions

Application Expiration. An application will expire 180 days after being submitted if it is not issued (picked up and paid for). To avoid expiration, an extension needs to be submitted in writing showing justifiable cause to extend the application prior to 180 days of inactivity. Residential extensions may be granted for 180 days and commercial extensions may be granted for 90 days.

Permit Expiration. A permit once issued, expires if work is not commenced within 180 days of issuance or if construction or work is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days at any time after work is commenced. To avoid permit expiration, a progress report (showing progress toward the permit) needs to be submitted in writing or an extension request needs to be submitted in writing showing justifiable cause to extend the permit prior to 180 days of inactivity, otherwise the permit will expire. Extensions may be granted for 180 days.

Transferability. As long as no changes have been made to the original plans, specifications and valuation of a permit, the current permit holder may request to transfer the permit to another permit holder upon submittal of the Permit Transfer Request Form and transfer fee. If there are changes to the plans, specifications or valuation for the work being done on a permit, the applicant will need to apply for a new permit.

Refunds. Refunds may be requested upon written request for permit deposit/fees paid within 180 days of fee payment, less any plan review fees, landuse site review fees, administrative fees and state surcharge fees, for a permit under which no work has commenced. Refunds amounting to less than $10 will not be processed.

Renewals. A structural permit may be renewed within 2 years of expiration of the permit upon submittal of the Permit Renewal Request Form, provided no changes have been made in the original plans and specifications for the work. There will be an administrative fee to renew a structural permit along with an inspection fee for each remaining inspection or re-inspection required to final the permit. Permits that have been canceled and/or refunded are not eligible for renewal.