Permitting Glossary of Terms

Assembly Buildings: To include restaurants, amusements/recreational, nightclubs, theaters, stadiums, church

Certificate of Occupancy: Upon completion of all construction and prior to occupancy and upon final approvals by all appropriate inspectors, Certificates of Occupancy are issued by the Bureau of Buildings. Depending upon unusual circumstances, a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy may be issued for a specified time period.

Commercial Buildings: To include mercantile, office, business, repair garage, parking deck, warehouse and/or office/warehouse.

Educational Buildings: To include public schools, private schools, college/university and vocational training museums.

Government Buildings: To include public administrators, public recreation, public safety, public maintenance building and/or airport.

Industrial Buildings: To include industrial building and/or plant.

Inspections: Made by field inspectors of the Bureau of Buildings. It is the specific responsibility of each trade to request inspections. Additional inspections are also conducted by other City agencies, such as the Department of Watershed Management. It is required that all construction sites must be properly maintained to provide silt control.

A. Building Division

The Building Inspection Division inspects all building permits for compliance as well as handling complaints.  Building Inspections also issues Certificates of Occupancy.

B. Electrical Division

The Electrical Division is responsible for the inspection of all electrical and low voltage permits for code compliance and also handles complaints and power authorizations.

C. Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Division

The Heating, Ventilating, & Air Conditioning Division (HVAC) inspects all HVAC and gas for code compliance.

D. Plumbing Division

Plumbing Division inspects all plumbing permits (and sprinkler permits) for code compliance.  Plumbing also handles complaints and sewer tap approvals.

E. Zoning Division

The Zoning Division inspects all sign permits for code compliance, approves all building permits for zoning compliance, and conducts zoning research and verification.

Intake: This is the process in which a permit application is created. All the drawings are presented and submitted for approval for submission and routed to their appropriate departments.

Institutional Building: To include hospital, clinic, dental, nursing home and/or assisted living facility.

Lodging Residence Buildings: To include hotel/motel, rooming house, dormitory, shelter and/or SRO-Single Room Occupancy.

Multifamily residential: To include apartments, condominium, town home, multifamily accessory and/or residential/commercial.

Permit Issuance: Once all the departments have given an approval, the permit will be released for permit issuance by the Residential Coordinator. Once released for issuance, the plans are then taken to the permit issuance where all fees are tallied and then paid for at the city’s finance cashiers office located on the first floor. Method of payments acceptable is cash, credit card, certified or personal checks. No business checks allowed.

Plan Review: The Bureau of Buildings performs a plan review for verification of compliance with Building Code, Life Safety Code, and The Georgia Accessibility Code. The B.O.B. plan reviewers also co-ordinate the assemblage of all other reviews and issue the Building Permit. All plans submitted for issuance of a building permit must be accurate, legible, include dimensions, be drawn to a standard scale, and meet minimum industry-wide acceptable architectural and engineering standards. Plans marked “Not Released for Construction”, “preliminary” and “permit only” shall not be accepted for review, except as noted for site and foundation permits. The City reserves the right to require additional information for plan review analysis.

Site development: concerns grading and drainage, storm water management, stream bank buffers, flood plains, and erosion and sediment control.  Standard plan review fees shall apply for lots greater than one (1) acre.   All Site Development fees are payable at the time of issuance of a building permit.

Stream buffer: a restricted area (parcel of land) within a specified distance from a stream or “waters of the state” where construction or land disturbance is not allowed.

Stop Work Order: a directive by the Bureau of Buildings to discontinue a specified construction activity.

Zoning Evaluation: The Bureau of Buildings is responsible for plan review, enforcement and compliance with the City of Atlanta Zoning Ordinance. This Ordinance contains numerous zoning classifications with corresponding zoning requirements for setbacks, permitted uses, density, height, off-street parking and other design requirements as well as the requirements for all sign permits. Certain uses additionally require the issuance of Special Use Permits, Special Administrative Permits, Variances, Special Exceptions, and Certificate of Appropriateness.

Permitting Glossary of Terms – Download [Optimized PDF]

Permitting Glossary of Terms – Download

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