Building permit - tape measure

Do I need a permit?

A permit is required for projects which include constructing, building, demolishing, altering, moving, or adding onto any building or structure, or projects including grading, or adding impervious surface.

You can find more information in our planning related documents which contain easy references for common projects.

 In some cases a permit is not necessary. The following activities do not require a permit.

  • Construction or installation of a fence 6 feet in height or less. Fence construction standards and location/height rules do apply. Fence regulations can be found in Section 78-1405(9).
  • Planting of vegetation/landscaping: trees, shrubs, flowers/plants, etc.
  • Painting, flooring, and similar finish work.

If you have any questions, please contact City Hall at 952-249-4600.

What kind of permit do I need?

This table outlines the permit types and subtypes used in our system.  When applying for a permit on the Portal, you should choose the type and then the subtype which best fits your project.  This table also identifies information necessary for a complete application.  

Note, the permit types shown in italics in the table will require an escrow deposit because they typically involve soil disturbance and require erosion control measures.

business-checklist-minSubmittal requirements

All projects are reviewed for compliance with Federal, State, and City codes and ordinances, which have been established for the public’s health, safety, and general welfare. To complete this review, certain information, provided by you, is necessary. We have designed our process so that only information pertinent to your application is required with the goal of reducing your time and expense in applying for a permit.

The information included in the table above is a general list of what is typically required for each application type. While applying, you may save and come back to finish your application later if you do not have all the required information, but anticipate supplying at least the information noted. In all cases, items marked with a red vertical line on the left in the application Portal are required.

*Please note that all submitted documents should be in (.pdf) format.

The City of Orono website includes information sheets on a number of subjects related to development.

 Building permit 

  • Site Plan or Certified Survey. A site plan is usually required. A certified survey is required for all new homes, additions to homes, and grading projects requiring an Interim Use Permit. A survey must meet these site plan requirements.
  • Floor Plans
  • Elevation Plans (to-scale drawing of all sides of the structure)
  • Roof Plan
  • Hardscape Plan (if hardcover is being added)
  • Hardcover Calculations (if hardcover is being added use Orono’s Hardcover worksheet.)
  • Estimated project value
  • Ventilation and Energy Calculations (new homes and additions only)
  • Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) permit documentation. A letter or email from the MCWD stating either that the erosion control plan has been approved, or that their rules are not triggered. Contact the MCWD website or call 952-641-4532.

 General Zoning permit (small buildings, hardcover, exterior stairs)

  • Site Plan, showing the location of the improvements, and distance from property lines at a minimum. Here are the site plan requirements.
  • Building plans (for sheds and decks)
  • Hardcover Calculations (if hardcover is proposed use the City’s Hardcover worksheet)
  • Grading Plan (if grading is proposed)
  • Cut and fill calculations (only for Grading and Land Alteration requests)
  • Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) Documentation. A letter or email from the MCWD stating either that the erosion control plan has been approved, or their rules are not triggered. Contact the MCWD website or call 952-641-4532.
  • Other information as may be requested to complete the review of your project.

 Mechanical/ Plumbing permit

  • Information on furnace/ water heater, fireplace, etc.
  • Backflow device information

Once you have collected your materials for your application, Apply for a permit now.

Demolition Permits.

Demolition permits are required for the removal of buildings from a property, and for the removal of a Septic System.  

Hennepin County Deconstruction Grants

To help divert waste from landfills, Hennepin County has grants available to homeowners and developers to deconstruct buildings to salvage building materials rather than demolish them.

Big opportunities to reuse and recycle building materials

Many building materials have the potential to be salvaged and reused or recycled. In fact, about 85 percent of the materials in a typical demolition or remodeling project could be salvaged and kept out of landfills. But currently, only about 30 percent of building materials are reused or recycled. Deconstruction involves carefully dismantling buildings to salvage materials for reuse. Commonly salvaged building materials include old growth lumber, doors, flooring, cabinets and fixtures. Deconstruction provides numerous environmental and social benefits compared to standard demolition. Deconstruction prevents usable materials from going to the landfill, makes building materials available to the community, provides jobs, and supports local reuse retailers.

Grants help offset added time and labor costs

In a deconstruction project, a building is taken apart, mostly by hand, and materials are sorted into categories for efficient recycling and reuse. Compared to standard demolition techniques that use mechanical equipment to knock down structures, the additional labor costs and time with deconstruction can be a deterrent. Homeowners and developers of residential properties can receive up to $5,000 to help offset the additional time and labor costs associated with deconstruction. Grants are available for demolition or renovation projects that are 250 square feet or larger on structures built prior to 1970.

Learn more about the grants including eligibility and requirements at Demolition program flyer or