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Q: Where is Building Inspection located and what are the hours of operation?
A: City Hall, 1945 E. Jackson Road, Carrollton, TX 75006; 1st Floor, SW corner of lobby right of elevator; Monday through Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Q: What forms of payment are accepted?
A: Master Card, Visa, Discover, American Express, checks, cash, escrow (please inquire). Beginning April 24, 2017 a new, lower rate of 2% convenience fee is added to credit card transactions.

Q: What is the cost of a permit?
A: Permits will vary in cost according to type of application. Refer to the development/permit fee schedule for further information.

Q: When is a permit required?
A: Permits are required when there is new construction to a building as well as some repair work or alterations to an existing structure. In addition, when a building is to be remodeled or enlarged, a permit shall be required. New work consists of any new construction, commercial or residential, from vacant ground to a completed new structure. Projects that are considered cosmetic, such as new wallpaper, carpet, paint, cabinets, or trim work do not require a permit. Visit other areas of our web site or contact Building Inspection for any questions concerning your specific project.

Q: How long does the review process take on residential and commercial projects?
A: Building Inspection’s goal on the review process is as follows: Residential new single family/duplex or single-family addition: 3 business days initial; 1 day revisions. Commercial new projects/multi-family/parking lots or new additions: 15 business days initial, 5 days revisions. Finish outs generating a C.O.: 5 business days initial, 2 days revisions. Interior finish outs existing tenant: 5 business days initial, 2 days revisions. Occupancy applications/construction trailers: 2 business days.

Q: Can a permit be picked up without the general contractor or subcontractors listed on the permit?
A: No. Upon approval of the permit, general contractors and all subcontractors must be registered and current with the City of Carrollton and listed on the permit prior to issuance.

Q: What construction can occur on property before issuance of a building permit, and when can dirt work begin on a project?
A: Site grading is authorized with a permit from Building Inspection.

Q: Will a building permit be issued on an unplatted piece of property?
A: Building permits will not be issued for any building expansion in excess of 500 square feet or for the construction of any new building, regardless of square footage, on a vacant piece of property until a subdivision plat has been approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission and has been filed with the proper County Clerk, unless the parcel or tract had a deed recorded prior to May 4, 1953. Reference Article II of the Subdivision Ordinance. In the event of a zoning change, no building permit will be issued until the zoning change ordinance has been ratified by the City Council.

Q: When can utilities be turned on?
A: Utilities for construction purposes may be released after permits are issued and installations are inspected by Building Inspection.

Q: Can a utility permit be issued prior to the building permit?
A: Yes, provided all applicable engineering issues are approved.

Q: Is a pre-construction meeting required prior to construction?
A: Yes. A pre-construction meeting is required for civil work, and these meetings are combined on building projects to address building permit topics.

Q: How is a variance obtained on a construction-related item?
A: Variances are not allowed. However, alternate designs can be approved by Building Inspection or the Property Standards Board.

Q: Can a “foundation-only” permit be obtained?
A: Yes, provided the site is platted, there is no pending zoning change, building plans are provided for building placement, and no engineering issues remain unresolved. A “foundation-only” permit is issued by Building Inspection.

Q: Can application be made for a building permit while the site is being platted or zoning is pending?
A: Yes. However, the building permit will not be issued until all platting and zoning issues are approved.

Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.)
Q: What is a Certificate of Occupancy?
A: A certificate of occupancy, or C.O., is required for all buildings or structures that are occupied or used. When a tenant leases a new space, a C.O. shall be required. Upon issuance of a C.O. and approval of all required inspections, utilities will be released with the new tenant’s name. Also visit other areas of the web site to obtain further information pertaining to C.O.’s.

Q: Is a permit required to occupy or use a building?
A: Yes. A Certificate of Occupancy is required, and must be applied for through Building Inspection.

Q: Can a portion of the building or structure be occupied prior to the completion of the entire building or structure?
A: A partial or conditional certificate of occupancy can be issued by Building Inspection under certain conditions.

Q: How are addresses assigned?
A: All addresses are assigned by the Fire Marshal’s office 972-466-3210. Addresses are assigned to undeveloped parcels as temporary addresses. The “TEMP” address signifier will be removed at the time a building permit is issued for the parcel.

Q: Does an easement need to be platted for sprinkler vaults?
A: Not necessarily. It can also be filed as a separate instrument through the Engineering Department 972-466-3200. However, platting is recommended.

Q: When is a fire lane required?
A: Typically fire lanes are required when any portion of a building is located greater than 150 feet away from a paved public way. Fire lanes are required to be 24 feet in width, and concrete.

Q: What striping is required on fire lanes?
A: Striping must be six 6 inches wide, red painted stripe, with four 4 inch high white letter stating “FIRE LANE - NO PARKING” at fifteen 15 foot intervals. Striping must be painted with an exterior acrylic latex paint. Stripe color must be “Traffic Red,” Glidden #63251 or equal and letters shall be “Traffic White,” Glidden #563245 or equal.

Q: Can fire lanes have gates across them?
A: Gates crossing fire lanes must be approved by the Fire Marshal’s office. If a gate is allowed, it must have a 24-foot clear width and have a Knox Lock installed.

Q: How is a Knox Lock or Knox Box obtained and what is their purpose?
A: 1)  Knox Boxes are security boxes placed on the outside of a building at the front door. Property keys are stored in the box to provide fire department access in the event of an emergency. The Carrollton Fire Department is the only agency that has access to the Knox Box. 2) Knox Locks are provided on gates for Fire Department access. Knox Locks or Knox Boxes are required when access to or within a building is unduly difficult or where immediate access is necessary for life safety purposes.

Q: How many fire extinguishers are needed in a building?
A: Fire extinguishers should be located such that the travel distance to any extinguisher is not greater than 75 feet. Extinguishers must be a minimum size of 2A5BC. Larger sizes may be needed depending on type of occupancy.

Q: Where is the fire department connection FDC for the sprinkler system located?
A: The FDC should be located on the building within 50 feet of a fire lane or public street. Height of the FDC shall be between 18” and 48” off of final grade.

Q: What are the requirements for sprinkler system design and installation?
A: Fire protection sprinkler systems must be designed and installed by an agency or individual licensed by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. Systems must meet the applicable requirements set forth by National Fire Protection Association Standards, i.e., 13, 13D, 13R, 231, or 231C. Three 3 sets of plans shall be submitted for review.

Q: What are the requirements for fire alarm and detection devices?
A: Fire alarm and detection systems must be designed and installed by an agency or individual licensed by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. Systems must meet the applicable requirements set forth by National Fire Protection Association Standards, i.e. 72. Three 3 sets of plans and cut sheets shall be submitted for review with Building Inspection.

Q: Are fire hydrants needed for a property?
A: Typically fire hydrants are located on street frontages and spaced at 300-foot intervals in commercial areas and 600-foot intervals in residential areas. Some large commercial developments may require fire hydrants located on site in an easement.

Q: How are flow test results for fire hydrants obtained?
A: Flow tests are conducted by Fire Prevention. Results may be obtained by contacting the Fire Marshal’s office 972-466-3210.

Q: When must a technical site plan be approved through the Planning and Zoning Commission?
A: Technical site plans are required only for multi-family development or in conjunction with a planned development or Special Use permit.

Q: How is the required brick or stone content calculated?
A: The brick or stone content is determined by subtracting doors, windows, and glass facades from the applicable building face, and then calculating the content requirement on the remaining building face.

Q: Where can a plat be obtained for an existing platted property?
A: Denton County 800-356-5639, Collin County 972-424-1460 or Dallas County Clerk 214-653-7275 or the Carrollton Engineering Department 972-466-3200.

Q: How is a reduction in off-street parking requirements obtained?
A: Uses may join in establishing a joint parking area where it can be demonstrated to the City Manager or designee that parking for two or more specific uses occur at alternating periods. Refer to Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Art. XXIV Sect. F for further information.

Q: Can parking be provided adjacent to the property line?
A: Yes. Wheelstops are required two (2) feet from property lines to accommodate vehicular overhang.

Q: How are right-of-way dedication widths determined?
A: Right-of-way widths are established by the Subdivision Ordinance Article X, based upon the street’s designation by the Transportation Thoroughfare Plan.

Q: How is permission obtained to perform construction during late night hours and early morning hours?
A: Reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Engineering Department for emergencies.

Q: Are there any variances to the Stormwater and Flood Protection Ordinance?
A: Yes, as identified in Article 4, Section F of the ordinance. Variances are administered through the Engineering Department 972-466-3200 and acted upon by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Q: Is a vehicle access easement required to be platted?
A: No. It can be filed through a separate instrument. However, platting is recommended.

Q: How is a zoning change or a special use permit obtained on a parcel of land?
A: Apply for a zoning change through Planning at 972-466-3040.

Q: Where can information be found on what uses are allowed on a particular property?
A: Locate the site on a zoning map and compare it to the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Article V.

Q: Do the requirements of a Planned Development District override the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance?
A: The provisions that are more restrictive within the Planned Development Ordinance prevail.

Q: Is new development on an existing site required to conform to the landscape ordinance?
A: Yes.

Q: When is right-of-way required to be dedicated?
A: At the time of platting, in accordance with the Subdivision Ordinance and the Transportation Plan.

Q: How is a variance from the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance obtained?
A: The Board of Adjustment may authorize variances in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance upon a finding of hardship. A $200 filling fee is required. Variance requests are administered by Building Inspection.

Q: Can a variance be obtained to erect a sign that is not in compliance with the Sign Code?
A: The Board of Adjustment may grant variances for a physical hardship, as outlined by the Sign Code. The filing fee is $200 and is administered by Building Inspection.

Q: Can a variance or waiver be obtained to the Comprehensive Subdivision Ordinance?
A: The Planning and Zoning Commission may authorize a variance or waive certain items, as specified by the Subdivision Ordinance Article XII. 

General Design Standards
Q: When is street light escrow assessed?
A: When development occurs on a property with frontage on an arterial thoroughfare without streetlights or where streetlights were erected after January 1, 1993.

Q: What is the impact fee charged for?
A: This fee represents the proportional share of the cost of the city’s water and sewer system necessary to serve the new development.

Q: Where can information be obtained on existing city-maintained water and sewer lines?
A: From the Engineering Department 972-466-3200.

Q: When is stormwater detention required?
A: Tracts larger than 1 acre or tracts that are part of a commercially platted subdivision require stormwater detention facilities except when property is located within the Valwood Improvement Authority and Denton County Reclamation and Road District.

Q: Where an existing site is developed to provide new buildings, is an existing nonconforming curb cut required to be closed?
A: Under certain circumstances, the Driveway Ordinance Ordinance No. 1604 requires that nonconforming driveways be discontinued, and that driveways be required to conform to the regulations prescribed in the Ordinance.

Q: When are sidewalks required?
A: Sidewalks are required along any street upon which a lot abuts, regardless of whether such lot faces, abuts on the side, or backs up to such street, or is separated from such street by an alley. The only exceptions to this requirement are: on local streets in a FWY Freeway District, LI Light Industrial District, HI Heavy Industrial District or IP Industrial Park District; along freeways and freeway frontage roads; on property that was legal lot of record prior to April 2, 1962; and within existing subdivisions accepted without sidewalks.

Q: Are there any variances to the general Design Standards of the City of Carrollton?
A: The General Design Standards are minimum standards that may be exceeded. However, no variance procedure exists, except for variances to the spacing of median openings.

Q: Are there any regulations concerning smoking in the City of Carrollton?
A: Ordinance No. 1988 regulates smoking in eating establishments, bars, nightclubs, adult entertainment establishments, billiard halls, and bingo parlors. The ordinance is administered through Environmental Services at 972-466-3060.

Q: Does an ownership change on “existing” food establishments need to meet all current requirements of the Food Establishment Ordinance?
A: Yes. Regardless of prior or existing conditions of equipment and facilities in a permitted food establishment, the new ownership must meet all current requirements of the Ordinance.

Q: Is the sale of alcoholic beverages in food establishments allowed?
A: Yes. Contact Planning at 972-460-3040 for more information.

Q: Are any licenses or certificates required to operate a restaurant?
A: Yes. A Food Manager's Certification from the Environmental Services Department and a certificate of occupancy from Building Inspection.

Q: How is a variance obtained on construction-related requirements set forth in the Environmental Services Department Policy on sanitation regulations for new or remodeled food establishments?
A: The Environmental Services Director may waive, modify, or add provisions that pertain to the physical facilities or equipment of food establishments.

Q: How do I find out if my portable toilet company has a permit with the city?
A: All liquid waste haulers performing work in Carrollton must have a permit.