What is a Certificate of Occupancy? (C.O.)
A C.O. is a document approving a location to be ready for business. The C.O. contains information concerning the owner or tenant’s name, business name, address of the building, a description of the portions of the building and the use intended, building code verifications for the group and classification of the building or structure, and approval of the Building Official.
- When a new building is constructed and occupied;
- If an existing building or lease space is remodeled, enlarged, or altered;
- When any new use, tenant, or occupant is established;
- When any use, tenant, or occupant of any tenant or lease space is changed;
- When any tenant name or ownership is changed;
- If there is a change in use which would place the building or lease space in a different occupancy classification (group and/or division) as referenced in the International Building Code
- When the building is new, the C.O. verifies that it conforms to the most current life safety standards
- When the building is existing, has an ownership change, tenant change, or change in building use, a new C.O. is required to provide that the building is still safe to occupy
- The Fire Department uses the C.O. information to help identify potential hazards that may be encountered while responding to emergency calls
- Utilities will be released in the new tenant's name
- The Post Office requires a current C.O. before mail will be delivered
A C.O. is generated upon completion of the final building inspection. The owner or tenant must complete an application requesting a C.O., obtainable through the CityServe portal. There is a $100.00 application fee.
A Plans Examiner will check the information supplied by the applicant, verify the zoning requirements and update the City's records. The applicant will be called to schedule a day for a Building Inspector to come to the site for an inspection. Upon successful completion of the building final inspection, the Building Official will issue the C.O.
What should be done with a C.O. once it is obtained?
- The C.O. is required to be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises and should not be removed except by the Building Official
- The C.O. must also be taken to the post office to start mail delivery