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A permit is required for any new construction, remodel, or repair of any structure or accessory structure. An accessory structure includes:
Repairs and remodeling include any:
The occupancy of any building, whether new or existing, requires an occupancy permit.
Contractors performing work that requires a building permit must be registered before they can obtain a permit for the work. Having a contractor registered with the City means the contractor has insurance to cover liability claims that may arise while working at your property. It also means your contractor is bonded, so in the event the project isn’t completed or below standard, you’re financially protected to get the project finished or up to par. To find out if your contractor is registered with the City of Sterling, please call the Building and Zoning Department at 815-632-6624
Detached garages and sheds must be at least 5 feet from the side and rear property lines and must be at least 10 feet from any other structure on the lot. Sheds and detached garages are not allowed in front yards.
No detached garage or accessory building can occupy more than 40% of the area of any required rear yard. Further, no accessory building or combination of accessory buildings can exceed 900 square feet in total floor area. Floor area includes all floors of accessory buildings. For the purpose of determining floor area, all stories with structural headroom of 7 feet 6 inches or greater will be included.
Fences may be located up to the property line. They may be a maximum of six feet above the existing grade. Fences are not permitted in front yards or in the corner side of reversed corner lots.
Pools require a permit. They must be located at least 8 feet from any property line and not less than 8 feet from any building on the lot. Additional considerations must be made for overhead electrical service and any underground utilities. Pools that are 24 inches in depth or more are required to be enclosed by a 4 foot high fence and must have a lockable gate/access.
The proposed location of a business is governed by the permitted uses within a particular zoning district. The type of business also determines code requirements for the proposed site. In many cases, City licenses are required. An Occupancy Certificate is required prior to opening your business. Call us early in the process and we assist you in making an informed decision about your business location.
To learn more about which codes apply in Sterling, visit the Code Enforcement page.
The length of the review depends on the size and complexity of the project. It also depends on the time of year. More people apply for building permits in the spring and summer, and thus it may take longer to complete the review process during these busier times.
There are two primary ways to make the review process move more quickly. First, City staff recommends hiring professional consultants and/or contractors to help you complete the project design and permitting process. Second, make sure the application information you submit is complete.
Work authorized by a permit must begin within 30 days of the date of the permit and be completed within one year of permit issuance. Permits may be extended beyond the one-year deadline at the Building & Zoning Superintendent’s discretion.
A “Stop Work” order is issued for construction work that is not being completed in accordance with the approved plans or for work that was started without a permit.
Required inspections are listed on the permit. For more information on inspections check with the Building department at 815-632-6624.
Many exterior improvements also require development review and approval. Prior to beginning any exterior construction work, you should contact the Building & Zoning Department to determine whether a development review is required.