COVID-19 InformationInformation and Updates for Community Members

Contact Information

4001 West River Parkway NW, Suite 100
Rochester, MN 55901

Phone: 507-328-2600
Fax: 507-328-2601

Mon-Fri 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Department Contacts


From the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry:

2020 Minnesota State Building Code adoption

On Tuesday March 31, 2020, six new Minnesota construction codes are scheduled to take effect. Although this adoption is occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction industry has been fully engaged in the process of developing changes to the new codes over the past two years and are anticipating their implementation.

Currently, many architects, engineers and other building designers either have or are in the process of preparing designs in accordance with the new codes. Industry has also been providing training about changes the past few months, prior to the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. The department’s spring training educational seminars will be provided in an online format in the coming weeks.

Anyone who is facing challenges related to the adoption of the new codes should contact the department and we will work to assist them.

Thank you to all construction stakeholders, Technical Advisory Group members and the Construction Codes Advisory Council who participated in this two-and-a-half-year collaborative process.

These new codes apply to permit applications made on or after March 31 with the exception of the Minnesota Mechanical Code that takes effect on April 6, 2020.

The Minnesota Fire Code also goes into effect March 31, 2020.

New codes effective March 31, 2020

The following codes have been approved for adoption:

2020 Minnesota Conservation Code for Existing Buildings

2020 Minnesota Residential Code

2020 Minnesota Building Code

2020 Minnesota Energy Code

Note: The 2015 Minnesota Residential Energy Code remains in effect.

2020 Minnesota Accessibility Code

2020 Minnesota Mechanical/Fuel Gas Code - Effective April 6, 2020

2020 Minnesota State Fire Code





This information sheet serves to update the status and changes to our processes resulting from the health emergency precautions related to the COVID19 pandemic. Our goal is to protect the health and safety of both our staff and our community partners during this time with minimal impact and disruption to services. Process changes currently enacted are listed below.

Current Operational Status:

City Leadership has closed all public service desk locations throughout the City of Rochester.  City employees are still working, answering phone calls and emails, processing permits and making inspections. We are also applying social distancing when performing inspections and using special protocols where possible.

To be clear, the office is not closed, just closed to the public from direct in-person interactions.

  1. Face-to-face:  There shall be no face-to-face meetings or direct in-person contact at City buildings. No exceptions to this will be allowed (excluding field work described below)


  2. Telephone:  Telephone communications shall occur using the department phone number 507-328-2600 as normal or by calling directly to the person you need to reach


  3. Email:  Email communication shall continue as normal working directly with staff or using the general department mailboxes:

    1. For general department items contact

    2. For rental housing items contact

Permit Request & Issuance:
  1. Electronic:  Online access for many services is still available on the Citizen Access website at where the following can be done:

    1. Permits, building and trades, can be paid for by credit card when ready to issue

    2. Licensed professionals can submit applications for trade permits

    3. Inspections can be scheduled for building and trade permits

    4. Rental housing fees can be paid


  2. Via Email:  Communication related to permit applications and plans can be handled via email with the staff appropriate to addressing your questions. During this time, anyone unable to submit permit applications can send them in by email to the appropriate email address as noted above. As permits are approved for issue and paid, by online payment, checks mailed in or dropped off, or using a Trust Account, staff will communicate once the permit package is ready for pickup at the department in the cordoned off section of the lobby as marked by signs.


  3. Drop Off: Permit applications, not submitted online or via email, may be left in the appropriately marked drop off box just inside the Building Safety entrance. Applications dropped off can be paid with a credit card online once they are ready to issue on the Citizen Access website, by dropping off or mailing in a check clearly marked with the permit details, or using an existing Trust Account.


  4. Pick Up:  Approved permits may be picked up in the designated section of the Building Safety lobby. When a permit packet is ready to be picked up, you will be contacted by the department. Please confirm an estimated time and date the permit and approved drawings will be picked up so they can be ready to be pick up in the designated area of the lobby.

Inspections and other Guidance:

  1. Rental housing

    1. Inspections are cancelled until further notice with nothing being scheduled until after May 1st, which is subject to change as the situation progresses

  2. Occupied dwelling construction inspections (building & trades)

    1. Inspectors will not enter occupied dwellings and Building Safety does not consider the residents not being home at the time of inspection as unoccupied

    2. Inspectors will work with permit holders to conduct inspections (building and trades) of occupied dwellings by alternative means if possible

      1. This means conducting the inspection by recording a video, taking photos, or a video call (using Face Time for example)

      2. Please provide contact information when scheduling the inspection

    3. We will conduct emergency inspections such as electrical service or fuel gas

  3. Non-occupied dwellings and buildings

    1. New construction inspection will continue with no change at this time

    2. Commercial inspections will continue with no change other than any protocols to observe put in place by the customers

  4. Investigations and inspections of citizen concerns/service requests will continue

              We Have Moved!            

Building Safety is now in its new location

at the

Development Services & Infrastructure Center

(4001 West River Pkwy NW)

We look forward to serving you even better in our new location!

Map to 4001 West River Parkway NW

Announcing Live On-line Trade Applications!

We, in the Building Safety Department at the City of Rochester, are excited for a couple of announcements regarding our online Citizen Access portal for our licensed professional contractors.

The first is that you can now apply for trade permits online at! This is, of course, in addition to using the standard methods of:


This wonderful news means if you are applying for an electrical, plumbing, or mechanical permit and are a licensed contractor that you can submit your permit application online in an easier, more secure manner than ever before for quicker processing. For questions about how this can be done please contact us at 507-328-2600 or by emailing for help.

The second bit of good news is that the same interface you use currently to view your rental property records, building permits, and now to enter trade permits online has received a facelift! This means the struggles of using the website on a mobile device and not having the screen work well to see has become a thing of the past. The screen at now resizes to be more convenient when working on mobile devices to be more field user friendly for those who are not always at a desk when they want to schedule an inspection, apply for a trade permit, pay for their rental license, or any of the other numerous things that can be done on your mobile device more easily!

As with any change there may be some minor bugs to work out so please keep us in the loop for any questions you have or issues that come up so we can work through them to make this the best system it can be. Thank you.

Please review this instructional handout, which walks you through the process if you'd like to get started.


Online Inspection Requests

The Rochester Building Safety Department is excited to announce that you can now request and schedule your building and trade inspections online through our Citizen Access Portal.


 Inspector image (002)


Please visit our Citizen Access Portal (24/7) and check it out for yourself at the link below.


In order to take advantage of this new feature, you must first become a registered public user. There are helpful videos available on our website to guide you through these processes.

Mission Statement

The Building Safety Department is committed to advancing public safety in the built environment through collaboration and community partnership which results in safe, accessible and healthy structures.


Organizational Chart

Orgchart 01.09.2020 add JJ delete RB