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

The building permit application process for commercial structures begins with submittal of an application and required documents to the Building Safety Department. The process also includes review and approval of a Zoning Certificate by the Community Development Department, and may involve reviews by other City and County departments. Plans are reviewed for compliance with the current Minnesota State Building Code. Plan review may result in a correction letter which would require additional documents and/or clarification resubmitted in response, prior to plan approval and permit issuance.
Commercial Construction Project Building Application Procedure
 Building Permit Applications  Certificates of Occupancy  Trade Permit Applications
Fees/Refunds/Voids  Building Codes  Inspections

Building Permit Applications

Commercial Building 
Multi-Family Building
Manufactured Home

 Certificates of Occupancy

A Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is required before any new building can be put into use, or before an existing building can be used for a new purpose (e.g., retail space converted to a school).  MN SBC Section 1300.0220.

A Permanent CO is issued for a new building or a portion of an existing building that has changed use. COs are valid for the life of the structure if no changes are made.

A Temporary CO (TCO) may be issued to a part of a building undergoing phased construction to allow occupancy while the construction continues. The building must be safe for non-construction personnel to occupy while the construction proceeds. TCOs have very specific limitations and always include an expiration time frame.

Certificate of Occupancy Checklist

CO or TCO requests will be issued a minimum of one business day AFTER all required approvals are entered into the record.

 Trade Permit Applications

Trade permits are required when any new electrical, mechanical, or plumbing is added to a structure.
Electrical Permit
Overhead Service/Underground Service
Fireplace Permit
Gas Piping Permit 
HVAC Permit

Bonding requirements for CSST

The manufacturers of CSST (Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing) have added an additional bonding requirement as part of their installation that need to be followed when using their products. For a copy of the alert, click this link "Bonding Requirements for CSST". (Updated 4/2009)


Hydronic Permit 
Plumbing Permit



Building, Commercial The four (4) fees collected for commercial building permits in Rochester are: building permit, plan review, zoning, and Minnesota state surcharge. Commercial Building Fee Schedule
Building, Residential

Four (4) fees are collected for a residential building permit in Rochester. The fees are: building permit, plan review, zoning, and Minnesota state surcharge. Note: A Water Reclamation Plant Investment Fee (PIF) may also be charged. The new home permits will have a PIF fee of $3,300 in 2018.On new home permits a $5.00 curb cut fee may also be charged.

Residential Building Fee Schedule

Demolition A demolition permit has building and zoning fees. Note: There may be a separate charge for a well/septic inspection. Please call the Well and Septic Division of the Olmsted County Planning Department at (507) 328-7111 if you have questions. Demolition Fee Schedule


There are three (3) fees collected for a grading permit in Rochester. The fees included are a grading permit, plan review, and zoning. Fees are based on total number of cubic yards of excavation or fill, whichever is greater.

Grading Fee Schedule


Three (3) fees are collected for a sign permit in Rochester. The fees are sign permit, plan review and zoning. All signs are classified by the Community Development Department as either a business or advertising sign. The zoning fee due will be either a Business or Advertising sign zoning fee.

Sign Fee Schedule
Building Fees Calculator Enter the valuation amount in this spreadsheet to automatically calculate the fees. Use for all residential, manufactured home, sign, demolition, and commercial projects. Fees Calculator

Trade Permit Fee Schedule

There are three (3) fees collected for a trade permit in Rochester. The fees are: application, permit, and Minnesota state surcharge. The permit valuation shall include total value of all construction work, including materials and labor, for which the permit is being issued.        Trade Permit Fee Schedule


Trade Fees Calculator Enter the valuation amount in this spreadsheet to automatically calculate the fees. Use for all electrical, fireplace, gas piping, HVAC, hydronic, and plumbing projects. Trade Fees Calculator
Refund of Fees

Rochester Code of Ordinances Chapter 4-1 Sec. 4-1-4 Permit Fees states the Building Official must authorize refunding of any fee that was erroneously paid or collected, or if none of the work authorized by the permit has been performed. The Building Official may not authorize refunding of any permit fee except upon written application filed by the original permittee not later than 180 days after the date of permit issuance. Plan review fees, IRC footing permit fees and application fees will not be refunded.

Use the request form to cancel or void a permit, with or without a refund of fees. Please note that the $25.00 application fee is non-refundable.

Request for Refund of Permit Fees

Minimum Building Valuation Guidelines

Residential Effective September 1, 2016
Building Effective September 1, 2016


Building Codes

The City of Rochester adopted the 2015 MN Residential Code as of January 24, 2015. The Building Safety Department enforces this Code during its Plan Review and Inspection phases of permitted work.

International Code Council (ICC) presents Building Codes 101

What are building codes? Why do we have them? Why can't we just build buildings however we want? These are some of the questions that this webinar set will help you to answer. The regulation of the way buildings are built in the United States is unique, compared to other industries and even other countries. It can be a mystery to those who have not yet actively participated in the process. The YouTube™ webinars below will try to provide the big picture, even for those who have no experience with building codes.

Building Codes (Part I)
Building Codes (Part II)

Minnesota Building Codes

Rochester Code of Ordinances

Chapter 4-1 Building Code

Chapter 4-2 Electrical Code

Chapter 4-3 HVAC Code

Chapter 4-4 HVAC Board of Review
Chapter 4-5 Plumbing Code
Chapter 4-6 Commercial/Industrial Building
Chapter 4-7 Heritage Preservation

 Current Codes

2015 MN Commercial Building Code  In Effect June 2, 2015
2015 MN Residential Building Code  In Effect January 24, 2015
2015 National Electrical Code  In Effect July 1, 2017
2015 MN Residential Energy Code  In Effect February 14, 2015
2015 MN Mechanical and Fuel Gas Code  In Effect January 24, 2015
2015 MN Plumbing Code  In Effect January 23, 2016



Required Inspections

The Inspection Division of the Rochester Building Safety Department administers the Minnesota State Building Code by performing the inspections required by the appropriate sections of Chapter 1300.
Required inspections are typically identified on the permit card, but additional or other inspections may be required to verify Code compliance. If you have questions about whether an inspection is required before proceeding, please call the Building Safety Department for clarification.
Inspection requests are accepted by phone at507-328-2600from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM daily by Building Safety staff orby scheduling on line at: Requests must be at least made one day prior to the inspection. Please have your permit number available when calling and requesting inspections to expedite the process.

Inspection Scheduling Policy forResidential Building and Trade Projects:

The inspection process starts with the West inspections in the morning and workstoward the East side of town as the day progresses. The intent is to have amorning/afternoon breakdown between the sides of town, however it does not always work this way and the morning inspections do sometimes extend into the afternoon. The intendedbreakdown is as such:

Address Quadrant

Inspection Timing

NW and SW AM (start in the morning)
NE and SE PM (generally afternoon)