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 Rochester-Olmsted Planning 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.
Trade permits are required when any new electrical, mechanical, or plumbing is added to a structure. The following are the various trade permits available:
- 2015 Mechanical & Energy Code-Ventilation, Makeup, and Combustion Air Calculations Instructions and Example
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)
NOTES for sign permits:
1) A business owner may install their own signs.
2) City Sign Contractor's License: If you engage in the business of sign or outdoor advertising by erecting or maintaining signs within the city, you need to obtain a Sign Contractor's License from the City Clerk's Office, (507) 328-2900.
3) Information Required: Plans and data required for a sign permit are listed on the bottom of the first page of the Sign Permit Application form. You may put all wall signage on the same building on one application. Separate sign permits are required for each ground/pylon sign.
4) A sign permit is not required if you are only replacing the sign faces.
Four(4) fees are collected for a commercial 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.
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.
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.
Refund of Permit Fees/To Cancel or Void Permits
Please complete, sign and return the Request for Refund of Permit Fees form. (Please note that the $25.00 application fee is nonrefundable.) This form is also used to cancel or void a permit.
Minimum Building Valuation Guidelines
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 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM daily by Building Safety staff by calling (507) 328-2600. Requests must be 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 for Commercial Building Projects:
Typically the below schedule is followed, but Contractors may request either AM or PM inspections when calling. A contact name and number is required when making the inspection.
|Address Quadrant||Inspection Timing|
|NW and SW||AM (morning)|
|NE and SE||PM (afternoon)|
When is a Certificate of Occupancy required?
A Certificate of Occupancy 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.
Certificate of Occupancy Checklist (pdf)
What types of Certificates of Occupancy are available?
PERMANENT - Issued for a new building or a portion of an existing building that has changed use.
This type of certificate is issued when all the work authorized by the construction permits is complete and all required inspections have been completed and approved.
Certificate of Occupancies are valid for the life of the structure if no changes are made.
TEMPORARY - May be issued to 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.
Temporary Certificate of Occupancies have very specific limitations and always include an expiration time-frame.