Plan Review

A Hamilton County Planning + Development Building Plan Examiner will review application in the order of receipt based on the submission type. Review time tables are dependent on the submission type, any required revisions, customer turnarounds and workloads. Hamilton County has established goals to initiate a review based on each type of review.

Fee Schedules

Building and Inspection Fees   (with fees effective January 1st, 2024.)

Upfront Fee

All applications will pay an upfront fee that varies per permit.

Permit Fee

The total permit fee is calculated based on the gross building area (in square feet) by the type of construction. Any upfront fees will be subtracted from the permit fee. The balance of the permit fee is collected when the permit is picked up by the applicant.

Technology Fee

All applications will be subject to a 5% technology fee.

State Fees

Residential = 1%
Commercial = 3%



Most building permits require a zoning approval before they can be accepted at the Permit Counter. An approval (usually a zoning certificate) must be issued by the authorized zoning jurisdiction and submitted with the building permit application.

The Hamilton County Planning + Development issues Zoning Permits for properties located in Columbia Township, Harrison Township, Green Township (except Northeastern), Miami Township, Symmes Township and the Village of North Bend. HCP&D can usually review and approve your plans at the counter. Please contact the Zoning to discuss at (513) 946-4550 extension 5.

Projects located in any municipalities (except Village of North Bend ) or the following Township (Anderson, Colerain, Crosby, Delhi, Northeastern Green, Springfield, and Sycamore) will need to obtain zoning approval from the respective jurisdiction.

Property located in Whitewater Township and northwestern Miami Township do not have zoning and therefore do not require approval.

Presubmittal Questions
  • For questions about code specific issues, please call (513) 946-4550 extension 2 or  stop by in person and ask to speak with the plans examiner of the day .
  • For questions about the overall building permitting process, please call (513) 946-4550 extension 2 or stop by in person and ask to speak with a permit specialist.

For larger, more complicated commercial projects you can schedule a meeting to discuss your project, ask questions and learn more about the Hamilton County review process prior to submitting your plans.

  • Schedule a Pre-submittal Meeting with the Building and Inspections staff and the local fire department (if available). Contact Michael Stehlin at [email protected].
  • Schedule a Predevelopment Meeting with Planning + Development staff (flood, storm water, permitting, building, county zoning), as well as all other jurisdiction review agencies (sewer, water, health, engineering, local zoning, local fire department, soils). Contact Michael Stehlin at [email protected] to schedule a predevelopment meeting.
Site Plan

Site plans are required to be submitted with building permit applications for new buildings or structures (including retaining walls, decks and swimming pools), and additions there to. Check here   to find out site plan requirements and if you need a registered survey.

When a Professional Survey is required, the survey cannot be more than 180 days old on the date of application. Properties with easement, right-of-way or facility of a public utility always require a registered survey to determine that there are no encroachments, see HCBC Section HC.A106.8.6   for specific requirements.

Pre-submission review and permits

Applicant may be able to obtain an Earthworks Movement Permit   from the Soil And Water Conservation District prior to receiving a building permit. Plans must conform to the Earthwork Rules and Regulations including storm water prevention and geotechnical requirements. Please contact Hamilton County Soil And Water Conservation District at (513) 772-7645.

Projects over 1 acre will require an NPDES Permit NOI. Additionally all 401 and 404 permits should be in place.

Flood/Stormwater Site Plan Review/Approval – Applicants are encouraged to submit individual storm water site plans for review and preliminary comment prior to building permit submittal. Submit to Stormwater and Infrastructure Division of the Planning and Development Department which will review for compliance with the Hamilton County Stormwater Drainage Systems (SDS) Rules and Regulations. Plans will also be reviewed by the floodplain manager for compliance with the Flood Damage Prevention Regulations. Most building permits are routed directly to stormwater and flood review before the building plan is reviewed.  Pre-building permit submittal will help ensure there are no delays before the building plan examiner reviews the building permit. Application  

Sewer and Water Availability Capacity – Applicants are suggested to contact the local water and sanitary sewer agencies to verify sewer and water availability and capacity. Preliminary application for water availability (Greater Cincinnati Water Works Application  ) and sewer availability (Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati Application  ).

Verification of 100-year Floodplain – Applicants are required to confirm if there proposed development is located in the 100-year floodplain by having a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) review. Contact Olivia Maltry, Floodplain Technician at (513) 946-4760.

Applicants with large projects are recommended to contact Eric Beck, (513) 946-8430, at the Hamilton County Engineer’s Office to discuss Access Management issues before submitting for a building permit.

Time to begin Review

The time it takes to start a review a permit depends on the type of permit. Please note that these times are goals to begin a review and may change in accordance with workload. Ohio law require that permit application must be reviewed within thirty (30) days of receipt.

Walk-through Permits – The following permits are typically reviewed and issued at the permit counter and available immediately:

  • Wall Signs
  • Face Changes (Signs)
  • Relocate Heating and Air Conditioning Units (Like for Like)
  • Some Re-roofing

Minor Permit Reviews – The following permit take about 3-5 Business Days to initiate a review.

  • Tents
  • Signs (Free Standing)
  • Temporary Structures

Residential Permits – A review is typically initiated within six (6) to ten (10) businesses days of submission, however this may be longer dependent on current work loads, storm sewer or flood requirements.

Commercial Permits – A review is typically initiated within twelve (12) to sixteen (16) businesses days of submission, however this may be longer dependent on current work loads, storm sewer or flood requirements.

  • If permissible, and initial review is completed within 48 hours to determine if the application and plans have met minimal submittal requirements.
  • Associated Applications (HVAC, fire sprinkler/alarm, etc) can be submitted after the corresponding permit has been submitted. This may delay the approval if it is not submitted prior to the corresponding review of the parent application.

Plans Examination

Once the building plans examiner reviews your plan, he/she will determine if the plans are in compliance with the state mandated codes and standards.


An approval is issued once the plans examiner has determined the plans are approvable.

If the permit application and plans are in compliance with the building codes the plans examiners may approve the plans.

Applicants will be notified upon approval via email, mail, and online via ezTrak Online Services  


Notification Status/ Process – An application will be given a denial status, requiring a revision, if the submitted documents are not code compliant.

  • Applicants will be notified upon denial via email, mail, and online via ezTrak Online Services  .
  • Denials include a letter and/or checklist identifying each item that does not meet building code standards with the corresponding code reference.

Clarification – Applicants are encouraged to contact the plans examiner to seek any clarifications.

Resubmission Requirements – Applicants can provide additional details and submit revisions to the plans addressing each item identified in the checklist/letter.

  • All new items and changes must be highlighted.
  • Plan revisions must be submitted on a new page – four (4) copies of each page for a commercial application and three (3) for a residential application – which can be inserted by hand in person at the permit counter or a new set of plans can be resubmitted in entirety.
  • Handwritten changes to the existing plans will not be accepted.
  • Scanning fees will apply to all revisions under the OBC (typically commercial jobs), therefore it is suggested that digital copies are submitted with revisions.

Revision Times – Dependent on time of receipt and current work load, revisions will usually be reviewed with 2 to 8 days of submission.

Additional Fees for Mulitple Revisions – Two reviews are included in the permit fees.

  • An additional review fee will be charged on an hourly basis for each and every review after the second review.
  • The fee will be added to the permit fee when the permit is approved.

Voided Permits – Applicants have six (6) months to respond to a denial before the application is considered void. An extension can be granted by the Chief building Official upon request.

Appealing – If your application is denied you have the option to appeal this decision to the Board of Building Appeals.

Adjudication Order

At the discretion of the Building Official unresolved items may require an adjudication  order denying permit issuance at which point the applicant has the right to appeal the Building Official’s decision to the Board of Building Appeals.

Conditional Approval

HCPD acknowledges that some associated applications may be completed during the construction phase of the project, therefore, conditional approvals may be granted for a limited scope of associated applications at the discretion of the Building Commissioner. Any Conditional Approval requests must be made in writing, specifying the date that any associated application will be filled.

Permit Approval

Once all approvals have been received from each approval agency, including the building plans examination, the permit counter can issue an approval for the permit application:

  • A permit will be issued once all required agencies approve the application.
  • The final amount of the permit will indicated and the balance of fee must be paid when the permit is picked up.
  • The building permit approved stamped set of plans must be kept at the construction site.
  • Permits are valid for one (1) year and there is an ability for a one (1) year extension.

File an Appeal

Instructions to Appellant for Filing Appeals
  1. A person filing an appeal must have a legal and/or equitable interest in the property affected in the appeal, or be an attorney or agent representing the person having legal or equitable interest.
  2. An officer or an employee of a corporation may file an appeal on property in which the corporation has a legal and/or equitable interest.
  3. The Board requires the owner or his representative to be present at the public hearing.

To File an Appeal:
  1. Prepare an explicit typewritten statement, with original signature, using blue ink on each of the 7 letters, (7 copies, no smaller than 8 1/2 x 11) addressed to the Board of Building Appeals, setting forth the following:
    1. Request for hearing of appeal from decision of the Plan Examiner
    2. Clear and accurate description of the construction or use.
    3. All facts and reasons why the determination sought should be granted.
  2. Provide seven (7) sets of drawings pertinent to the appeal for the Board's examination.
  3. An appeal fee is required when the appeal is filed. All checks are made payable to the Board of County Commissioners. The fee charged is as follows:
    • $ 210.76 ($223.41 with OBBS surcharge and technology fee) - Appeals filed under the Hamilton County Building Code (one, two and three-family dwellings and accessory structures) - (Residential)
    • $ 414.19 ($447.33 with OBBS surcharge and technology fee) - Appeals filed under Ohio Building Code - (Commercial)
  4. Submit the aforesaid typewritten statement, required drawings and application fee to the Hamilton County Planning and Development, 138 E. Court Street, Room 801, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
  5. All items listed above must be filed at the same time. No partial submittals will be accepted.

All preparations, including notices, necessary for the hearing of an appeal will be executed by this office after the receipt of all the items listed above.

~All meetings begin at 9:15 a.m. in Room 805 in the Large Conference Room on the 8th floor.

For further information, you may contact James Noyes   at this office during normal business hours at (513) 946-4440.

You can learn more by visiting the Board of Building Appeals page.