Richmond FAQ

Building

Do I need a permit for a fence?

No, but the fence can't be higher than six feet. And if you're on a corner lot, it can't obstruct the view of the intersecting streets. We suggest that fences located on corners and where driveways exit onto a sidewalk not exceed 42" to assist in safe vision for both driver and pedestrian.


Do I need a permit for a storage shed?

As long as the square footage of the shed is under 200 sq. ft. you won't need a building permit. However, if you plan to run any utilities to the shed, regardless of size, you will need a permit. When planning where to put the shed on your property, keep in mind that the dripline from its roof must be at least one foot off the property line. Also, it must be 10 ft from the dwelling.


Do I need a permit to finish my basement?

Only if additional plumbing, electrical or heating/cooling work will be done. If the basement has already been "roughed" in with those items, a building permit is not required.


Do I need a permit to remodel my house?

Same conditions as the basement apply. However, if you are doing any type of structural addition or modification, you will need a permit.


I want to build a house; what do I have to do?

Your first step should be the city office. Pick up the building checklist; it'll have everything you need in order to get your building permit. You will need the type of structure, the property tax number of the land parcel, what size the lot is, how it is zoned, and whether it's part of a subdivision. If it is not part of a subdivision, you will need a current survey with one copy being attached to your building plans.

You will need two copies of your plans to submit with your building clearance form - these are inspected, stamped, and then you'll take them to the County Building Office.

Please take you plans and the clearance form to the Council members assigned to P&Z and Water-Sewer. Once they have signed off on your form, bring the plans and form to the City Office for the final check-off steps.

You will also receive a current copy of the Manual of Design and Construction Standards that will provide the specifics (such as allowed slope and drainage of the driveway, retaining walls, driveway surfaces, etc.). New residences and businesses are required to put in a sidewalk to the City standards whether or not there is an adjoining sidewalk. Yes, we realize that gives a hopscotch effect to some of our roads, but eventually we'd like to get pedestrians OFF the streets and onto a safer walking route. Driveways must be established in such a manner to allow a "swale" to prevent water from running down the driveway and directly onto the street.