Permit and Development Center FAQ
Plan review times vary. Here is a list of typical review times.
- Site Plan Review – 15 days, 1st review and 7 days for resubmittals
- Residential Plan Review – 5 days
- Decks, Garages, and Fences – Processed the same day at the Permit and Development
- Commercial Plan Review – 25-30 days, 1st review
- For additional information contact our office at 515-283-4200
Two sets of drawings and structural calculations (if applicable) accompanied by a completed permit application which can be found under “Residential or Commercial” tabs.
Stop in at the Permit and Development Center (PDC), or give us a call at 283-4200, and ask to speak with one of our engineers. They can look it up by address and let you know. This is a free service. Lending institutions, insurance agents, and realtors do not always have flood to current access zone information. You will also need to speak to a Zoning Enforcement staff member
to determine your zoning district classification.
The City of Des Moines has no flood insurance requirement for properties within flood zones, but rather a strong recommendation. Lending institutions that are federally insured are obligated to require flood insurance before they approve loans/mortgages associated with properties within special flood hazard areas inundated by 100 - year flood (A, AE, AH, AO, A99, V, or VE) as shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). If your dwelling and/or property is within one of these other flood areas (shaded X, X, or D) as shown on the FIRM, lending institutions may still require flood insurance, but are not obligated to do so. You may wish to visit the following website to check the FIRM zone for your property: http://ifis.iowafloodcenter.org/ifis/
Stockpiling of any granular construction material in excess of 5,000 cubic yards on any site requires a grading permit. This includes, but is not limited to, soil, sand and crushed rock.
The purpose of our grading and soil erosion control Code requirements is to help eliminate the loss of soil from construction activities into drainage facilities and bodies of water, as well as to ensure that existing drainage patterns are not changed to the point of potentially causing damage to property. All downstream sides of your work area may need to be protected with a silt barrier such as silt fence or filter socks. Consult with the Engineering staff at the Permit and Development Center.
Also, be sure to have located any utilities (electric, gas, phone, sewer etc.) within an area to be excavated. There is a free service called Iowa One Call 1-800-292-8989 that will flag or spray paint the location of any known buried utilities on your lot. If any of these are present in this area, contact the utility and let them know your intentions. The depth of soil to be maintained over some of these utilities is important for safety reasons. If there are any utilities in the area, and they have approved your proposed work, use caution in case you might encounter the utilities while digging.
- A blank application can be acquired at the customer service counter at the Permit Center, off the city web page www.dmgov.org and click on Forms at the top of the page, or engineering personnel at the Permit Center can e-mail or mail you an application.
- Submit the completed application to the cashier at the Permit Center and have them notarize the form if you have not already done so.
- Pay the required fee, which will typically be $130 for most residential lots.
- Be sure the cashier gives you a copy and a receipt.
- You can work on your lot as soon as an engineering staff member reviews the application, approves the proposal, and issues the permit.