Frequently Asked Questions

Do you want to know...

What ZONE you're in?

What Ward Office serves your address?

If you qualify for Downtown Core permit waiver fees?

What permits have been pulled on a property?

All of this and more can be found by entering your City of Tucson address into Property Research Online:

PRO - "Property Research Online" should be your 1st stop when researching an address in the City of Tucson.

Below are other frequently asked questions about permitting. If you do not find what you need please contact us at DSD_Webmaster@tucsonaz.gov

Permits

What is a permit?

A permit is an agreement between the City and the applicant whereby the applicant agrees to follow the city codes and the Land Use code. In some instances the applicant must submit plans to show what he or she intends to do. For some projects, the plans may require preparation by a licensed architect or engineer registered by the State of Arizona. When the plans are approved, the construction must conform to the plan. Any deviations or changes from these plans cannot be approved in the field.

Why do I need a permit?

A permit ensures that the City Planning & Development Services Department will inspect the work. The inspector may discover faulty materials, deviations from the approved plans or violations of the building codes and land use codes that may result in an unsafe or hazardous condition for you or your family. It is a violation of City ordinance not to have a permit when work being done requires one. Failure to obtain a permit may result in an investigation and violation fees and/or may result in prosecution in city court.

When do I need a permit?

In general, a building permit is required for any structural change or alteration made in a building or when any new construction is undertaken. When applicable, permits for mechanical, plumbing and electrical work are also required. Please see Exceptions for a listing of what does NOT need a permit. Your proposed project must comply with the zoning ordinances. If it does not, a separate submittal for a variance before the Board of Adjustment may be required.

How much does a permit cost?

The plan review and permit fee for the building portion is based on the valuation of the project. See the Building Valuation Data provided by the International Code Council, a national standard used by the City of Tucson. The mechanical, plumbing and electrical fees are based on the number of items installed such as plumbing fixtures, air conditioner units and electrical outlets. Wall permits are based on the height and linear footage of the wall. Exact fees are available after plans are reviewed. For further information please contact Development Services Customer Services at (520) 791-5550. Development Standards Fee Schedule.

How will Impact Fees work?

The City of Tucson adopted Impact Fees on new development. Since July 15, 2005, fees have been collected on permits issued for all new square foot additions for commercial structures, residences and apartments. These fees are invested back into our community for capacity improvements to roads and parks. This site provides the information needed to understand the fees and how they contribute to a thriving Tucson. IMPACT FEES

Where can I get a permit and who is responsible for obtaining a permit?

An application for permit is made at the Planning & Development Services Department. We are located at 201 N Stone Av in downtown Tucson, on the first floor of the County-City Public Works Building. Hours are between 8:00am and 4:00pm Monday thru Friday, excluding legal holidays. The homeowner or contractor can make the application for a permit, but it is the responsibility of the homeowner/property owner to ensure a permit is secured and posted on the job site.

Where can I get a permit for Fireworks?

(The Fireworks permit application and TFD review must be obtained from the Tucson Fire Department prior to coming to PDSD. Contact them at 791-4502 for additional
information)

What are my responsibilities after obtaining a permit?

Once a permit has been obtained from the Planning & Development Services Department there are certain responsibilities placed on the homeowner and/or contractor. The homeowner is responsible for obtaining the permit for the proposed project and for posting it on the site. The individual doing the work covered by the permit must call for inspection prior to covering or concealing work. When a permit is issued, a Job Card will be given to you listing the common required inspections.

Where can I get more information?

The Planning & Development Services Department, located at 201 N Stone Av in the County-City Public Works building has more information available. There are many handouts including applications, sample forms, code information and submittal requirements. Please call (520) 791-5550.

When is a licensed architect, engineer or contractor needed for a permit?

All work improvements to commercial properties and all residential rental properties require a licensed contractor (per AZROC 32-1121). If buildings plans are required for the scope of work requested, commercial or residential rental property requires sealed drawings from a licensed Architect. An Engineer is required for Grading plans and any time calculations are required. All three must also provide the permit counter with a City of Tucson Business license.

Bonds

What is a Bond and why do I need one? Bonds are posted for various reasons. The permit counter asks for 3 types of bonds. A Grading bond is required on a permit if the area of disturbance is over one acre (43,560 sq.ft.) to insure that the soil is stabilized through "reseeding" if the project is abandoned after grading has begun. A "Reseeding" bond is calculated at .5 cents a square foot. A Temporary Power bond is posted to insure that once the power is energized, all work and inspections will continue until the permit is "Finaled". A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) bond is posted when a project is close to completion and no life safety issues are remaining. All Final inspections are required to be performed before the TCO request and fees paid prior to TCO issuance. These two types of bonds are calculated at 1% of the valuation or $1,000 minimum, $10,000 maximum whichever is greater. All 3 bonds are fully refundable and can be posted with a check or money order or by surety bond through your insurance company.

Other frequently questions are:

Do I need to obtain approvals from the Development Services staff before posting a bond?

How can I find out how much my bond needs to be?

Is there anything else I need to know about posting bonds?

What form of payment may I use for cash bonds?

Where do I get the forms?

Who is the “Principal” on the bond form?


Where do I get the forms?

Only the bond forms posted on our website or obtained from our office (Permit Counter) are acceptable. Any other forms that are used will be rejected.

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How can I find out how much my bond needs to be?

Call the Planning & Development Services Department at 791-5550 and ask to speak to the Permit Counter staff.

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Do I need to obtain approvals from any Planning & Development Services staff before posting a bond?

In order to post a bond for Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, you will need to speak with Lee Ray Hanly, Inspections Supervisor. Call (520) 837-4906, to set up an appointment.

In order to post a bond for Temporary Connection of Energy, Fuel or Power, you must provide the form with four approvals from the inspectors. The inspector will provide you with this form.

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Who is the “principal” on the bond form?

The principal is the person or company that is actually posting the bond and should be the same person or company shown on any check that is submitted for deposit of a bond. Example: If John Smith works for Smith Corporation and is submitting a personal check to post the bond, then John Smith needs to be listed as the principal on the form, not Smith Corporation.

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What form of payment may I use for cash bonds?

Payment for cash bonds may be deposited in the form of cash, personal check or cashier’s check for the exact amount only. We do cash these checks. A CREDIT CARD IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE FORM OF PAYMENT FOR POSTING A CASH BOND.

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Is there anything else I need to know about posting bonds?

There are several areas on all the forms that must be initialized and notarized. Please ensure those areas are completed before coming to the office to submit, as incomplete or incorrectly completed forms will not be accepted.

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