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Building and Zoning FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions.
Here are some common questions about building and zoning in the City of Eaton Rapids.

License Requirement Questions

Can I perform work on the residence where I live without being licensed?

Yes, as long as it is your principal residence you can perform work on it without being licensed. You will still need to obtain a permit and have inspections performed.

Does my contractor need to be licensed and insured?

If the work cost $600.00 or more for labor and materials then State Law requires your contractor to be licensed and insured.  It is the contractor’s responsibility to obtain the permit(s).

Miscellaneous Questions

How long can my garbage dumpster be at the curb?

They may be placed at the curb 6:00 pm the day before collection and removed by sunset the day of collection.  They shall be stored 20 feet from the edge of the street or against the house whichever is less.

Do I need approval from the State to construct something if I live in a flood zone?

Yes, only EGLE (State of Michigan) can approve construction in a flood zone. Once approved a building permit has to be issued and the project constructed to the code for flood zones.

Do I need Heath Department approval to build something if I have a well and drain field?

Yes, the Health Department has to give approval before a building permit may be issued for a new structure.

Do I need to call for and inspection?

Yes, it is the permit holder’s responsibility to call for all inspections.

Can I place a portable basketball hoop in the right of way next to the street?

No, no items can be placed in the City right of way without the City’s permission.  The hoops also cause problems with the snow plows in the winter.

Permit Questions

How can I pay for my Permit?

Online Building Permit Information & Payments

Or you can pay during regular business hours at City Hall with cash, check, or credit/debit card.

Do I need a permit to install a fence?

Fences less than 7 feet require a Zoning permit on any property and shall comply with Article XVIII, section 18.40.  Fences over 7 feet will require a building permit. This includes replacement of an existing fence. All fences need an application and site plan showing the location of the fence to be installed submitted.

Do I need a permit to have a shed /accessory structure on my property?

Yes, anything under 200 square feet requires a Zoning permit and everything above 200 square feet a Building permit.  This includes all styles of buildings, permanent, vinyl covered structures, buildings brought in on a truck and metal buildings. There are ordinances on setbacks from the house, other buildings and lot lines that need to be complied with.  A site plan showing the size of the building and the setbacks shall be submitted with the permit application in order to issue the permit.  See Article XVIII, section 18.20 for the requirements.

Do I need a permit to replace or install a new roof on my house/buildings?

Yes, the installation and roof deck (tear off) need to be inspected for compliance with the code.  A maximum of two layers of roofing is permitted.

Do I need a permit to replace or install new windows?

Yes, the Building code has many requirements for the installation of windows such as areas that need safety glazing in hazardous areas and egress requirements for bedrooms and basements.  If you are creating a new opening or enlarging an existing opening then the new header will need to be inspected.

Do I need a permit to install siding on the buildings on my property?

Yes, the siding/residing of buildings on the property has to comply with the building code requirements and has to be inspected when the job is complete.

Do I need a permit to install a swimming pool?

Any pool with more than 24 inches of water in it is required to have a permit and comply with the building code and zoning ordinance for pools.  The code also requires these pools to have a 48-inch barrier around it. The barrier is required for new and existing pools.

Do I need a permit to finish my basement?

Yes, all of the framing, electrical, plumbing and mechanical will need to be inspected.  If the basement does not contain an egress window then one will have to be installed.

Do I need a permit to replace the public sidewalk and/or pour a driveway approach?

Yes, the public sidewalk and driveway approaches have to meet the City specifications for width and thickness of the concrete.  Driveway approaches shall be made of concrete and 6 inches thick; they cannot be asphalt.

Do I need a sign permit?

Yes, signs have to comply with the Zoning ordinance for size, number of, location and height.  They also have to comply with the Building code.

Do I need a permit to open a business?

Yes, the proposed business is evaluated for Zoning district, parking, signage and various other items in the zoning ordinance.  An inspection will be completed before the business opens to ensure compliance with the Building and Fire codes.

Do I need a permit to have my furnace or air conditioner replaced?

Yes, the new installation has to comply with the mechanical code.

Do I need a permit to have my water heater replaced?

Yes, the new installation has to comply with the plumbing code.

Do I need a permit to replace the deck or porch on my house?

Yes, any structural items that are replaced will need to be permitted and inspected.  If you are replacing only the top deck boards then no permit is needed.

Residential Property Requirements Questions

 Do I need smoke alarms in my residence?

Yes, in existing structures a minimum of one on every level and in the vicinity of the bedrooms. If you have a building permit for work you will be required to install them in the bedrooms also.

Do I need carbon monoxide detectors in my residence?

If you have a building permit, carbon monoxide detectors will be required in any home that has an attached garage and/or fuel fired appliances.  They shall be placed adjacent to the bedrooms, adjacent to the garage entrance and adjacent to fuel fired appliances.

Do I need my address posted on my house or business?

The address is required to be posted on the house visible from the street (not obstructed by trees or bushes) with a minimum of 4 inch high numbers (contrasting in color from the house).  If the house/business is not visible from the street then the numbers shall be posted on a post by the driveway to the building.

Questions about Pets & Livestock

Can I have chickens, cows, pigs, goats, ducks or pigeons on my property?

No, the ordinance does not allow for these types of animals.

How many dogs may I have on my property?

Two, the ordinance allows two dogs maximum, and dogs must be registered with the County.

Vehicle Questions

Can someone live in a recreational vehicle on my property?

No, occupying a recreational vehicle is not allowed.

Can I have an unlicensed or inoperable vehicle on my property?

Only if it is in a fully enclosed building.

How many trailers may I have on my property?

The ordinance allows two trailers on properties and only one of each type.

Can I have tractors on my property?

No, the ordinance only allows tractors on agricultural property.

What are the permit costs in Eaton Rapids?


Total Valuation Fee
$1.00 to $500.00 $23.50
$501.00 to $2,000.00 $23.50 for the first $501.00 plus $3.05 for each additional $100.00, or fraction thereof, to and including $2,000.00
$2,001.00 to $25,000.00 $69.25 for the first $2,001.00 plus $14.00 for each additional $1,000.00, or fraction thereof to and including $25,000.00
$25,001.00 to $50.000.00 $391.75 for the first $25,001.00 plus $10.10 for each additional $1,000.00, or fraction thereof, to and including $50,000.00
$50,001.00 to $100,000.00 $643.75 for the first $50,001.00 plus $7.00 for each additional $1,000.00, or fraction thereof, to and including $100,000.00
$100,001.00 to $500,000.00 $993.25 for the first $100,001.00, plus $5.60 for each additional $1,000.00 or fraction thereof, to and icnlduing $500,000.00
$500,001.00 to $1,000,000.00 $3,233.75 for the first $500,000.00, plus $4.75 for each additional $1,000.00 or fraction thereof, to and including $1,000,000.00
$1,000,001.00 and up $5,608.25 plus $3.65 for each $1,000.00 or part thereof, above $1,000,001.00

Utility Fees:

Type Fee
Sewer Use

$750.00 – 200 gallons/day water usage over this will be charged by DPW

$1,500.00 Township Resident 200 gallons/day use

Sewer Saddle $75.00
Sewer Tap $700.00
Water Use

$1,000.00 – 1 – 1″ Service City Resident

$1,500.00 – 1 – 1″ Service Township Resident

Water Connection
Gravel Street $1,463.00 on Gravel Street
Concrete/Asphalt Street $1,673.00 on Concrete/Asphalt Street
Temporary Electric Service $75.00

Special Fees:
*Requires Application Fee 

Type Fee
Sign Installation* $20.00 each
Swimming Pools*
Above Ground $20.00
In Ground $30.00
Residential Fence $10.00
Residential Siding
Homeowner $45.00
Contractor $45.00
Building Demolition*
Under 300 sq ft $20.00
Over 300 sq ft $30.00
Building Moving* $30.00
Site Plan Review $75.00

Special Meeting of Planning Comm.

Rezoning Application Hearing

Conditional Use Permit Hearing

Zoning Board of Appeals Hearing

Site Condo Plan Review





$250.00 – Plus Additional Costs

Subdivision Plan Review $250.00 – Plus Additional Costs
Residential Roofing or Re-roof*
Homeowner $45.00
Contractor $45.00
Contractor License Registration/3 Years $15.00

Other Inspections and Fees:

Inspection Type Fee
Inspections outside of normal business hours $45.00/hour
Reinspection fees assessed under provisions of Section 108.8 $45.00/hour
Inspections for which no fee is specifically indicated $45.00/hour
Additional plan review required by changes, additions or revisions $45.00/hour
Use of outside consultants for plan review and/or inspections Actual Costs
All required Inspections $45.00/hour
Investigation Fee $50.00/hour
Where can I find permit applications?

To apply for a Permit, please contact the Building Inspector at (517) 663-8118, ext 8160.  You can also pick-up a permit at City Hall.  Office Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Click below to download the form that you need.

Planning Commission Applications

Zoning Applications

Still Have Questions?

Still Have Questions?

LeRoy Hummell, Building and Zoning Official

Phone: (517) 663-8118, ext 8160

Fax: (517) 663-1116


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