Building Our Future
The community we inhabit in the future will depend on the collective decisions we make today. What, where, and how we develop our community will affect the landscape and lifestyles of Coos Bay for generations to come. Our Public Works & Community Development Department is focused on helping you achieve your building and development goals, while safeguarding Coos Bay’s long-term safety, livability and sustainability. If you’re ready to start creating our community’s future, we’re ready to help!
Most Requested Forms
- Public Works Permit Right of way (ROW) use; driveway access, curb cut; sewer connection, cap or repair; site development, grading, fill, excavation
- Building Permit Application for building permit, including residential and commercial additions, alterations, and new construction
- Mechanical Permit Application Application for Mechanical permit, including commercial and residential
× What are my property setbacks?
Setbacks for buildings and structures are determined by the zoning district in which development is occurring, the type of structure, and the number of floors. The City of Coos Bay Municipal Code, Chapter 17.150, outlines the requirements for yards and setbacks. General requirements for yards is 10 feet for street frontage and 5 feet from the property line for the interior side and rear. Side and rear yards must also have an additional foot for each story or part story above the first story of any building. There are additional requirements for vision clearance and vehicular access, and exceptions for accessory buildings and specific lots.
× Can a permit be issued before the plan review is approved?
Plan review must be complete before a permit can be issued. After you apply for a permit and the plans are approved, the permit will be issued to you and you can begin work.
× Can we build a garage or home addition on our property?
Whether or not you can build on your property depends on several things, including the property zoning, lot size, and the size of any existing buildings. The City of Coos Bay Municipal Code Title 17 has property development requirements that include lot coverage restrictions, which means only a certain amount of the property can be covered by structures. For example, the maximum lot coverage for for R-1 (Single Family Residential) lots is 35% and R-2 (Single Family & Duplex Residential) lots is 40%, but C-1 (Central Commercial District) does not have any coverage limitations.
Please contact the Planning Division of the Community Development Department at 541-269-8918 for more information and to schedule a meeting with a Planner.
Do I Need A Permit?
When a permit is required
A building permit is required for new construction or if you’re making structural, plumbing, mechanical, or electrical changes to an existing building. You generally don’t need a permit for minor repairs and maintenance.
For example, you do need a permit to:
- Add a room,
- Build or alter a garage, carport or shed more than 200 square feet in size,
- Cut a new window or door opening, or widen existing windows,
- Install a wood stove, or
- Build a retaining wall more than four feet high or that supports a bank of earth above the top of the wall.
You do not need a permit to:
- Replace windows or doors with new ones that are the same size,
- Put up shelves and cabinets,
- Replace interior drywall or paneling,
- Build a patio or deck (without a roof) that is less than 30 inches above grade.
Permits are required for any new construction or manufactured dwelling, as well as alterations or additions to existing buildings, including structural, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, boiler, and elevator work. The property owner or contractor is responsible for obtaining structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and manufactured dwelling setup permits. However, there are some exceptions to permit requirements. More information is available on the State of Oregon Building Codes Division website. If you are not sure whether or not you need a permit, call the City of Coos Bay Building Codes Division at 541-269-8918.
Some people mistakenly think they can save time and money by not getting a building permit. In reality, skipping the permit can cost you more time and money, and can endanger your property and your family’s safety. A building permit assures that your project will be inspected for compliance with the necessary state and local codes.
Before you start
Before you apply for a permit, check with the Planning Department to make sure that what you want to do is allowed on the property. There are restrictions based on zoning, lot coverage, setbacks, and other issues, and the Planners can help make sure that those requirements are met. While it’s not our job to design your project for you, our staff can help guide you through the process. If you don’t find what you need on this website, you’re welcome to call our office or make an appointment to visit us at City Hall. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and help move your project along.
If you’re building a new structure or addition, you’ll need to draw a site plan, which is an overall view of your lot and its structures. Your site plan does not need to be professionally drawn, but it should be drawn to scale. The easiest option is to draw your proposed building’s outline on a printout of an online map. A clear and accurate plan helps us process your application quickly. An incomplete plan is the #1 reason for delays in approving a permit.
Electrical & Plumbing
Wires & Pipes
All electrical and plumbing permits are issued by the Oregon State Building Codes Division (BCD). Although the Division is a state agency, the Coos Bay Field Office is conveniently located inside Coos Bay City Hall, just down the hall from Coos Bay's Building Department. BCD uses ePermitting to issue permits.
Contact the BCD Coos Bay Field Office at 541-266-1098.
Applying for a Permit
Every permit starts with an application
There can be many aspects to a building project. Some projects may require blueprints, architectural plans or engineering plans. Others, such as partially reroofing an existing structure, may require only a basic building permit. To find out what is necessary for your project, call our office or stop by the Community Development and Public Works office. It’s always better to ask questions first than to run into a surprise after you’ve begun the project.
Licensed contractors, architects and engineers can apply for some types of permits using Oregon’s ePermitting system. If you're not a one of these, or if you just prefer hard copies, you can fill out a form on paper. Permit applications are available at our office in City Hall and can be downloaded from our website.
- Building Permit
- Demolition Permit
- Manufactured Building Placement Application
- Mechanical Permit Application
- Sewer Permit Application
- Sign Permit Application
Some projects may need multiple permits. For example, adding a bathroom to an existing home will need a Building Permit for the structural components and a Mechanical Permit for the bathroom exhaust fan.
There are several ways to submit your completed permit application:
- In person at City Hall
- By mail: City of Coos Bay, Community Development Department, 500 Central Ave., Coos Bay, OR 97420
- By fax: 541-269-8916
Your permit cannot be reviewed until we receive your plan review fees. If you submit your application by mail or fax, you can either mail us a check or you can use a bank or credit card on Oregon’s ePermitting site once the permit is entered in by our staff. Please call our office for an estimate of the plan review and permit fees.
Oregon's ePermitting system provides 24/7 access to permit information
Once a building permit application has been filed, anyone can view it on the state’s ePermitting website. You can access permit information, download documentation, pay fees, and schedule inspections. Search for the permit either by permit number or by the property address; if you search by address, be sure to include the city or ZIP code or you'll get results from across the state.
You do not need to register for an account to view permit information or pay fees.
Issuing the Permit
Getting the paper in your hands
When your permit has been approved, our staff will contact you by phone and/or email and tell you that it is ready to issue. After you pay any remaining permit fees, the permit will be issued. You need to have the building permit and approval documents onsite during all phases of the construction and inspection process; you can pick up hard copies at City Hall, or you can download them from ePermitting. (In ePermitting, the approval documents will have "APPROVED" at the beginning of the document name.)
Construction must begin within 180 days of the permit being issued. You must build according to the plans you submitted with your application. If you need to make changes in your building plans, please call or visit our office. Any substantial change requires submitting a revised plan and may require additional fees.
If your project takes more than six months to complete, you’ll need to request an extension and schedule a progress inspection every six months until it is finished.
Inspections are needed throughout the project
Once your permit is issued and you've started work, you'll need periodic inspections to ensure that the work is being done correctly.
The City’s building inspector will need to inspect the project to ensure the work is being done according to building codes and your approved plans. Required inspections will be listed on your permit. Be sure to have each inspection completed before going on the next phase of the project. For example, framing needs to be approved before you begin installing drywall. The State of Oregon’s electrical and plumbing inspectors will conduct all inspections related to those elements of your project. These inspections must be completed before the final inspection by the City’s inspector.
To request an inspection, please call our office at 541-269-8918. When you call, you will be asked for the permit number, property owner's name, project address, type of inspection needed, and date on which inspection is desired. Unless all of the work is outside and accessible, an adult needs to be at the site to provide access for the inspector. A minimum of 24 hours’ notice is usually required for inspections, so call at least one working day before you want the inspection.
Before scheduling an inspection, make sure the relevant phase of the project is ready to be inspected. If it is not ready when the inspector arrives, you may be charged additional fees.
No matter who applies for the permit, the property owner is ultimately responsible for making sure the project is completed and has a final inspection. If the work is being done by contractors, make sure they are scheduling inspections as needed, including the final inspection.
Don't assume the project is complete when the construction work is finished. You must have a final inspection to confirm your structure is safe and legal. Failing to schedule the final inspection could lead to big problems in the future. You could be subject to enforcement action and additional costs, and it could even compromise your ability to sell or refinance your property.
Keep the permit active
The best way to keep your permit from expiring is to make progress and have regular inspections as you work.
Building permits must be started within 180 days of being issued. Once work has begun, the permit expires if work is suspended or abandoned for 180 days or more. Inspections show that progress is being made on a permit, so if there are no inspections being done the permit may expire.
If you can't work within a 180-day period and don't wish to abandon the project, you may submit a written request to the Building Division to extend your permit for an additional 180 days.