How to Apply for an Apartment (5 units or more), Commercial or an Industrial Building Permit


Repairs and minor alteration projects such as roofing, new windows, new siding, and some remodels, will not require a site plan or construction plans. You should contact the buidling department at 479-784-2206 to discuss your project. They can assist you with determining the specific information you will need for your building permit.

Permits for New Structures, Additions, or Alterations require the following information to be submitted to the Building Department at 623 Garrison Avenue, Room 405. 

greenicon1 Submit a Site Plan

The site plan must be prepared by a professional engineer or an architect which is registered in the State of Arkansas. The minimum requirements for the site plan are listed below.

  1. Legal Description
  2. Property Lines and Pins
  3. Right-of-way, easements and setbacks
  4. Name and Location of Street
  5. All Existing and Proposed Structures (Structures as defined by ordinance)
  6. Distance of Structures from Property Lines
  7. Location of Driveway(s), designed to City Ordinance standards.
  8. Location and size of all public utilities, existing and/or proposed and service connections.
  9. Minimum finished floor elevation (if within the 100-year flood plain)
  10. Screened trash pick-up (as required by the UDO)
  11. Parking arrangement showing individual spaces including all handicap spaces according to the UDO.
  12. Drainage plan and retention if required (consult with the City Engineering Department).
  13. Landscaping plan when required per the UDO.

greenicon2 Submit a Property Survey

The survey must be certified by an Arkansas licensed professional surveyor. 


greenicon3 Submit 5 Sets of Construction Plans

The construction plans or working drawings must at a minimum include the following list of items.  Many construction plans must be prepared by a registered professional engineer or a registered architect in accordance with the Arkansas Architectural Act and the Arkansas Fire Prevention Code Volumes I and II. However, there are several exceptions in the Arkansas Architectural Act and the Arkansas Fire Prevention Code. Please consult with the Building Department staff to determine the specific requirments for your project.

1. Foundation Plan:

Show all foundations and footings.  Indicate size, locations, depth, thicknesses, materials and reinforcing.  Show all embedded anchoring such as anchor bolts, hold-downs and column bases.  A soils report is required where expansive soils exist or where known soils problems may exist or as required by the Building Official.

2. Floor Plan:

Show all floors including basements.  Show all rooms, with their use, overall dimensions and locations of all structural elements and openings.  Show all doors and windows.  Provide door, window, and interior finish schedules.  Show all fire rated assemblies and area separations.

3. Framing Plans:

Show all structural members, their size, methods of assembly, location and materials for floors and roofs, fire rated assemblies and dimensions.  

4. Exterior Elevations:

Show all sides of the building. Show all vertical dimensions and heights. Show all openings and identify all materials.

5. Mechanical Systems:

Show the entire mechanical system.  Include all units, their sizes, piping system mounting details, all duct work and duct sizes.  Indicate all fire and smoke dampers where required.  Provide equipment schedules.

6. Plumbing System:

Show all fixtures, piping, fire protection systems, slopes, materials and sizes.  Show point of connections to existing utilities.  Provide a plumbing riser diagram.  

7. Electrical System:

Show all electrical fixtures, (interior, exterior and site) wiring sizes and circuiting, panel schedules, single line diagrams, fire alarm systems, communications systems and fixture schedules.  Show point of connection to existing electrical service.  Provide an electric riser diagram. Show exterior lighting. All exterior lighting must comply with the UDO requirements for glare and full cutoff luminaires.

8. Landscape Plan:

Show landscaping and screening as required by the city UDO Section 27-602-3.


greenicon4 Approval by the Arkansas Department of Health 

Many projects require an approval by the Arkansas Department of Health. Consult with the Building Department staff to determine if your project requries this approval before a buidling permit can be issued.

greenicon5 Building Permit Application Form

Download and complete the Building Permit Application Form.

greenicon6 Bring Documents to the City Offices

Bring five (5) copies of all documents to the Building Department offices for approval. The permit officer will review information for completeness and send plans to the engineering, planning, utilities, fire and building safety departments for permit reviews. The plans examiner will collect all department review comments and follow up with the applicant if further information is needed for submittal and review. A plan review letter will be sent to the applicant if further information is needed for submittal and review. The initial review time usually takes between 7 and 10 working days. A plan review fee will be required at the time of application.

greenicon7 Pay for Permit

Upon approval,  the applicant is required to pay for the permit at the collections officewhich is located in Room 101, 623 Garrison Avenue. The collections office stamps the Building Permit Card as paid. The Buidling permit cardshall be posted in a conspicuous place on the front of the premises. The permit card must stay on the propery until the building inspector removes it during the final inspection.



greenicon8   Inspections

Inspections shall be made by the inspectors upon notification of the permit holder or contractor. Inspectors will either approve the construction as completed or will notify the permit holder or contractor if it does not pass inspection.  Please note that the plumbing, electrical, or mechanical subcontractors obtain their respective permits and are responsibile for their inspection requests.  Click here for more inspection information.

greenicon9 Completed Work

After the project is complete and the final inspections are done, the inspector brings the card back to the Building Department office and completes certificate of occupancy. At this point the certificate of occupancy will be mailed or can be picked up at the Building Department office. 

Other Useful Information

  1. Building Permit Flowchart.
  2. Building Permit Process FAQ
  3. Plan Review Check List - New Structure or Addition
  4. Plan Review Check List - Interior Remodel
  5. Plan Review Check List - Foundation Only
  6. City of Fort Smith Adopted Construction Codes
  7. Inspection Requirements