Permits, Inspections, and Zoning

Building Permit
Variance and Appeal 
Forms & Downloads

Building Permit

A Building Permit is required for any structure, house or commercial building requiring the following: 

  • Demolition
  • Moving
  • Repair
  • Enlargement
  • New construction 

*Some types of painting, flooring, and finish work may be exempt from a building permit.*

No grading or excavation shall begin until the required permits have been obtained. Furthermore, no building, structure, or land shall be used or occupied until an Occupancy Permit has been obtained. Except for small repairs, re-roofing, etc. drawings are required to be approved prior to the issuance of a Building Permit. Building Permits are usually issued to a contractor properly licensed by the state; however, the building permit may be issued to the owner of a house if he signs an affidavit and complies with other requirements of state law. Electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work require separate additional permits and must be obtained by a craftsman with a minimum of a journeyman license and other licenses as required by state law.

Developments within the Flood Plain are required to comply with the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance Chapter 152 prior to issuance of a building permit.  

Properties located within the Historic Overlay District must meet the requirements of Historic Landmarks Chapter 158 prior to issuance of a building permit.  

The costs of permits vary and are based on the cost of the work involved.

All contractors and subcontractors are required to obtain a City Business License.

The prime contractor who obtains the permit is responsible for contacting the Department and scheduling the necessary inspections. Twenty-four (24) hour notice is required. Inspections include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • Footings and Setbacks 
  • Slab 
  • Foundation wall and floor joists before sub floor 
  • Framing 
  • Rough – In electrical, plumbing and mechanical before insulation 
  • Insulation 
  • Contractor Permanent Power 
  • Others as necessary 
  • Final

A Certificate of Occupancy must be obtained from the Building Department prior to occupying the building.


Subdivisions are approved by either the City Planner or Planning Commission depending on the number of new lots and the location of the property. Any request for a subdivision including more than five lots, located in the Camden National Register Historic District, Kendall Mill National Register Historic District, or designated as a Historic Property by City Council must be approved by the Planning Commission.  


Plats for recording are approved by the City Planner.  Plats must meet the requirements for final plats in Section 156.33 of the Land Development Regulations.


Requests for rezoning must be submitted to the City Planner at least 21 calendar days prior to the date of a Planning Commission meeting to be considered at that meeting. The Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing and recommend approval or denial of the request. City Council then will consider the recommendation and approve or deny the request.  

Variance and Appeal 

Variances and appeals are decided by the Board of Zoning Appeals. The board meets on an as-needed basis. Applications must be submitted to the City Planner, who will coordinate with the board chairman to schedule a hearing. Decisions of the board may only be appealed to Circuit Court.

A variance is a request for relief from a requirement in the Zoning Ordinance, such as a setback or building height requirements. The request must meet strict standards for unnecessary hardship as described in state law.  

A decision of the Zoning Administrator may be appealed to the board. An application for an appeal must be submitted to the City Planner within 30 days from the date the applicant is notified of the Zoning Administrator's decision.  

Forms & Downloads

Camden Design Guidelines Adopted November 2014 (pdf)

Certificate of Appropriateness (pdf)

City Limits (pdf)

Comprehensive Plan Maps (pdf)

Zoning Maps (pdf)

Rezoning Application (pdf)

Subdivision Application (pdf)

Land Development Application (pdf)

Variance Application (pdf)

Appeal Application (pdf)

Permit Application for Outdoor Cafe (pdf) 

Map of Camden Historic Properties (pdf)