Building and Zoning Department

69 North South Street
Room 253
(937) 382-5134

Building and Zoning Office Hours

Building and Zoning Contact
Michelle Horner, Administrative Assistant
(937) 382-5134

Code Enforcement
Mark Wiswell, Code Enforcement Official
(937) 382-5134
Property and Code Violation Information

Report a Code or Property Violation

The City of Wilmington Building Department is responsible for the enforcement of the Building, Electrical, and Mechanical codes. The department administers the issuance of all related permits and certificates of occupancy. In addition, the department is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the zoning and subdivision regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a building permit?
Building permits and inspections basically protect the consumer from unscrupulous contractors who may not build to the codes. They also help the do-it-yourself homeowner, who may not have a working knowledge of building codes, ensure that their building projects are completed safely and in accordance with current building codes.

When do I need a permit?
A permit is required for the erection, repair, alteration, improvement and addition of or to any building within the City. Permits are not required for ordinary maintenance or repair, unless the alteration changes the exterior lines or limits of the building, changes the number of living units within the building, or relates to the sanitary condition, which requires a building permit regardless of the cost of the improvement.  Replacement windows do not require a permit. We do require a permit to put siding on your house. You do not need a permit to put a fence around your property, but you must ensure the fence lies within your property lines and that the fence complies with zoning regulations of your property.

Where do I get a plumbing permit?
All plumbing permits are obtained through the Clinton County Health Department located at 111 S. Nelson Avenue. Their phone number is (937) 382-7251.

What if we live outside the city limits of Wilmington?
Building permits and zoning issues outside of the city limits are under the jurisdiction of the Clinton County Building & Zoning Department. They are located at 111 S. Nelson Avenue, and their phone number is (937) 383-2054.

Do I have to go to Columbus to get a State Permit for a commercial building?
No. The City of Wilmington Building Department became a State of Ohio Certified Building Department in 1991, which enables us to issue commercial building permits and perform all inspections for those permits, except plumbing, which is handled through the Clinton County Health Department.

Does the City of Wilmington issue permits for construction of mobile/manufactured homes?
Mobile/manufactured homes must go through a third party for permitting and inspections. Please contact the Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission Website at or by phone at (614)734-8454 for more information. If you are planning on constructing a mobile/manufactured home within the City limits, you will need to contact our office for zoning approval.

What building codes do you enforce?
Residential building is enforced under the 2013 Residential Code of Ohio. Commercial building work is enforced under the 2017 Ohio Building Code.  Electrical work is under the 2017 National Electrical Code.

Where can I see a copy of the code?
Code books are available for viewing in our office, as well as the Clinton County Law Library and the Public Library. In addition, several of the local building supply businesses have the code books available at the contractor’s desk.

What is zoning?
Zoning refers to legislation that basically maintains the integrity of the neighborhood, whether residential or commercial. An extreme example of the benefits of zoning would be as follows: Zoning legislation would stop your neighbor from operating a landfill next to your home located in a nice quiet subdivision. By maintaining the integrity of the neighborhood, zoning protects your property value and enables you to enjoy your home, without excessive noise from traffic or industry right next door.

Do I need a zoning permit?
There is not a separate zoning permit. Building permits are reviewed for zoning as well as building codes. If your project doesn’t require a building permit (ie shed under 200 sq. ft. or a concrete patio), you still need to ensure that the zoning requirements are being met (ie setback, lot coverage requirements, etc).  If you are planning to build a new home or place a mobile/manufactured home, you will need to apply for a site plan review through our Building Department.  Always verify your zoning at the beginning of a project; an existing use may be non-conforming and not allowed to be extended.  The entire Zoning Code can be viewed via the Code of Ordinances page on this website.

Do I need a permit to put up a fence around my home?

No, you do not need a building permit.  Zoning regulations restrict fencing located in the R1, R2, R3, R3a, PO and MC zones to be located only in the side and rear yards of a property and to be less than seven feet in height.  There is no minimum setback from the property line for fencing.  If you need to have your property lines marked, you will need to contact a surveyor.

Do I need a permit for a swimming pool at my home?

Yes, any swimming pool (defined as deeper than 24”, above or below ground) requires a permit.  Swimming pools are restricted to being located in the side and rear yards only and must be enclosed with a fence at least 5’ in height to prevent access by children or animals.

I am starting a new business, what permits do I need from the Building Department?

New businesses require, at a minimum, a Certificate of Use and Occupancy.  To apply for this, the applicant must fill out a Commercial Permit Application, provide a floor plan of the space with dimensions, uses of rooms listed, the main points of egress, and pay the applicable fee.   After an inspection by the Building, Zoning, and Fire Departments, a Certificate of Use and Occupancy can be issued.  If there is a change of use for an existing building, the floor plans will be required to be stamped by an engineer or architect.  If the new business is already obtaining building permits for work to be performed, the Certificate of Occupancy will be included (no separate application or fee needed).  Separate permits will be required for signage.  If your business is located within the H1 zone, refer to the Design Review Board page for information regarding approvals needed for exterior changes. 

What is Site Plan Review?

Site plan review is required for all new homes, manufactured/mobile homes, and commercial projects that include any changes to the site.  During the site plan review, projects are reviewed to ensure that they meet zoning and development requirements such as stormwater drainage, number of parking spaces, landscaping, lighting, etc. 


Building and Zoning Links




Zoning Code (effective 01/20/2019):