Building and Zoning Department

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

Building and Zoning Office Hours

Building and Zoning Contact
Shirley Orwick, Building and Zoning Official
(937) 382-5134

***The 2024 Ohio Building Code is now in effect. Applications for commercial permits submitted after 3/1/2024 and residential permits submitted after 4/15/2024 must comply with the updated code.***

The information on this page only pertains to projects within the Wilmington city limits. For projects outside the city limits, please visit the Clinton County Building and Zoning website.

You can now apply for select
Building and Zoning permits online!

 Building and Zoning Links

Downloadable Permit Applications:

Planning and Zoning Code and Other Helpful Links

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.

Do I need a permit for a swimming pool?

Yes.  Check the zoning requirements for your district to ensure you have an area large enough to provide the required setbacks from the property lines, that you are not exceeding the number of accessory structures allowed, and that you meet safety requirements listed as well.

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 manufactured homes?
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 614-466-4100 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.  Manufactured homes must be located within areas zoned ‘Manufactured Home Park District’.

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 building 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?
Yes.  Zoning and building permits are two different approvals.  Zoning permits are required for new construction, structural alterations that change the exterior limits of the structure footprint, changes to the number of units in a building, and new business occupancies and uses.  The entire Zoning Code can be viewed via a link at the bottom of this page.  Sign permit applications are reviewed for both zoning and building requirements concurrently.

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

Yes.  Zoning regulations allow fencing up to 7′ tall to be located in any side or rear yards.  Fencing located in the front yard is restricted to a height of 4′ tall and must be of an ornamental design.  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.

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 Downtown Historic zone, additional approvals are required for any changes made to the exterior of a building (outside of ordinary maintenance and repair).

What is Site Plan Review?

Site plan review is required for all commercial projects that include any changes to the site or changes of use and other projects as listed in Article II of the zoning code.  During the site plan review, projects are reviewed to ensure that they meet zoning and development requirements such as stormwater drainage, the number of parking spaces, landscaping, lighting, etc.

Where can I find floodplain information?

The FEMA website allows you to view FIRM (flood insurance rate maps) online.  Always verify if your property is located within a designated flood zone when planning new construction or substantial improvements to an existing structure.  Additional permits and engineering will be required.