Welcome to the Building Department’s page. You will find information about building permits, building codes, ordinances, the Master Plan, code enforcement, electrical licensing, decks, and much more.
What Do We Do?
The Building Department is responsible for issuing all building permits and oversees the inspection of existing buildings and new construction and the enforcement of building and zoning codes to ensure quality development. The Department also coordinates applications to the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals.
A building permit is required when any type of structural work is done on your home. This includes decks, pools, additions, garages, sheds over 200 sq. ft., changing the size of the existing windows, adding or changing interior walls or finishing attic or basement space. A building permit is NOT required for adding or changing the exterior siding or replacing roof shingles, up to two layers. Sheds under 200 sq. ft. must still comply with Zoning Ordinance 78.
To obtain a building permit, the following information just be submitted to the Building Department:
1. A completed Building Permit Application (see sample page 1 here), which contains information you should compile before you come in to apply.
2. Two sets of construction plans.
The Building Department has created handouts to make it easier for homeowners to provide the detailed information necessary to obtain a building permit. Stop by or call the Building Department at (248) 391-0304, ext. 131, to check on the availability of a handout for your project.
An electrical permit is required when any electrical work is done other than replacing light fixtures and receptacles. Plumbing permits are required when adding plumbing or changing the placement of the fixtures. Examples of when a mechanical permit would be required are replacing a furnace, adding air conditioning and installing a gas or wood burning stove. When a building permit is required, these permits may be in addition to the building permit if electrical, plumbing, or mechanical work is performed.
The time required to review the plans varies from 1-4 weeks, depending upon the number of applications received prior to your submission. Be sure you allow sufficient time for review. Once a permit is issued, the work must be completed within one year.
When you are ready to purchase electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits, bring in an itemized list of the work being done and the permit will be issued at that time. Click here for a list of forms available online.
Notice to all Township Residents & Contractors Doing Work in the Township Requiring Permits
- The 2009 Michigan Building/Residential, Rehabilitation & Energy Code Rules are in effect as of 3-9-11.
- The 2008 Michigan Electrical Code (MEC) is in effect as of 12-9-09.
- The 2009 Michigan Mechanical Code (MMC) is in effect as of 10-21-10.
- The 2009 Michigan Plumbing Code (MPC) is in effect as of 8-20-10.
Noxious Weed Ordinance
Ordinance 79, Noxious Weeds, is in force from June 1 to August 13 of each year.
Unlicensed, in operable vehicles must be stored inside a building on your property.
Selling Vehicles, Boats & Other Items: If you have a vehicle, boat, jet-ski or some other merchandise to sell, Orion Township has some rule that may restrict where you sell these items. Zoning Ordinance 78, Section 27.04, A, 2, g, is a regulation which states: “The storage of merchandise, sale of vehicles, storage of junked vehicles, or repair of vehicles is prohibited in off-street parking areas. Emergency service required to start vehicles shall be permitted.” This means parking lots may not be used to display vehicles, boats or other items for sale. If you have any questions about this matter, please call (248) 391-0304, ext. 127.
Recreational Vehicle Storage: Property owners may store their own trailers, motor homes, boats and similar vehicles on their own property for an indefinite period of time, provided that the vehicles are in operable condition, properly licensed, and are stored within the rear and side yard setbacks. For more information, call (248) 391-0304, ext. 131.
Motor Vehicle Parking & Storage: No unlicensed or non-operable motor vehicle (including motor homes, trailers, travel trailers, boats, or similar vehicles) shall be kept, parked or stored in any district zoned residential use, unless the vehicle is in operating condition and properly licensed, or is kept inside a building.
Sign Regulation: Ordinance 138, Sign Regulation, also includes provisions for the regulation of the placement of temporary signs.
Temporary Signs: Thinking about having a garage sale or selling your home and you’d like to post a sign? A Temporary Sign Permit is not required for an on-site temporary sign to advertise a private garage sale, estate sale, yard sale, house for sale or open house at a residential dwelling. A maximum of four (4) off-site temporary signs are allowed without a permit to advertise a private garage sale, estate sale, yard sale, house for sale or open house; provided that such signs are not posted for more then five (5) days. Some of the rules pertaining to Temporary Signs are as follows:
- Signs must be located on private property, not on road right-of-way.
- Permission from the property owner in writing must be obtained prior to erecting any temporary sign and must be presented at time of application.
- Signs must be freestanding. Do not attach to trees, street signs or utility poles.
- Maximum height of 4 feet in residential areas; 6 feet in commercial areas, from the natural grade at the base of the sign.
- Maximum size of 6 sq. ft. in a residential area; in a commercial area – 16 sq. ft.
Additional information: Garage Sale Signage FAQs | Political Signage FAQs
The number one priority is to maintain the grass and weeds under 12 inches in height (see Noxious Weed Ordinance). Also, many homeowners like to fill low spots in their yards or build decorative berms. If you plan on building a berm or bringing in fill, a fill dirt request and a diagram of the lot, showing where and how much dirt will be brought to the site must be submitted to the Building Department prior to performing the work. An inspector will visit the property and review the area for storm water management. The reason for this procedure is to ensure that water problems are not created for neighbors by the erection of a berm or the adding of additional dirt in the yard.
Electrical Licensing for Orion Township Residents
As of May 31, 2001, the Orion Township Building Department will no longer issue licenses for the Township’s residents. Due to changes in State law, the R.E.C.I. will no longer supply the Township with the licenses or conduct examinations for licensing. All licenses must be obtained through the State of Michigan, Electrical Division, Department of Consumer and Industry Services. The phone number is (517) 241-9320.
As Detroit Public water becomes available in more areas, many homeowners in the Township are connecting to the public water. If you are connecting to water and will not be continuing to use your well for outdoor watering purposes, the Oakland County Health Department requires that you get a Well Abandonment Permit. Proper well abandonment is important in order to prevent contamination of the fresh water supply. Call (248) 858-1312 for more information.
Accumulation of Rubbish or Garbage
All exterior property and premises, and interior of every structure, shall be free from any accumulation of rubbish or garbage.
Disposal of Rubbish: Every occupant of a structure shall dispose of all rubbish is a clean and sanitary manner by placing such rubbish in approved containers. For more information, call (248) 391-0304, ext. 131. For a list of licensed haulers, visit the Clerk’s Office page.
Machinery and Building Materials Storage
Unusable, rusty, or inoperable machinery, equipment, or parts of machines not suited for use upon the premises, or old and/or used building materials, shall not be kept or stored outside of a building.
A building permit is required for all decks. You can get a permit application and handout detailing the requirement at the Building Department.
The mission of the Building Department is to facilitate a pleasant, well-planned community by providing planning/zoning and enforcing ordinances and building code requirements for the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Orion Township.