Construction Services & Inspections

Permit Review Process: What to Expect

Key People

Permit Coordinator

Your Permit Coordinator is here to help you navigate the permitting process. They will help to make sure that you have provided all of the information and plans needed to make your application complete, route the project to the appropriate reviewers and monitor your project through the review process. Call them with any questions you have about your project.

Plans Examiner

Your Plans Examiner will review your building plans to determine compliance with the MN State Building Code. During the review process, your Plans Examiner may contact you with comments that require addressing in your plans. Once the review is complete and the plans are approved, the Plans Examiner will notify the Permit Coordinator that the review is complete.

CS&I Staff can be contacted through or 218-730-5250

Other Contact Info:

Planning  – or 218-730-5580

Engineering  – or 218-730-5200

Life Safety –  218-730-4380

WLSSD Capacity Availability Fee – or 218-722-3336


Plan Review

If your project requires plan review, it will be placed on the plan review schedule.  We will send an email, usually within 3-5 working days after your plan was submitted, with an estimated timeline for starting your review. The time it will take to complete your review will depend on the plans submitted, the complexity of your project, and other projects being reviewed.

  • Plan review comments will be addressed to the plan preparer with copies sent to the permit applicant and owner.
  • Email is the preferred method of delivery for plan review comments, so be sure we have correct email information, and watch your inbox.
  • If you receive plan review comments, correct the plan and/or provide the additional information required, to the person who requested the information.

Your project may be routed for the following reviews:

  • Building Plan Review (MN State Building Code)
  • Planning Plan Review (City of Duluth UDC/Zoning Code)
  • Engineering (Erosion, Utilities, etc.)
  • Fire Marshal (Fire Suppression, Life Safety)

Find more information on Plan Reviews here.

Don’t Start Work Before Your Permit is Issued

It’s violation of the law and the wrong way to get your project started. The code requires that, if work starts before a permit is issued, a fee equal to the permit fee is due, so your permit fee doubles. Other enforcement actions could also be triggered. Exceptions are made for work that does not require a permit. The list of work that can be completed without a permit can be found on the CS&I website.

Erosion Control/Land Disturbance

If an Erosion Control/Land Disturbance Permit is required for your project, the Engineering Division will not sign off on the project until the Erosion Control/Land Disturbance Permit has been approved. Erosion Control Permit Fees are paid to Construction Services & Inspections and can be paid at the time the building permit is issued.

Duluth’s Fats Oils and Grease Ordinance

Any facility which prepares or serves food for commercial sale or distribution to any members of the public is a FOOD SERVICE FACILITY. Written approval for compliance with the FOG ordinance is required before we can issue a Plumbing Permit. The grease interceptor location should be considered by the architect in the overall building design.

WLSSD’s Capacity Availability Fee (CAF)

CAF is payable at the time the first building permit for the project is issued. The number of CAF units, if any, is determined by WLSSD. CSI must have the CAF unit determination from WLSSD prior to issuing the building permit.

Call Before You Dig, Gopher State One Call 811

Contact Gopher State One Call (GSOC) before starting any excavation project. Whether the project is large or small, if you are using machine powered equipment or just a shovel and rake to plant a garden, get your work area marked. Contacting GSOC in advance helps you and your loved ones dig safely while avoiding costly damages to underground facilities.