Licenses & Permits
In alliance with City guidance regarding COVID-19, the Life Safety department will not be conducting any routine or non-essential rental housing inspections. All inspections will be rescheduled when the City resumes normal operations. Rental licenses that have paid the renewal fees will not be revoked based on lack of inspection.
New rental licenses will be accepted, but depending on the conditions, if an onsite inspection is not able to be safely conducted, the rental license will not be issued until an onsite inspection can be conducted safely, for all parties.
Complaints can still be submitted via the numerous forms on our website or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
In accordance with the DNR in regards to COVID-19, no burning permits will be issued at this time.
- All blasting done within the City of Duluth shall require a permit issued by the Fire Marshal or his/her designee.
- A detailed plan shall be submitted at time of permit application indicating blast site, reason for blasting, storage of blasting materials, transportation routes and designated times for blasting.
- Blast seismic reports may be required by the Fire Department at any time.
- Blasters must carry $2,000,000 insurance. Proof of insurance shall be provided at time of permit application that indicates validity through duration of permit.
- Blasting permits shall be kept on site, and shall be presented at the request of the Fire Department.
- Forty-eight (48) hours (week day only) notice must be given to allow Public Works to survey the site prior to blasting. It shall be the responsibility of the blaster to contact Public Works as per instructions on the permit.
- Failure to comply with permit regulations/restrictions shall result in immediate cancellation on the permit and possible restrictions on future blasting within the City of Duluth.
- Any blasting done without an approved permit shall result in an increased permit fee as per current fee schedule.
- Open burning permits are designed for the burning of brush that has fallen from trees in the event of a storm or high winds. Brush is defined as three (3) inches in diameter or less. No permits shall be granted for land clearing, leaves, construction lumber, rubbish, trees, etc...
- The fire shall be 300 feet from any significant structure, including structures on the same property.
- The burn site/materials shall be inspected prior to burning. The fee is non-refundable after this point.
- Permits are generally good for a maximum two-week period, however extensions may be granted by the Fire Marshal at no additional cost.
- The Duluth Fire Department may cancel or suspend burning permits due to DNR burning restrictions or similar hazardous conditions beyond the control of the permit applicant. If a permit is cancelled or suspended based on this provision, the permit can be extended or the permit fee can be refunded.
- Permits may be revoked at any time if these rules are violated, a neighbor has a justifiable complaint or other hazardous conditions arise.
- Permit applicant is responsible for calling the 911 communication center at 218-625-3851 prior to commencing burning.
- Permit applicants shall be aware of power lines, telephone lines and smoke interfering with adjacent roadways.
- Bon-fires are intended for school events or other similar large social events. These events shall be sponsored by a public, parochial, private school or other approved organizations.
- Bon-fires shall consist of clean lumber only (i.e. pallets).
- Bon-fires shall be 300 feet from significant structures.
- A school employee or event representative shall purchase the permit at least 1 week prior to the event.
- A Duluth firefighter is required to be present and start the fire.
- A representative of the Fire Prevention Division shall inspect the burn site prior to the event.
- A school staff or event representative shall be designated as the responsible party for the fire.
- The Duluth firefighter at the event shall be in charge of the fire. The firefighter shall extinguish the fire at any time personal safety is compromised.
- A review of an applicant's past bon-fire history may disallow the permit. When the Fire Marshal feels that adequate measures have been taken to correct the past problem(s), a permit may be allowed.
- All pyrotechnic displays shall be done with an approved permit.
- A State of Minnesota pyrotechnics license is required for all pyrotechnic displays.
- The state pyrotechnics license number shall be verified and placed on permit.
- Plans shall be submitted prior to show, including site plan and shell inventory.
- All outdoor/indoor displays shall have a representative of the Fire Prevention Division present prior to the actual display.
- Exception: Small flash pots for theatrical performances may not require a permit or witness, with prior approval of Fire Marshal.
- Use of Fire: The use of fire requires a permit. The permit requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Fire Marshal provided there is no additional public or property risk involved with the use of fire.
- Pyrotechnic shows shall comply with the current Minnesota State Fire Code and all NFPA standards governing the storage, handling and use of pyrotechnics.
- Underground/Above Ground fuel storage tanks shall be permitted prior to installation or removal.
- Each tank installed or removed requires a separate permit.
- A site plan shall be provided by permit applicant.
- Any removal of fuel storage tanks requires testing for soil contamination. Documentation shall be provided to code official.
- Underground fuel storage tanks can be abandoned in place with prior approval of the Fire Marshal.
- All fuel storage tank removals and installation shall comply with the current Minnesota State Fire Code and applicable NFPA standards.
- Any fuel leaks that result from the removal or installation of an underground/ above ground fuel storage tank shall be reported to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Duluth Fire Department.
- Any contamination found in the soil shall be reported to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Duluth Fire Marshal.
- The Duluth Fire Prevention Division shall be notified prior to any testing prior to installation.
- State law governs the types of fireworks that can be sold non-commercially. For detailed information, please refer to the State Fire Marshal's web site.
- A permit is required to sell fireworks within the City of Duluth.
- Location of fireworks sales must be approved by the Fire Chief.
- Fireworks will only be allowed to be sold where allowed by the zoning laws.
- Unlimited access for inspection of products being sold or those products in storage is required.
- If the code official is uncertain whether a particular product meets the parameters of the state law, a demo of the product may be required.
- For any reason the Fire Chief deems the sales as being hazardous due to location, building type, proximity to other combustibles or general hazards the permit can be revoked.
- This permit is an annual permit. It shall be valid from May 1st through April 30th. The fee shall not be pro-rated.
- Fire watch is required when there is a recognized hazard in a building or event that requires on-site fire personnel to monitor the event or building.
- Any situation deemed hazardous by the fire watch to public safety or property shall be grounds for stopping, postponing or canceling the event.
- Fire watch is at the discretion of the Fire Marshal. The Fire Marshal shall determine if the event can proceed with a fire watch.
- Fire watch is not intended to allow events or uses in buildings outside the designed use of the building.
1. General Information
Operational Permit Required
No person, whether an owner, manager, agent or sublessor, shall operate or permit the operation of an occupancy requiring permit unless such occupancy has been granted a permit from the code official. No owner or occupant of any such occupancy shall allow public entry unless proper permit(s) are obtained. If, during the permitted period, the occupancy use as defined by the MSFC changes, no owner/occupant shall permit public use until the code official has inspected the premises and approved the new use.
All permits shall be issued by the code official. Applications for permits shall be made by the owner or occupant to the code official on forms provided by the code official, and such applications shall be accompanied by the appropriate permit fee. Applications for renewals of permits, as well as permits for new occupancies shall be made at least 60 days prior to either the time the current permit will expire, or in the case of a new occupancy, prior to being open to the public. Upon receipt of a completed application and fees, the code official shall issue a temporary permit allowing the temporary use of the occupancy until such occupancy has been inspected by the code official. New buildings/occupancies which comply with the MSFC shall be issued a permit upon issuance of a certificate of occupancy, completed permit application and appropriate fees. If the inspection by the code official discloses that there are violations in the building, the temporary license may be extended for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 120 days, so that the violations can be corrected and the building re-inspected by the code official. The code official shall not extend a temporary permit more than twice. No permit shall be issued unless the premises or portion of the premises to be permitted has been found by the code official to be in compliance with the MSFC and this policy. If only a portion of the building is permitted, then no non-permitted portions of the building shall be used. Use of any non-permitted portion of a building shall result in revocation of the permit and issuance of a notice to cease use of the building.
Term of Permit
Permits issued pursuant to this policy shall be for a term of three years.
Permits - Terms and Conditions
- Each permit shall be displayed in a conspicuous place accessible to the public and shall state the name and address of the owner of the building and the person or managing agent occupying the building. No permit shall be transferred to another use or building.
- If there is a change in either ownership or management of a building or use, the person or agency of such property prior to such change in ownership or management shall give written notice of the name and address of the new owner and/or manager to the code official.
- A new permit shall be issued to the building or occupancy for the remainder of the permit period with the name of the new owner/manager upon payment of the required fee and submission of all required application forms.
Inspections of permitted occupancies – suspensions
- All occupancies permitted pursuant to this policy shall be made available for inspection by the code official at any reasonable time. If the code official is denied access to any permitted occupancy, such official may suspend the permit of the occupancy upon written notice to the permittee, subject to the right of appeal as provided in this policy, and any such suspension shall remain in effect until inspection has been allowed.
- If upon inspection of permitted occupancies for which the permit has been suspended, the code official finds that the occupancy does not comply with provisions of this policy or the MSFC, a written notice shall be served by the code official upon the permittee stating the nature of any violations and a reasonable time, not to exceed 90 days, in which the violations must be corrected or the occupancy vacated. At the end of said time, the code official shall inspect the occupancy. If the occupancy is not vacated, or the violations are not corrected, the code official may suspend the permit of the occupancy subject to the permittee's right of appeal as provided in this policy. If the code official inspects the occupancy and determines that the violations have been corrected, the permit for the occupancy shall be reinstated upon payment of a reinstatement fee.
- In any case where the code official suspends a license pursuant to this section, written notice of such suspension shall be served on the permittee and posted in a conspicuous place in the occupancy, and both such notices shall order the vacation of the occupancy within a reasonable time. After receipt of such notice, and if no appeal is taken within the period of appeals, it shall be unlawful for the permittee to occupy the occupancy until the permit for the occupancy is reinstated.
Notices and Appeals
- No permit shall be issued unless the applicant designates in writing, to the code official an address located in the City of Duluth where notices issued by the code official may be delivered. All notices issued by the code official regarding a particular license shall be sent by first class mail or personally delivered to the address specified by the permittee, and for the purposes of this policy delivery by such means shall constitute service of such notice on the permittee.
- Any person who receives an order from the code official denying, suspending or revoking a permit may appeal such denial, suspension or revocation to the building appeal board under the procedures set forth in Section 10-5 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended. Request for such appeal shall be in writing to the building official within 15 days after the notice was served. If an appeal is filed, no denial, suspension or revocation shall take effect until after the appeal is heard and determined. The building official shall then set a time and place for such appeal to be heard and notify the appellant of such time and place. No appeal shall be set for hearing less than 10 days or later than 40 days from the date the appeal is filed. At the hearing, appellant may be represented by counsel, may produce witnesses, and may testify in their own behalf. The building appeal board may administer oaths; take testimony and subpoena witnesses and papers at such hearing. After hearing all the evidence and arguments, and after due deliberation, the building appeal board shall affirm, reverse or modify the action of the code official. Notice of the building appeal board's decision shall be served on the appellant within 48 hours after such decision is rendered. Any action taken by the board shall be final.
Service of notices and orders
All orders shall be complied with; provided, that in the alternative, the use of the premises may be discontinued as an occupancy.
All orders shall be complied with; provided, that in the alternative, the use of the premises may be discontinued as an occupancy.
- Whenever the code official determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provisions of this policy or the MSFC, notice of such alleged violations shall be given to the person responsible thereof, as hereinafter provided.
- Such notice shall:
Be served upon the owner or the owner's agent and the occupant as the case may require; provided, that such notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner or agent and upon such occupant if a copy thereof is served personally, or a copy thereof is sent by United States mail, postage prepaid, to the last known address, or if a copy thereof is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the occupancy affected by the notice, or if a copy is served by any other method authorized or required under Minnesota law.
- Be put in writing.
- Include a statement of the points of noncompliance with this policy or the MSFC.
- Allow a reasonable time for the performance of any act it requires.
- Contain an outline of remedial action, which, if taken, will affect compliance with this policy and/or the MSFC.
- Inform the property owner/occupant of the right to appeal.
One and Two Family Dwellings
Conversion Fees: Conversion fees are a one-time fee provided the rental license is maintained. Two family dwelling licenses do not require a conversion fee.
Parking: Owners are required to provide a minimum of 2 parking spaces for up to a 3 bedroom home. If you have more than 3 bedrooms, you will need one additional parking space for each additional bedroom. Each parking space needs to be a minimum of 9' wide x 17' long.
Parking Spaces Required for Multi-tenant Licenses:
1 Bedroom – 2 spaces 4 Bedroom – 3 spaces
2 Bedroom – 2 spaces 5 Bedroom – 4 spaces
3 Bedroom – 2 spaces 6 Bedroom – 5 spaces
A code official will require the construction of additional parking if they determine there is space on the rental property to provide or construct the required off-street parking space(s) in conformance with the Code. If it is determined that adequate parking cannot provided, there is a $100.00 non-conforming parking spot fee for each spot not provided.
Applying: Once the Life Safety office receives a completed rental license application, along with the required fees, an initial inspection will be scheduled within 7-10 business days. The purpose of this inspection is to identify what, if any, code corrections need to be made. If the inspector identifies code violations during the initial inspection, a reinspection will be done to verify all corrections have been properly made. Upon verification that the property meets minimum housing code requirements, the rental license will be issued.
*City ordinance requires that before renting out a home, a rental license must be obtained and have an issued status.