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FAQs

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What do I need a permit for?

A list of work requiring permits is available in the office.

What do I need to bring in to get a permit for a new house?

  1. A completed construction permit application (can be filled out in office).
  2. The estimated cost of construction, including electrical.
  3. Completed construction permit application (can be filled out in office).

What does a bond do?

The funds from a bond are used to cover legal expenses and repairing building code violations. The building inspector notifies the contractor of the corrections that need to be made and then sets a deadline for them to be corrected. The bond is "called" when all methods to correct the problem are exhausted.

What are the setbacks on my property?

All lot dimensions with setbacks and coverage for each zoning district are found in Appendix A of the City of Columbus Zoning Ordinance.

What can my property be used for?

There are three (3) major zoning uses - residential, commercial, and industrial. Each district has specific standards for developments and uses permitted. Theses are found in the Columbus Development Code.

Is my property in a floodplain?

(FIRM), or call and speak with Kenneth Wiegel. Mr. Wiegel will determine if your property is located in a flood hazard area. The Inspection Department is located at 1621 Main Street, and can be reached by calling 662-245-5055.

How do I obtain flood insurance?

Anyone in the City of Columbus may purchase flood insurance, regardless of where the property is located. Local insurance agents will know how to sign people up for flood insurance. The basic requirement will be an elevation certificate furnished by a registered surveyor or engineer which give basic elevation information about the structure to be insured.

If my property does not fit the standards that I want to use it for, what can I do?

You may check with the Inspection Department when you apply for your building permit and there may be situations where that the following could apply:

  1. A Zoning Change
  2. A Major Conditional Use
  3. A Minor Conditional Use
  4. A Variance

Each has specific requirements and you should check with the staff in each case. These procedures are found in Appendix A of the City of Columbus Zoning Ordinance.

Do I need a permit to put in a swimming pool?

All in ground pools require a building permit. Above ground pools connected to any electrical device, such as a pump, must have a building permit.

Why do I have to have a city contractor's license since I have a state license?

The General Contractor's license in Columbus carries with it a bond that helps provide funds to aid with enforcement of the building codes. The state license does not provide for individual restitution.

Does the City of Columbus recognize licenses from other states?

City of Columbus law does not allow the transfer of a license to Columbus from outside the State of Mississippi.

What does the City do about dilapidated property?

Complaints about dilapidated buildings are checked by a building inspector to see if there appears to be any code violations. If so, the owner is notified and a hearing scheduled. At the hearing, the hearing officer decides whether to issue an order for the building to be closed, repaired, or demolished. A court hearing may also be needed.

When does the Planning Commission meet, and what is the deadline to submit applications for their agenda?

The Planning Commission usually meets at 5:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month. Applications for their review must be submitted to the planning commission by 5:00 p.m 25 to 30 days prior to the meeting.

What does Columbus do to encourage housing construction?

There are tax abatement programs for housing improvements, and a similar program available for new developments. The City of Columbus has adopted several development code amendments that will also benefit residential builders.