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Garden City's Development Review & Permitting Process

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The Department of Planning and Economic Development considers the Development Review Process a major component in economic development and future growth in the City of Garden City. For that reason, our philosophy is to continuously provide open communication and responsiveness during the review process of all permit applications. Although the mechanisms and procedures to ensure compliance with all applicable codes, permits, and regulations can be cumbersome and complicated, they do not have to be open-ended and unclear for developers, consultants, contractors, and property owners.

building permit

Why get a permit?

Listed below are a few of the important reasons to obtain the required permit(s) and inspections for your construction project.

  • Helps Protect Property Value - Your home or business is an investment. If your construction project does not comply with the codes adopted by your community, the value of your investment could be reduced.
  • Saves Money - Property insurers may not cover work or damages caused by construction completed without permits and inspections.
  • Makes Selling Property Easier - When property is sold through a multiple listing association, the owner is required to disclose any improvements or repairs made and whether or not permits and inspections were obtained. Many financial institutions will not finance a purchase without proof of a final inspection. If you decide to sell a home or building that has had modifications without a permit, you may be required to tear down the addition, leave it unoccupied, or perform costly repairs.
  • Improves Safety - Your permit allows the code official to reduce potential hazards of unsafe construction in order to provide for public health, safety and welfare. By following code guidelines, your completed project will meet minimum standards of safety and will be less likely to cause injury to you, your family, your friends, or future owners. Mandatory inspections compliment the contractor’s experience and act as a system of checks and balances, which result in a safer project.
  • It’s the Law - Work requiring permits are made such by local, State, and Federal codes. Work without a permit may be subject to removal or other costly remedies and penalties.
    A permit is not required for every type of project or construction activity. Please contact the Department of Planning and Economic Development at 912-963-2756 to determine whether or not permits and inspections are required for your project.

The Development Review Process

Below you will find a general overview and process flowcharts of the City of Garden City Development Review Process for building related and land development projects. These outlines vary by project type, but contain the general procedures for development and permitting followed by the City. Please do not hesitate to call the Department of Planning and Economic Development at (912)963-2756 for further explanation or questions related to the Development Review Process. Additionally, please refer to the Zoning & Building Forms section of this webpage for specific permit applications.

Building Related Construction

  1. Submit two (2) sets of the signed and sealed building construction plans, along with the Building Permit Application and other applicable documentation, to the Planning Department.
  2. The City’s Building Inspector and Fire Inspector will review the plans for compliance with all applicable codes.
  3. If applicable to the type of construction, Water Operations, as well as other necessary City Departments will review the plans and must grant approval before the issuance of a permit is approved.
  4. Planning Department issues City response to applicant with offer to meet with applicant and staff to review comments.
  5. Applicant’s response to comments and re-submittal is received by the Planning Department and distributed as necessary. City response and applicant resubmittal process continues until all approvals are granted by necessary departments.
  6. Once all comments have been addressed and approvals have been issued by necessary departments, Planning Department notifies applicant of approval for construction and any remaining permit fees (if applicable).
  7. In order to obtain a Building Permit, all contractors must be State-licensed and show a current business license in the State of Georgia. If a contractor does not have a current business license in the State of Georgia, one must be applied for in the City of Garden City.
  8. Planning Department issues permits to applicant along with quantity of inspections required. Planning Department will schedule inspections once notified by applicant or contractor that construction has reached a stage when ready for inspection.

Link:  Building Related Construction Permitting Flow Chart

Land Development & Site Construction

  1. An application package is received by the Planning Department, who will confirm that all required forms and fees are included.
    Note: If Planning Commission or Board of Appeals approval is required, Planning Department adds project to agenda of next Planning Commission meeting and notifies applicant of time and date. Following Planning Commission/Board of Appeals approval, the Planning Department issues notice to applicant.
  2. A complete package may include, but is not limited to the following: Land Disturbance Permit Application (with fee), Four (4) sets of signed and sealed Site Construction Plans, Two (2) copies of a Hydrology Study, Tree Protection & Replacement Plans, Copy of NRCS Submittal and Approval, NPDES Submittal, Water/Wastewater Availability Request Form, Well Permit Application, Planning Commission Application (with fee, see note above)
  3. Planning Department distributes plans and applications as follows:
    • Planning Department for review of zoning and landscape ordinance requirements
    • Water Operations Department for review of water and sewer plans, specifications, forms and calculations
    • City Engineer for review of plans pertaining to water, sewer, drainage, parking, erosion control, street and traffic control, specifications, forms and calculations
    • Utility Billing Department to set up account (for single site or group development) or for information (for residential or commercial subdivision)
    • Fire Department for review of fire protection system
  4. Review comments or approval sent to Planning Department within approximately 20 working days from receipt of plans by other Departments.
  5. Planning Department compiles comments/approvals, confirms receipt of other needed (outside) comments/approvals (Chatham County Health Department, NRCS, GDOT, etc.)
  6. Planning Department issues City response to applicant with offer to meet with applicant and staff to review comments.
  7. Applicant’s response to comments and re-submittal is received by the Planning Department and distributed as necessary. City response and applicant resubmittal process continues until all approvals are granted by necessary departments.
  8. Once all comments have been addressed and approvals have been issued by necessary departments, Planning Department notifies applicant of approval for construction and any remaining permit fees (if applicable).
  9. Planning Department issues permits to applicant along with quantity of inspections required. Planning Department will schedule inspections once notified by applicant or contractor that construction has reached a stage when ready for inspection.

Link:  Land Development & Site Construction Permitting Flow Chart

Link: Garden City's Code or Ordinances