Commercial FAQ's

DO I NEED PLANNING AND ZONING APPROVAL TO OCCUPY AN EXISTING BUILDING OR SPACE?

At times, a land developer will invest resources into surveying, building design, and site design, only to discover during the building permit application process that the proposed land use is not permitted in that location. Others have designed projects that must be redesigned after a required design review process or after discovering adopted development agreement conditions.

To avoid these situations, the City of Nampa’s Planning & Zoning Department has created a CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE form. This simple form will now be required to be approved by Planning & Zoning staff and submitted as a part of the building permit submittal package. The intent is to provide initial confirmation that a proposed project is compliant with Zoning entitlements, development agreement, and design review conditions before resources are spent on design. 

If you have any questions regarding the allowed use of a property; please reach out to the Nampa Planning and Zoning Department at 208-468-5435.

CAN I OCCUPY AN EXISTING BUILDING OR TENANT LEASE SPACE?

Existing occupied structures and individual tenant lease spaces may continue to be occupied without change, except as otherwise specifically provided in the adopted International Building Code, The International Existing Building Code, The International Property Maintenance Code or the International Fire Code. Please reach out to the City of Nampa Building Department at 208-468-5435 with any permit questions.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMIT?

A building permit is an official approval issued by the local governmental agency that allows the owner or contractor to proceed with a construction or remodeling project for a commercial property. It is intended to ensure that the project plans to comply with local standards for land use, zoning, and construction. These standards are intended to ensure the safety of current and future owners and occupants and to provide enforcement of zoning and land use policies.

HOW MUCH WILL A PERMIT COST?

The cost of a permit depends on the nature of the work, square footage, and the project's value, as outlined in the fee schedule adopted by City Council.

WHY ARE YOU REQUIRED TO PERMIT YOUR WORK WITH THE CITY OF NAMPA?

The permit system's purpose is to ensure compliance with proper installation and safety standards necessary to comply with State adopted building codes.

WHAT WORK REQUIRES A BUILDING PERMIT?

A commercial building permit is required for the following scope of work:

  • New commercial building structures.
  • Commercial building additions.
  • Tenant improvements, including the finishing or remodeling of an existing building or tenant space.
  • Commercial re-roofing projects.
  • The addition or replacement of new rooftop mechanical units.
  • Change of Occupancy for any existing Commercial Building or Tenant Space.
  • Fences
  • Retaining walls over 4’-0” in height.
  • Installation of new or changes to cellular antennas or flag poles.

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF WORKING WITHOUT A PERMIT?

  • Increased cost for obtaining a permit, increased permit fees, additional service fees, and possible criminal citations and fines.
  • Potential hazards including fire danger and drinking water contamination.
  • Removal of work may be required at the cost to the Builder/Owner.
  • Discovery of non-permitted work may delay your property’s sale, require permits, and may require the owner to bring the building into code compliance.
  • Property insurance may not cover issues that occur as a result of the non-permitted construction

WHAT IS A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY OR CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION?

A Certificate of Occupancy is issued at:
The completion permit conditions for new building construction, an addition or tenant improvement permits where there is an occupancy classification change.

Changes in building ownership or tenant where there is no change of occupancy use classification or specific use of the space. A Certificate of Occupancy Application may be substituted for a building permit where there is a change of tenant or owner with no change in occupancy and specific use of the building area(s) and no proposed remodeling of the building or tenant space. An example would be a change of tenant where the use is like for like, as in an office changing from a lawyer’s office to an accounting office.

Certificate of Occupancy only applications may not be used instead of a building permit where there is a change in occupancy use classification or changes within an existing occupancy use classification where more stringent life safety elements and systems are required for the new use. Changes to or within the following uses categories require tenant improvement permits: Hospitals, medical or dental offices, custodial care and halfway houses, daycares, schools, hair salons, barbershops, restaurants, assembly uses, storage or factory uses require a tenant Improvement permit due to the differing code requirements for the intended new use of the building or space

A Certificate of Completion will be issued for tenant improvements, remodels, where there is no change of tenant or building owner.

WHEN SHOULD A CONTRACTOR PURCHASE A PERMIT?

A registered building contractor or building owner and licensed Mechanical, Electrical, or Plumbing contractors are required to purchase a permit for all required work on commercial buildings and outbuildings. Homeowner permits are not valid for work on commercial buildings.
Contractors may purchase a permit online You will need to register and establish a (free) account to access the online permitting application. To prevent unnecessary delays in the review process, it is important to submit all required plans and documentation for a commercial building permit.
Building owners may obtain a building permit for minor remodel work but may not perform Mechanical, Electrical, or Plumbing work.

WHEN IS A MECHANICAL, PLUMBING OR ELECTRICAL PERMIT REQUIRED?

A permit is required when any electrical, plumbing or HVAC work is being performed.

WHO SHOULD APPLY FOR A MECHANICAL, PLUMBING OR ELECTRICAL PERMIT?

A licensed contractor performing electrical, plumbing or HVAC work on a commercial building.

HOW MUCH WILL A PERMIT COST?

Fees are based on the value of the work as outlined in the fee schedule adopted by City Council. Follow this link for permit fees and cost schedules
DO I NEED TO HIRE A LICENSED ARCHITECT AND/OR ENGINEER(S)?
State Statue regulates the practice of Architecture and Engineering and the exceptions.
Follow this link ordinances, policies and interpretations to view our policy on when Architectural and Engineering stamped submittals are required.

WHAT TYPE OF WORK IS EXEMPT FROM A PERMIT?

Exemptions from permit requirements of adopted building code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction. Permits shall not be required for the following:

1.   One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, with no plumbing, mechanical        or electrical scope of work, provided the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet (18.58 m2) with
2.   Oil derricks.
3.   Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet (1219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a                    surcharge or impounding class I, II or IIIA liquids.
4.  Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons (18 925 l) and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2:1.
5.   Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.
6.  Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.|7.   Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.(Ord. 3942, 12-20-2010)
8.   Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a group R-3 occupancy that are less than 48 inches (1219 mm) deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons (18 925 l) and are installed entirely above ground.
(Ord. 4213, 12-7-2015, eff. 1-1-2016)
9.   Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.
10.   Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one- and two-family dwellings.
11.   Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support of group R-3 and U occupancies.
12.   Nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches (1753 mm) in height.
13..   Any structure that has been deemed to be public art by the Nampa arts commission which by its configuration, design or construction is incapable of being used or occupied by any person or persons. This exemption shall be subject to the Nampa arts commission providing the Nampa building department a copy of the engineered drawings for review and approval and an agreement to obtain all structural inspections and approvals as required by the building department.

WHAT IS THE CITY OF NAMPA’S PROPERTY MAINTENCE CODE?

The adopted International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) is a model code that regulates the minimum maintenance requirements for existing residential and commercial buildings. The IPMC is intended to establish minimum standards for structural conditions, weather tightness, lighting, ventilation, plumbing, sanitation, and fire safety. 

DOES A PERMIT EXPIRE?

Permits expire 180 Days after the permit's applied date or 180 Days after the last documented inspection. If your permit expires and has been expired for less than a year, you may reactivate the permit for an additional 180 Days by contacting the City of Nampa Building Safety Department and paying a reactivation fee.