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Now that spring is approaching, many people are planning their construction projects for 2017. The City of St. Clairsville would like to remind all residents, property owners and contractors that all projects must be in compliance with the Planning and Zoning Code prior to any new construction or the change in use of a structure. Additionally, please remember that new signs do require a permit. When planning your project first ask, "Does the City require a permit for what I plan to do?" This question should be asked early in your planning and the City should be contacted. Listed below are some situations when a permit is required by City Code:

  • New Home Construction
  • New Additions
  • New Decks or Replacing Old Decks
  • New Fences or Replacing Old Fences
  • New Walls or Replacing Old Walls (stone or other)
  • New Retaining Walls or Replacing Old Retaining Walls
  • New Pools (including temporary pools) or Replacing Old Pools
  • New Garages or Replacing Old Garages
  • New Accessory Structures or Replacing Old Accessory Structures
  • New Sheds or Replacing Old Sheds
  • New Driveways or Replacing Old Driveways
  • New Sidewalks or Replacing Old Sidewalks
  • Signs (New or Replacement)
  • Paving existing and new parking lots

Permits are not only required for residential projects, but for commercial and industrial as well. If you feel that your project plans are not addressed above, contact Tom Murphy, the Planning and Zoning Administrator, at 740.695.1953 and he can inform you if a permit is required or offer assistance. Do not assume that you do not need a permit or that the contractor will be getting the permit. The permit process is relatively simple and can be completed by a property owner if he or she is generally familiar with the project. Make sure you have a permit in hand prior to work starting. Getting a permit is ultimately the responsibility of the property owner.

A resident, property owner or contractor should not start a project without a permit. If the City becomes aware of a project that has been initiated without the proper permit, the project will be stopped. This can be extremely inconvenient for all those involved and in some cases if utilities or the Code are compromised a change in plans will be required. The City wants to avoid these types of situations. City Council has set up a process that takes approximately 3 days in most cases unless the project is more involved. This process enables the City and its utility departments to review a project and ensure your safety and consistency with City Code. City staff will be more than glad to walk you through the process and assist in any way. The purpose of this process is to protect all parties involved. The last thing we want is for a homeowner to find out a plan that was developed is inconsistent with code or on top of a utility line. Again, if a project has been started without the proper permit the job will be shut down. Proper planning and the review of your plans by the relevant City officials will ensure that the process runs smoothly and Code requirements are met. The steps one should take to ensure compliance are:

  1. Call the City of St. Clairsville at 695.1953 and ask for Tom Murphy
  2. Find out what zone you are in
  3. Find out the requirements for that zone
  4. Meet with the Planning and Zoning Administrator
  5. Draw up a simple plot plan and complete an application

In most cases a plot plan can be completed by the property owner. By understanding what zone he or she is in before drawing up a plot plan, the applicant can pass through the application process quickly. Ensuring that a project meets Code allows the applicant to avoid the variance process which requires more time and fees.

For those that own a commercial structure or those interested in establishing a business in St. Clairsville, please keep in mind that the City Code requires that any change in use of a property or the establishment of a business requires approval. If you own a piece of property or structure and are proposing to use it a certain way, prior to any development, you must check with the City to ensure that the use you propose is permitted in the zoning district it is found. For example, a commercial use would not be permitted in a residential zone. Also, prior to purchasing a particular piece of property that you may have plans to develop, contact the City to ensure that the use you have proposed is permitted on that piece of property.

Additionally, all signs, whether for a new business or a new sign for an existing business, must be reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Administrator to ensure it meets City Code. Each zoning district permits a certain number of signs and a certain amount of total square footage of signage.

If you are in doubt as to whether or not a permit is needed, call or email Tom Murphy at 740.695.1953 or email Thank you for your cooperation.