Building Department Common Project Questions

Everything from finding your property lines to shed permits (and if you need one) is compiled in a list (below) of our most common topics with answers. annie-gray-WEWTGkPUVT0-unsplash.jpg

The below information contains common project questions and answers for the following:

  • Accessory buildings (like sheds)
  • Basement Finishing
  • Decks
  • Egress windows
  • Fences
  • Lead Safety
  • Pool Requirements
  • Roofing
  • Safety glass
  • Smoke & CO
  • Stairs and handrails
  • Survey information / property lines

Click the links above to skip to that section or use the search bar below to search for words, phrases or key terms:

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Accessory Buildings / Sheds / Structures

If you would like to view the pdf handout for accessory building, please click here or click through the details below.

Permits
  • Accessory buildings that exceed 200 square feet require a building permit.
  • Accessory buildings that are 200 square feet and less do not require a building permit; however, they are still subject to the regulations outlined in this handout.
Maximum Size & Height Guidelines
  • The total square footage of a single accessory building cannot exceed 624 square feet, without a Special Use Permit. With a Special Use Permit the size could increase to 1,064 SF.
  • The total square footage of all accessory buildings on a lot cannot exceed 1,664 square feet - and cannot occupy more than 30% of the lot; this includes attached garages.
  • Accessory Buildings must be located in the rear yard and be setback at least 5 feet from the side & rear lot line.
  • Accessory buildings on a corner lot must be behind the home, setback 30 feet from the front and side property line.
  • Accessory buildings cannot exceed the height of the principal building (house).
  • All accessory buildings must be securely anchored to the ground by a foundation or by using anchoring tie downs.
  • Hardcover cannot exceed 50% at the lot’s area. Hardcover includes all structural footprint & non-structural hardcover (like a driveway).
Additional Requirements
  • More than one accessory building is allowed per property
  • All accessory buildings over 200 sq. ft. shall be architecturally compatible with the existing house & finished with complementary siding & color scheme
  • The square footage of all buildings per property combined can not exceed 30% of the lot’s area. Example: A 10,000 SF lot may only contain 3,000 SF of structure foot print
Basement Finishing

If you would like to view the pdf handout for basement finishing, please click here or click through the details below.

Permits
  • Basement finishing requires a Building Permit 
  • Plumbing, Heating, and Electrical permits may also be required 
  • Fireplace installation requires a separate permit
     
Plan Submittal

Application for a Building Permit requires two sets of plans showing: 

  • Basement layout indicating use of each room (include dimensions) 
  • Walls, doors and windows (indicate if new or existing, sizes are required) 
  • Smoke detectors
  • Sump baskets
  • Furnace, water heater, plumbing fixture layout and other equipment

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General Code Requirements
  • Bottom plates of proposed walls must be pressure treated lumber 
  • Enclosed areas under stairs must be entirely finished with ½ inch gypsum board 
  • Minimum headroom clearance in finished habitable areas is 7’0” 
  • Smoke detectors are required on all levels of the house and in all sleeping rooms.   110 volt electrical wiring is required in new construction, and the smoke detectors shall be interconnected and equipped with a battery backup. CO detectors are also required within 10’ of all sleeping areas.   
     
Egress Window Requirements

New bedrooms need to have an escape (egress) window with: 

  1. An overall minimum clear open able area of 5.7 sq. ft.(821 sq. in.) 
  2. A minimum clear opening height of 24 inches. 
  3. A minimum clear opening width of 20 inches 
  4. A finished sill height of not more than 44 inches above the inside floor. 
  5. A below grade window must have a window well with a minimum 9 sq. ft. of net clear area with the window fully opened.                                        
  6. A permanent ladder is needed in the window well if it is greater than 44 inches from the ground to the top of window well.  Window well must be “upsized” to accommodate the ladder space.
     
Mechanical Requirements
  • Furnaces must have an unobstructed working space of at least 30 inches in front of the unit and other clearances as required by the manufacturer specifications.  A 24”X80” door shall be available to access the space.  The replacement of equipment shall be completed without having to move other equipment. 
  • Access must be provided for service and replacement of: 
    • Water Heaters
    • Water Conditioning Equipment
    • Water, Electric and Gas Meters, 
    • Traps and Slip Joints on Bathtubs
    • Pumps and Controls on Whirlpool Tubs
    • Plumbing Cleanouts 
  • Furnaces and water heaters must be provided with outside combustion air
  • Furnaces may not be accessed through or located in a bedroom or bathroom 
  • Furnace vent must have a minimum clearance to combustibles of 1 inch when class “B” pipe is installed and 6 inches for single wall pipe  
Plumbing Requirements
  • Water closet must be centered in a clear space of not less than 30 inches wide and have a clear space in front of the water closet of not less than 24 inches 
  • Each bathroom needs to have a powered exhaust fan venting to the outside.  The last 6 feet of the exhaust duct must be wrapped with a minimum of R‐3 insulation 
  • Showers stalls must be at least 900 square inches in floor area and large enough to provide a 30 inch diameter clear circle at the height of the shower control handle
     
Electrical Requirements
  • Electrical panels must not be in closets and a minimum of 3 feet of clear floor space must be maintained in front of the panel
  • Bedroom electrical opening for light, power, and smoke detectors must be ARC fault protected. 
  • Bathroom receptacles must be on a dedicated 20 amp circuit and be GFCI protected. 
  • Non IC recessed lights must have ½” clearance from combustible surfaces. 
  • Surface mounted incandescent light in closets must be enclosed and be a minimum of 12 linear inches from the edge of the light fixture to the nearest point of storage space. 
  • Surface mounted fluorescent fixtures in closets must be a minimum of 6 linear inches from the edge of the light fixture to the nearest point of storage space. 
  • No parts of hanging, cord connected, track lighting, pendant type fixtures or ceiling paddle fans shall be located above or within 3 feet horizontally and 8 feet vertically of the top rim of a bath tub or shower stall threshold. 
  • GFCI/ARC FAULT Protection: Receptacles in unfinished storage areas, work rooms, bathrooms
     
Inspections to be conducted
  • Rough in plumbing, electrical, and heating must be inspected before concealing any work 
  • Framing and insulation inspection shall be conducted after all plumbing, electrical and heating systems have been approved 
  • Final electric, plumbing, heating and building inspections 
     
Decks

If you would like to view the pdf handout for decks, please click here or click through the details below.

Permits

A permit is required for installing a new deck, replacing an existing deck and replacing deck boards.   If you have questions please call 651-638-2050.

Information required for permit:

  • Site Plan
  • Beam size
  • Number of posts & size
  • Post spacing
  • Joist length, size & spacing
  • Joist cantilever length
  • Decking material type
  • Height above grade
General Code Requirements

Frost Footing/Foundations

Required for any deck attached to a dwelling, porch or garage that has frost footings. The minimum depth to the base of the footing is 42 inches. Approved pin foundations are acceptable. Pin foundations are not permitted to support screen porches, 3-season porches or other attached habitable spaces.

Total Load

All decks shall be designed to support a live load of 50 pounds per square foot (40 pounds live load plus 10 pounds dead load).

Guards/Guardrails

Required on all decks or stairs more than 30 inches above grade. Required guards shall be a minimum 36 in height and shall not have opening from the walking surface to the required guard height which allows passage of a sphere 4 inches in diameter. Exception: On an open stairway, the triangular opening formed by the riser, tread and bottom element of a guardrail must be sized so that a six inch sphere cannot pass through. 

The top rail must support a 200 pound lateral load. Infill area must withstand a horizontally applied normal load of 50 pounds on an area equal to one square foot.

Handrails

The top shall be placed not less than 34 inches or more than 38 inches above the nosing of the treads. Stairways having four or more risers shall have at least one handrail with handrail ends returned or terminated in posts. Circular hand grips shall be between 1-1/4 inches to 2 inches in cross-sectional dimension or the shape shall provide an equivalent gripping surface.

Cantilevers: Overhanging Joists and Beams 

Beams shall not overhang support posts by more than one foot unless a special design is approved.

Framing Details

Header beams and joists that frame into ledgers or beams shall be supported by approved framing anchors such as joist hangers.

Flashing

All connections between deck and dwelling shall be weatherproofed. Cuts in exterior finish shall be flashed.

Nails and Screws

Use only stainless steel, high strength aluminum or hot-dipped galvanized.

Wood Required

All exposed wood is required to be approved wood with natural resistance to decay (redwood, cedar, etc.) or approved treated wood. This includes posts, beams, joists, decking and railings. Any composite or plastic decking materials must be approved by Building and Inspection prior to installation.

Stairs

Minimum width is 36 inches. Maximum rise is 7- 3/4 inches, minimum rise is 4 inches. Minimum run is 10 inches. Largest tread width or riser height shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch. Maximum 4 inch opening at risers greater than 30 inches above grade.

Illumination

All exterior stairways shall be illuminated at the landing to the stairway. Illumination shall be controlled from inside the dwelling or automatically activated.

Joist Span Illustration

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Beam and Footing Illustration

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Ledger Illustration

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Egress Window

If you would like to view the egress window sizing chart PDF, please click here or click through the details below.

Permits

A building permit is required with reviews for egress window installation.

We will require:

  • Site plan and location where egress window is going
  • Basement floor joist information (and if window if running perpendicular)
  • Header size
Egress Window Sizing Chart Illustration

Egress.PNG

Fences

If you would like to view the fence handout PDF, please click here or click through the details below.

Permits
  • Permits are not required for fences in residential districts that are 6 feet in height or under
  • Fences over 6 feet shall be constructed with a building permit and design plans will need to be submitted to the City (commercial only)
General Code Requirements
  • It is imperative that the property corner monument stakes be found before the fence installation. These stakes may be at grade, buried deep, shallow or be missing altogether. A metal detector is sometimes useful in locating the stakes. When property measurements and stake locations are not known, a licensed or legal surveyor can mark the property corners or survey your property
  • Fences may be installed up to the property line.
  • Fences erected in the front yard of a lot shall not exceed 3 ½ feet in height, and shall have at least 75% of their vertical surface plane open.
  • Fences in yard other than a front yard shall not exceed 6 feet in height.
  • Fences shall not be erected in the boulevard area or street right-of-way
  • EXCEPTIONS: Corner Lots - No fence, structure or vegetation shall be placed in the “clear view triangle” that restricts vision. This triangle is measured away from property corner 30 feet in each direction and applied to a vertical distance between 2 ½ feet and 10 feet high.

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Pool Requirements
1. Setbacks

Make sure that the desired location of the pool is approved by our zoning department.  You can call or email Mark Andrle at mark.andrle@newbrightonmn.gov / 651-638-2058

2. Excavation/Grading Permit

Fill out and submit an Excavation/Grading permit.  The cost is based on the amount of cubic yards.

3. Enclosure requirements

Please look at the enclosure requirements in the New Brighton city code.

Roofing

If you would like to view the roof handout PDF, please click here or click through the details below.

General Details and Building Permits

Before undertaking any re-roofing project there are several questions that should be considered to ensure a successful project. You should familiarize yourself with all aspects of the re-roofing process before you begin. There are various conditions about your roof that may limit your product choices or affect the cost of your roofing job.

The 2015 Minnesota Residential Code adopts the 2012 International Residential Code (2012 IRC). Roofing materials must be installed in accordance with Chapter 9 of the 2015 Minnesota Residential Code and the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Building permits are required for re-roofing existing dwellings. Building permit fees are established by the municipality. Building inspections are performed at various stages to verify code compliance. Permit costs and required inspections can be obtained by contacting your local department of building safety.

Do I need a new roof?

How old is it? A roof that has been properly installed, ventilated, and has not been damaged can last 20 years or more. An inspection of the roof should be done periodically. Look for cracks, curled or cupped shingles, worn mineral coatings, exposed nails, previous patches, holes and exposed underlayment or sheathing.

If your roof leaks, it is necessary to determine why. If you have inspected the roof and it looks sound, the problem could be roof flashing. Many roof leaks are result of bad or misapplied flashing. You should spend time in the attic looking for water stains, particularly around vents, chimneys and vertical wall elements above the roof. Flashing can sometimes be replaced or repaired without installing a whole new roof.

Overlay vs Tear Off and Reroof

There are two options available for re-roofing installations. One would be to tear off the old roof before applying the new one. The second would be to lay new shingles over the existing roof. Roofing materials are heavy, so multiple layers can affect the ability of a roof to hold the weight of winter snow.

An overlay can be the less expensive option. However, it is not necessarily always the best choice. There are advantages to tearing off the old roof before installing a new one. For example:

  • If there are any defects in the roof deck, they will be revealed when the roof is torn off. These defects should be repaired before applying the new roof. If condensation problems exist in the attic, they too will be revealed when the roof is torn off. Properly designed attic ventilation can then be installed in order to help eliminate such problems.
  • When the old roof is torn off, an ice-protection underlayment must be installed before applying the new roof. This will help prevent ice damage.
  • Tearing off the old roof and starting with a clean deck before re-roofing may result in a smoother finished-roof system. 2
  • Tearing off the old roof will typically result in a longer roof life than when the roof has been laid over. This is because they are installed smooth over sound material and have new underlayment installed.

Recovering versus replacement? 

New roof coverings shall not be installed without first removing all existing layers of roof coverings where any of the following conditions exist: •

  • Where the existing roof or roof covering is water-soaked or has deteriorated to the point that the existing roof or roof covering is not adequate as a base for additional roofing.
  • Where the existing roof covering is wood shake, slate, clay, cement or asbestos-cement tile.
  • Where the existing roof has two or more applications of any type of roof covering.

Exceptions:

  1. Complete and separate roofing systems, such as standing-seam metal roof systems, that are designed to transmit the roof loads directly to the building’s structural system and that do not rely on existing roofs and roof coverings for support, shall not require the removal of existing roof coverings.
  2. Installation of metal panel, metal shingle and concrete and clay tile roof coverings over existing wood shake roofs shall be permitted when the application is in accordance with Section R907.4.
  3. The application of new protective coating over existing spray polyurethane foam roofing systems shall be permitted without tear-off of existing roof coverings.
  4. Where the existing roof assembly includes an ice barrier membrane that is adhered to the roof deck, the existing ice barrier membrane shall be permitted to remain in place and covered with an additional layer of ice barrier membrane in accordance with Section R905 and the manufactures installation instructions.

What is roof slope and does it limit the choice of shingles?

Asphalt shingles shall only be used on roof slopes of two units vertical in 12 units horizontal (2:12) or greater. The slope of the roof is measured by the vertical rise of the roof to the horizontal run and is expressed as a fraction. A "4:12 roof slope" means the roof rises 4 feet for every 12 feet of horizontal roof span.

Roof slopes between 2:12 and 4:12 can use shingles, but require roof application techniques to take into account a greater potential for ice dam water backup. Roof slopes between 2:12 and 4:12 require a double underlayment application in accordance with Section R905.2.7.

Slopes of 4:12 and above can use standard asphalt roofing applications (R905.2.2).

What are the ventilation requirements?

Roof ventilation is required and must be installed in accordance with Section R806 of the 2015 Minnesota Residential Code and the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Enclosed attics and enclosed rafter spaces formed where ceilings are applied directly to the underside of the roof rafters must have cross ventilation for each separate space by ventilating openings protected against the entrance of rain or snow. Ventilating openings must be provided with corrosion-resistant wire cloth screening, hardware cloth mesh, or similar material with 1/16 inch minimum to 1/4 inch maximum openings.

Minimum vent area: The minimum net free ventilating area is 1/150 of the area of the vented space. Exception: The minimum net free ventilation area is 1/300 of the vented space provided one or more of the following conditions are met:

  1. A Class I or II vapor retarder is installed on the warm-inwinter side of the ceiling.
  2. At least 40 percent and not more than 50 percent of the required ventilating area is provided by ventilators located in the upper portion of the attic or rafter space. Upper ventilators shall be located no more than 3 feet (914 mm) below the ridge or highest point of the space, measured vertically, with the balance of the required ventilation provided by eave or cornice vents. Where the location of wall or roof framing members conflict with the installation of upper ventilators, installation more than 3 feet below the ridge or highest point of the space are not permitted.

It might be necessary to add ventilation with your new roof to meet these standards.

What function does shingle underlayment serve?

An underlayment, commonly known as roofing felt, will:

  • Protect the roof deck from moisture prior to shingle application.
  • Provide a degree of back-up protection in the event water gets under roofing shingles.

Protection against ice dams can be obtained by using a special waterproof shingle underlayment at the eaves or lower edges of the roof, in addition to installing adequate ventilation and proper insulation in the attic. The code in Minnesota requires this special waterproof shingle underlayment at the eaves or lower edges of the roof.

How can you determine if the roof is properly ventilated?

An attic needs to breathe. An effective ventilation system will help prevent attic heat build-up, attic moisture and condensation, and ice dam build-up. Research has shown that proper ventilation is necessary if the shingles are to last their design life.

General Code Requirements

A typical installation of asphalt shingles is illustrated below for use on roofs 4:12 and greater. However, the code also permits application on a roof that has a slope of less than 4:12 if the low-slope-roofing procedures are used.

Fasteners

Fasteners for asphalt shingles must be galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum or copper roofing nails, minimum 12 gage shank with a minimum 3/8 inch head, ASTM F 1667, of a length to penetrate through the roofing materials and a minimum of 3/4 inch into the roof sheathing. Where the roof sheathing is less than 3/4 inch thick, the fasteners must penetrate through the sheathing. Fasteners must comply with ASTM F 1667. Staples are not permitted for shingle application unless specifically noted in the manufacturer's installation instructions on the shingle package.

Underlayment

The code requires that underlayment of one layer of nonperforated Type 15 felt lapped two inches horizontally and four inches vertically to shed water. In addition, an ice barrier that consists of at least two layers of underlayment cemented together or of a self-adhering polymer modified bitumen sheet, be used in lieu of normal underlayment and extend from the eave's edge to a point at least 24 inches inside the exterior wall line of the building.

Valley linings

Install valley linings in accordance with manufacturer's installation instructions before applying shingles. Permitted valley linings include:

  1. For open valley (valley lining exposed) lined with metal: 24 inches wide and of any of the corrosion-resistant metals in Table R905.2.8.2.
  2. For open valleys: Two plies of mineral surface roll roofing, complying with ASTM D 3909 or ASTM D 6380 Class M. The bottom must be 18 inches and the top layer a minimum of 36 inches wide.
  3. For closed valleys (valley covered with shingles): one ply of smooth roll roofing complying with ASTM D 6380 and at least 36 inches wide or valley lining as described in items 1 and 2. Self-adhering polymer modified bitumen underlayment complying with ASTM D 1970 can be used in lieu of the lining material.

Cricket and saddle

Install a cricket or saddle (see illustration, page 4) on the ridge side of any chimney greater than 30 inches wide. Cricket or saddle coverings must be sheet metal or the same material as the roof covering.

Sidewall flashing

Sidewall flashing against a vertical sidewall (see illustration, page 4) must be continuous or step flashing and a minimum of 4 inches and 4 inches in width and direct water away from the vertical sidewall onto the roof or gutter.

Kickout flashing

Install kickout flashing where the lower portion of a sloped roof stops within the plane of an intersecting wall cladding to divert or kick out water away from the assembly.

Other flashing

Apply other flashing, such as flashing against a vertical-front wall and the soil stack, vent pipe and chimney flashing, according to the asphalt shingle manufacturer's printed instructions.

Drip edge

Drip edge is not required unless specifically required by the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Illustrations

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Safety Glass

If you would like to view the safety glass handout PDF, please click here or click through the details below.

General Code Information

The areas considered to be hazardous requiring tempered glass are:

1. Glass in any door, guards or railings, including all infill parts of guards and railings.

2. Glass within 24” of either side of a door when less than 60” above the floor.

3. Glass in fixed or operable panels that meet all of the following conditions:

  • Bottom edge is less than 18” above floor
  • Top edge is more than 36” above floor
  • One or more walking surfaces are within 36” horizontally in a straight line of the glass
  • Total area of glass is more than 9 square feet

4. Where the bottom of edge of glass is less than 60” above a standing surface and drain outlet of any bathtub, shower, hot tub, steam room or sauna. Exception: Glass more than 60” horizontally from the water’s edge.

5. Glass adjacent to stairs and ramps where the bottom exposed edge is less than 36” above walking surface of stairs, landings between flights of stairs and ramps.

6. Glass adjacent to landings at the bottom of a stairway when the glass is less than 36” above the landing and within 60” horizontally of the bottom stair tread.

Exception: When the glass is protected by a guard complying with R312.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Requirements

To see code requirements click here.

Stairs and Handrails

If you would like to view the Stair and Handrail handout PDF, please click here or click through the details below.

Residential Stair Requirements
  • Stairs minimum clear width 36 inches above handrail and 31½ inches at and below handrail. With handrail on both sides, the minimum width at and below the handrails is 27 inches.
  • Stairs minimum headroom: in new buildings 6 feet 8 inches. Alterations to existing basement stairways 6 feet 4 inches, R305.2.2. Exception: 4 ¾” floor opening is allowed into clear width.
  • Stairs with four or more risers require a continuous full-length graspable handrail on one side with no open ends or sharp edges located 34 to 38 inches above tread nosing.
  • Open sides of stairs more than 30 inches high require guards at least 34 inches high with less than 4 3/8-inch openings. Guards are measured vertically from tread nosing to top of guard.
  • Treads shall support a 40-pound live load or a 300-pound point load over 4 square inches.
  • Guards and handrails on stairs must support a 200 pound load at any point along the top.
  • Maximum riser height is 7¾ inches. Minimum tread depth is 10 inches.
  • A nosing ¾ inch to 1¼ inch is required on stairs with solid risers. Exception: A nosing is not required with a minimum 11-inch tread depth.
  • Riser heights, tread depths and nosing projections shall not differ more than 3/8 inch.
  • Riser openings are restricted to less than 4 inches on stairs more than 30 inches high.
  • Triangular openings formed by riser, tread and bottom guard rail must be less than 6 inches.
  • A landing is required at the top and bottom of all stairs. It shall be as wide as the stairs and extend at least 36 inches in the direction of travel.
    Exception: A landing is not required at the top of interior stairs or in an enclosed garage if a door does not swing over the stairs.
  • The walking surface of treads and landings shall not exceed a slope of ¼ inch per foot.
  • All stairs require an artificial light source. Light for exterior stairs shall be controlled from inside the dwelling or continuously illuminated or automatically controlled.
Surveys / Survey Requirements / Property Lines

Below please find information on how to find your property lines, how to request a parcel map and information on New Brighton's Survey Policy

Custom Parcel Map

Custom Parcel Map: This scaled map can be used to sketch your site plan for a building permit or can assist with locating property lines.  You can obtain a copy of a parcel map that displays address, lot dimensions, property lines and an aerial photo. Simply provide us with a New Brighton address and a staff member will create your custom parcel map. Maps are free for New Brighton Residents.

To order your Custom Parcel Map you can stop by City Hall, send an e-mail request to Mark Andrle or call Mark at 651-638-2058.

Sample Map:

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Tips on how to find property corner monuments

A property corner monument (also referred to as a property iron) marks the edges of your property.  If you are having trouble finding your property monuments, try using a metal detector over the area where the iron might be buried.  If they can't be found, a certified land surveyor will need to locate your property lines.

Survey Policy Intent

It is the objective of the survey policy to establish criteria defining the circumstances in which a survey (or a survey update) will be required with a building permit application.  Certain provisions of zoning (stormwater management, floodplain rules, etc) can only be reviewed for compliance via submission of a survey.  However, the City recognizes that requiring a survey adds additional cost for its residents and staff should strive to only require the information necessary to ensure compliance with City Code.  This policy is intended to establish consistency on when surveys will be required.

If you have questions about the New Brighton Survey Policy, please contact Ben Gozola.

Do I need a survey when submitting a land use application?

Surveys shall always be necessary for Proposals that require a land use application:

  • Variances
  • Special Use Permits
  • Interim Use Permits
  • Site Plan Reviews (non-residential projects)
  • Etc.

Exception: If the applicant is improving a property such that building footprints, hardcover, etc, will not change (i.e. building upwards) AND an old to-scale survey or site plan already provides all information necessary to complete a review, the old survey or site plan may be accepted for the new land use process at staff’s discretion.

If you have questions about the New Brighton Survey Policy, please contact Ben Gozola.

Do I need a survey for my residential building project?

Surveys are NEVER required for: interior remodels, re-roofs, re-siding, windows/doors.

Surveys will be required for residential building projects unless the work qualifies for one of the following exclusions:

  • General maintenance projects (defined as the repair or replacement of an existing structure where no expansion is proposed) can be excluded from the survey requirement if the following occurs:
    1. The applicant provides an old certified survey which shows the current location of the structure being replaced/repaired.  Note that the dimensions of the proposed construction on the plan sets must match the old survey.

OR

    1. The applicant provides a to-scale site plan showing that the structure being repaired or replaced is at least 3 feet away* from any applicable setback, AND there is no grading, stormwater, or maximum coverage concerns posed by the proposed project as determined by DCAD staff.

* Note that staff is allowed to use discretion to accept a site plan when the distance from a setback is less than 3 feet based on the adjacent land.  Is the adjacent land non-buildable?  Is the adjacent land parkland?  Is there little chance of anyone complaining either now or in the future if the project is built out of compliance?  This discretion should only be exercised when staff is 100% certain that the potential for a nonconformity will not create any future problems. 

  • Additions to existing structures which expand the building footprint can be excluded from the survey requirement if:
    1. The proposed addition is greater than five (5) feet beyond any applicable structural setback requirement;

AND

    1. The low floor of the proposed addition will be at least three feet above the regulatory flood protection elevation based on an old survey or available LiDAR data;

AND

    1. The proposed addition will not require any grading with the potential to impact adjacent property;

AND

    1. The proposed addition will clearly be conforming to impervious surface requirements for the property by 2% or more.
  • Additions that do not require expansion of a building footprint (i.e. a second story addition) can be excluded from the survey requirement if:
    1. The existing structure is greater than one (1) foot beyond any applicable structural setback requirement;

AND

    1. The applicant provides adequate information to show the structure is either outside of the floodplain, or that the elevation of the existing structure meets all applicable floodplain requirements.

This exception also applies to expansions that have been reviewed and approved through the land use process using an existing survey or site plan.

New residential construction will always require submittal of a survey to document the proposed grading extent, location of erosion control, proposed drainage following construction, etc.  Exceptions to this rule include:

  • sheds or other small structures that do not require footings
  • fences

Floodplain Rule:  structures proposed within a floodplain and/or structures which will require grading within a floodplain will always require a survey.

If you have questions about the New Brighton Survey Policy, please contact Ben Gozola.

Do I need a survey for my commercial building project?

Surveys will be required for commercial and industrial building projects unless the work qualifies for one of the following exclusions:

  • General maintenance projects (defined as the repair or replacement of an existing structure where no expansion is proposed) can be excluded from the survey requirement if the following occurs:
    1. The applicant provides an old certified survey which shows the current location of the structure being replaced/repaired.  Note that the dimensions of the proposed construction on the plan sets must match the old survey.

OR

    1. The applicant provides a to-scale site plan showing that the structure being repaired or replaced is at least 3 feet away* from any applicable setback, AND there is no grading, stormwater, or maximum coverage concerns posed by the proposed project as determined by DCAD staff.

* Note that staff is allowed to use discretion to accept a site plan when the distance from a setback is less than 3 feet based on the adjacent land.  Is the adjacent land non-buildable?  Is the adjacent land parkland?  Is there little chance of anyone complaining either now or in the future if the project is built out of compliance?  This discretion should only be exercised when staff is 100% certain that the potential for a nonconformity will not create any future problems. 

  • Additions to existing structures which expand the building footprint can be excluded from the survey requirement if:
    1. The proposed addition is greater than five (5) feet beyond any applicable structural setback requirement;

AND

    1. The low floor of the proposed addition will be at least three feet above the regulatory flood protection elevation based on an old survey or available LiDAR data;

AND

    1. The proposed addition will not require any grading within twenty (20) feet of adjacent property (note that engineering staff can still be requested to review the plans and/or conduct a site visit if there are any concerns about drainage issues);

AND

    1. The proposed addition will clearly be conforming to impervious surface requirements for the property by 2% or more.
  • Additions that do not require expansion of a building footprint (i.e. a second story addition) can be excluded from the survey requirement if:
    1. The existing structure is greater than one (1) foot beyond any applicable structural setback requirement;

AND

    1. The applicant provides adequate information to show the structure is either outside of the floodplain, or that the elevation of the existing structure meets all applicable floodplain requirements.

This exception also applies to expansions that have been reviewed and approved through the land use process using an existing survey or site plan.

New commercial or industrial construction will always require submittal of a survey to document the proposed grading extent, location of erosion control, proposed drainage following construction, etc.  Exceptions to this rule include:

  • sheds or other small structures that do not require footings
  • fences

Floodplain Rule:  structures proposed to be within a floodplain, and structures which will require grading within a floodplain, will always require a survey.

If you have questions about the New Brighton Survey Policy, please contact Ben Gozola.

Do I need a foundation survey?

Option 1:  Foundation surveys (a survey to certify the location and elevation of a structure prior to the framing of a structure) will not be required by the City of New Brighton.  Applicants may wish to complete such a survey on their own accord to ensure a proposed structure is located and elevated as proposed to avoid significant future problems before it’s too late

Option 2:  Applications for new construction or expansions of existing footprints will be required to provide an as-built foundation survey if one of the following criteria apply:

  • The proposed new construction will be within one (1) foot of any applicable structural setback requirement;
  • The proposed new construction is required to be reviewed for its lowest floor opening (flood plain areas);
  • The proposed new construction is being built in conjunction with a variance.

If you have questions about the New Brighton Survey Policy, please contact Ben Gozola.

Do I need to supply an as-built grading survey?

Applications for new construction or expansions of existing footprints will be required to provide an as-built grading survey if ONE of the following criteria apply:

  • The new construction includes proposed grading that will alter (or has the potential to alter) the drainage patterns onto adjacent property;

OR

  • The new construction will be within ten (10) feet of any lot line;

OR

  • The proposed new construction is being built in conjunction with a variance or conditional use permit subject to specific grading or screening requirements;

OR

  • The proposed new construction is being built in accordance with an approved master grading plan.

If you have questions about the New Brighton Survey Policy, please contact Ben Gozola.

Are there minimum survey requirements?

When survey requirements apply to a project, DCAD staff is encouraged to use discretion to minimize survey costs whenever possible by excluding extraneous information that will be unnecessary for determining zoning compliance.

If you have questions about the New Brighton Survey Policy, please contact Ben Gozola.