Shawnee County Planning Department

Enforcement Support Development.

Building Permits


Shawnee County does have an adopted building code in place and does administer a building permit process to assure that all construction is compliant with the requirements of the Shawnee County Zoning Regulations and other adopted county rules and regulations. Through the building permit process, it is the intent of the County to assure orderly, planned, efficient and economical development of the county; that property can be used safely; that adequate public facilities and improvements exist; and, that improvements comply with all applicable rules and regulations of the county.

Area of Applicability

The Shawnee County building code and permit procedure applies to all of unincorporated Shawnee County.

Permit Requirement and Use

No building or structure shall be constructed, placed, altered, moved, occupied, converted, removed or demolished except in accordance with the adopted Shawnee County Building Code and Shawnee County Building Permit Procedure. It shall be unlawful to maintain, occupy, or use a building or structure, or any parts thereof, that has been erected or altered in violation of the provisions of the Building Code and Permit Procedure.

No work on a building or structure subject to a Shawnee County building permit shall begin until such time a building permit authorizing same has been issued by the Shawnee County Planning Department. Commencement of work prior to issuance of a building permit shall constitute a violation and be subject to a penalty and possible enforcement action.

When Permit Not Required

A building permit shall not be required for the following:

  1. One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses provided the projected roof area does not exceed 150 square feet, and provided that zoning setback requirements shall be met.
  2. Retaining walls not over four (4) feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall.
  3. Exterior alterations that do not enlarge or expand an existing structure and interior alterations, except that any alterations in excess of 50% of the value of a structure located in the 100-year floodplain shall require a building permit and compliance with the Shawnee County Floodplain Regulations.
  4. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2:1.
  5. Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30” above adjacent grade and not over any basement or story window. All new driveway entrances and culverts or modifications thereof must be approved and permitted by the public works department pursuant to Shawnee County Home Rule Resolution 2002-10.
  6. Painting, papering, tilling, carpeting, counter tops and similar finish work.
  7. Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24” deep and the capacity does not exceed 5,000 square feet in which the pool walls are entirely above the adjacent grade.
  8. Swings and other playground equipment accessory to a single- or two-family dwelling.
  9. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54” from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
  10. Decks, stoops and porches less than 150 square feet in area which is not more than 30” above grade without overhead structures.
  11. Ordinary repairs that are non-structural and do not include the addition to or alteration of the existing construction. Ordinary repairs includes repair or replacement of roofing and/or siding materials provided it does not extend the projected roofline or enlarge the exterior dimensions of the structure.
  12. Emergency board-up, securing temporary bracing of a building after a fire, storm or vehicle damage or other disaster which caused the building to be open and unsafe.
  13. Interior remodeling that does not involve the conversion of floor area from unfinished to finished floor space.

Permit Types and Permitting Requirements

Construction permits administered by Shawnee County fall into four (4) basic categories: building permits, demolition permits, fence permits, and, sign permits. Each permit type is rather self-explanatory based on its name except for building permits which span three (3) different permit types: residential, commercial and accessory permits. Explanations of the permit types and their associated requirements follow:

  • Building Permit (Residential/Commercial/Accessory) – The construction, enlargement, placement, alteration, conversion, removal or demolition of a building or structure or causing or allowing the same to be done shall require application for and issuance of a building permit by the Planning Department. A separate building permit shall be required for each such building or structure. No one shall maintain or occupy such building or structure without obtaining all required permits.
    [Processing Timeframe: For residential and accessory building permits allow at least three (3) business days for review and processing depending on the volume of permits currently in process and the order in which received. For commercial building permits allow at least 10 business days for review and processing depending on the volume of permits in process and the order in which received.]
  • Demolition Permit – No building or structure (excluding signs and fences) shall be demolished or removed from the property without first applying for and obtaining a demolition permit. A demolition permit shall be processed in like manner as a building permit application except that a site plan will not be required provided the applicant can adequately document and identify which, among many structures, is proposed to be demolished or removed. If a building or structure is to be relocated to a new site, the applicant will also be required to obtain a building permit for the new location in addition to obtaining a Moving Permit issued by the Shawnee County Public Works Department.
    [Processing Timeframe: Please allow at least three (3) business days for review and processing.]
  • Fence Permit – No fence shall be installed or extended without first applying for and obtaining a fence permit. A fence permit is processed in like manner as a building permit application and is required when:
    1. a new fence is being constructed;
    2. an existing fence is being extended; or
    3. an existing fence is being replaced with a new fence that is a different size, or in a different location.
    [Processing Timeframe: Please allow at least three (3) business days for review and processing.]
  • Sign Permit – No sign shall be erected, installed, replaced, relocated, altered or enlarged without first applying for and obtaining a sign permit. A sign permit is processed in like manner as a building permit application.
    [Processing Timeframe: Please allow at least five (5) business days for review and processing.]

General Application Requirements

The property owner or duly authorized representative must submit a complete building permit application and required submittals to the Planning Department on forms furnished by the Planning Department. All permit application requirements shall be submitted together, at one time. Failure to submit all required items will result in delay. The time for processing begins when all required items have been submitted.

The application must contain or be accompanied by the following information:

  • For All Permit Applications
    1. Application Form – Including property owner’s full name, address and phone number and, name, address and phone number of authorized agent if a contractor is selected for the project. If a contractor is selected for the project, the building permit application will need to be accompanied by the Affidavit of Permit Authorization form. The signature of the property owner, or the owner’s authorized representative is required.
    2. Affidavit of Code Compliance – Any improvement requiring a permit shall be accompanied by an Affidavit of Code Compliance that certifies that the person responsible for the work will comply with all applicable building codes.
    3. Legal Description – A legal description of the land on which the proposed work is to be done, street address or similar description that will readily identify and definitely locate the proposed building or work.
    4. Use or Occupancy – Identify the use or occupancy for which the proposed work is intended.
    5. Tax Status – Submit evidence that all real property tax and special assessments regarding the subject property are current and up-to-date.
    6. Site Plan – A site plan, drawn to scale and with clarity to indicate the location, nature and extent of the work proposed and show in detail that it will conform to all adopted county rules and regulations.
    7. Project Valuation – Identify the value of the proposed work. The value to be used in computing the building permit is the total value of all construction work for which the permit is issued, as well as all finish work, painting, roofing, electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, elevators, fire-extinguishing systems and any other permanent equipment.
    8. Filing Fee – A non-refundable filing fee shall be submitted at the time of application and include the entire amount. The filing fee is charged based on the value of the work to be performed as set forth in the Fee Schedule.
  • For Commercial Building Permits –
    In addition to the forgoing, commercial building permit applications shall also include the following:
    1. Drainage Report – A drainage report prepared by a Kansas registered profession engineer shall be included with all commercial building permit applications. The drainage report shall be reviewed and approved by the Shawnee County Public Works Department before issuance of a building permit.
    2. Code Footprint – As per K.S.A. 31-133 et seq., a code footprint shall be submitted for all public buildings with the exception of buildings used solely as dwelling houses containing no more than two families. A code footprint shall be prepared by a Kansas licensed design professional and address the intended life safety features in a public building. When required, code footprints shall be coordinated with the applicable fire district for review and approval prior to issuance of a building permit.
    3. Americans With Disability Act – As per K.S.A. 58-1301 et seq., new construction, alteration and renovation of public buildings and facilities shall conform to federal regulations 28 C.F.R. Part 36. Accordingly, applicant’s will need to sign a compliance statement indicating that the proposed improvement is compliant with state law and applicable federal regulations.
  • For Agricultural Buildings
    1. Affidavit of Agricultural Exemption – Pursuant to K.S.A. 19-2960(c), no zoning regulations shall apply to the use of land for agricultural purposes nor for the erection or maintenance of agricultural buildings as long as such agricultural buildings are used for agricultural purposes and no other. Dwellings, garage and other similar accessory buildings shall not be considered agricultural buildings. In order to qualify for the agricultural exemption, it must be clearly demonstrated that the principal use of the land and of the proposed structure(s) is agricultural-related. Each request to construct an agricultural building shall be accompanied by an Affidavit of Agricultural Exemption to verify the buildings use exclusively for an on-site agricultural use. If found to be consistent with an on-site agricultural use, the Planning Department will acknowledge and a building permit would not be required.
  • For Demolition Permits
    1. For demolition permits, need to specify the type of waste that will be generated; verify where the demolition waste will be hauled or whether it will be recycled; whether the structure or site contains hazardous material; and, how the site will be restored following demolition.

Site Plan Requirement

Application for a building permit (including fence and sign permits) shall be accompanied by a site plan representing the subject property and the location and dimension of existing and proposed improvements and other site features. The site plan shall:

  1. Be drawn to scale or as accurately as possible to be able to duplicate measurements on the site. Indicate the scale of the drawing (for example: 1”=10’, etc.).
  2. Be prepared on a plan sheet measuring at least 8½” by 11” or larger depending on the magnitude of the project and to ensure readability.
  3. Identify the date of preparation and revision dates.
  4. Identify the name, address and phone number of person preparing the site plan.
  5. Provide a north arrow.
  6. Show boundaries and dimensions graphically of the subject property, and contain a written legal description of the property.
  7. Show the size, location and distance between existing buildings, structures, property lines and easements.
  8. Show the size, location and distance between proposed improvements and existing buildings, structures, property lines and easements.
  9. Identify the front face and orientation of the structure including the location of the front door.
  10. Show location and dimension of platted building setback lines, utility easements, drainage easement, and other plat features which encumber the subject property.
  11. Show the size, location, and distance between an existing or proposed septic tank and lateral field system and existing and proposed buildings, structures, property lines, easements, water wells and bodies of water.
  12. Show the location, width and distance from nearest property corner of existing and proposed driveways.
  13. Show the defined limit and base flood elevation of the 100-year floodplain and floodway. Improvements located within the floodplain shall require submission of a Floodplain Development Permit Application and accompanying Elevation Certificate prepared by a Kansas registered land surveyor.
  14. Show the location of distinguishing physical features located on the property, including, but not limited to: streams, culverts, drainageways, wetlands, slopes, stands of timber, etc.
  15. Demonstrate compliance with applicable requirements of the plat of subdivision if so located.
  16. Show by directional arrow, the proposed flow of stormwater from the site and how it will be tied into a storm drain system or drainageway to avoid concentration of stormwater onto adjacent property.
  17. For commercial projects (i.e. multi-family residential, office, institutional, commercial, industrial, etc.), the following information shall be included:
    1. Show the location and dimension of existing and proposed off-street parking spaces and aisles, loading zones and walkways.
    2. Show the location, height and material for screening walls and fences.
    3. List the type of surfacing and base course material proposed for all parking, loading and walkways.
    4. Show the location and size, and provide a landscape schedule for all perimeter landscaping.
    5. Identify location, type, height, square footage and illumination of existing and proposed signage.
    6. Show and dimension the required number of off-street parking spaces and aisles.
    7. Show the proposed type, location, height, direction and intensity of illumination of existing and proposed exterior lighting.
    8. Show the location, size and method of screening trash enclosures.
    9. Be accompanied by a code footprint as set forth by the Kansas State Fire Marshal and reviewed and approved by the applicable fire district.

Effect of Permit Approval

The following information is applicable to all building permits and intended to provide an understanding of the validity and restrictions of a building permit once approved. For a complete understanding of the building permit process, please consult the adopted Shawnee County Building Permit Procedures.

  • Validity of PermitThe issuance of a permit or approval of plans, specifications and dimensions will not be construed to be a permit for, or an approval of, any violation of any provisions of the Building Permit Procedure, any other county resolution or any other law. Permits presuming to give authority to violate or override the provisions of Building Permit Procedure, any other county resolution or any other law shall not be valid. Further, the issuance of a permit based on plans, specifications or other data will not prevent the Planning Department from requiring the correction or errors in said plans, specifications and other data, or from preventing building operations being carried on thereunder when in violation of this resolution or of any other county regulation.
  • Effect of Approval – The location of all new construction and proposed additions as shown on the approved site plan or an approved amendment thereof, shall be strictly adhered to. It shall not be permitted to change the location, orientation, configuration or setback of the proposed improvement, nor reduce or diminish the area of a lot or plot of which a site plan has been filed and used as the basis for a permit, unless a revised site plan showing the proposed change and conditions shall have been filed and approved; provided that this shall not apply when the lot is reduced by reason of a street opening or widening or other improvement.
  • Amendments – Following permit approval, any change in location, orientation, configuration or setback of a proposed improvement, including site improvements such as off-street parking, landscaping, etc., shall require submission and approval of an amended site plan. After approval, such amended site plan shall be filed with and be deemed a part of the original application.
  • Penalty – Any person, firm or corporation who performs or causes to be performed any work for which a permit is required prior to obtaining such permit shall be subject to double the normal fee for such permit. The payment of the penalty shall not relieve any person, firm or corporation from full compliance with the requirements of the Building Permit Procedure or other adopted county rules or regulations in the execution of the work.
  • Expiration of Permit – Every building permit issued by the Planning Department shall expire by limitation and become null and void if the building or work authorized by such permit is not commenced within 12-months from the issue date of such permit, or if the building or work authorized by such permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of 60-days or more at any time after work is commenced. Before such work can be recommenced, a new permit for such work shall first be obtained to do so, and the fee therefor shall be one-half the amount required for a new permit for such work, provided no changes have been made or will be made in the original plans and specifications for such work; and, provided further that such suspension or abandonment has not exceeded 18-months from date of issue.

Application for which no permit is issued within 60-days following the date of application, due to an incomplete submittal or lack of authorizations from other entities as required, shall expire by limitation, and plans and other data submitted for review may thereafter be returned to the applicant or destroyed by the Planning Department. The Planning Department may extend the time for action by the applicant for a period not exceeding 30-days upon request by the applicant showing that circumstances beyond their control have prevented action from being taken. No application shall be extended more than once. In order to renew action on an application after expiration, the applicant shall resubmit plans and pay a new permit fee.

  • Extension of Time – Any person holding an unexpired permit may apply for an extension of the time which work may commence under that permit when the permit holder is unable to commence work within the time required for good and satisfactory reasons. The Planning Department may extend the time for action by the permit holder for a period not exceeding 6-months on written request by the permit holder showing that circumstances beyond the control of the permit holder have prevented the action from being taken. Lack of funds shall not be valid grounds for extending a permit. No permit shall be extended more than once.