In late 2021, the Building Division implemented several improvements to make the building permitting process more efficient and user friendly. The improvements were implemented at the recommendation of the Building Permit Task Force, established in 2020 to identify opportunities for improvement within the Building Division.
After reviewing areas of concern gathered from survey data and public input, the Task Force recommended several improvements to streamline the permitting process, including amendments to the building code, policy changes and new permitting software. Since taking steps to implement these recommendations, the Building Division has received positive feedback from both residents and contractors about the updated process and policies.
Building Code Amendments – In fall of 2021, the City adopted several amendments to the building code to make Creve Coeur consistent with the building code requirements in St. Louis County and consistent with the 2015 International Residential Code as published.
Building Code Amendments – Adopted September 2021
- Interior Doors – There is no minimum size requirement for interior doors. Previously, the Building Code required a minimum door size of 2'8" except for bathrooms and closets.
- Emergency Escape Windows in Basement – Emergency escapes/rescue windows are only required when a new sleeping room is created in the basement. Previously, they were required upon creation of any space in the basement, such as an office or family room.
- Retaining Walls – Residential retaining walls under 48 inches do not require a building permit. Previously, retaining walls over 30 inches required a permit.
- Smoke Detectors – Upgrades during home renovation may be hardwired or battery powered with Wi-Fi interconnectivity. Previously, hardwired smoke detectors were required when home renovations triggered an upgrade.
- Window & Door Replacement – A building permit is not required when the framing is not altered. Previously, all window and door replacements required a building permit.
User-Friendly Policy Changes – The Building Division has implemented several new policies to make the permitting process more accommodating and streamlined for residents and contractors, such as no longer charging a penalty fee for every failed inspection, assigning the same inspector throughout a project when possible, and only requiring a final inspection for fences.
New Permitting Software – The City has acquired new software to improve the efficiency and service of the Building Division, another recommendation of the Building Permit Task Force. The new software will allow applicants to submit permit applications, schedule inspections, and view the status of permits and inspections online. The City is currently building the system with our vendor and anticipates it will be available for public use later this year.
Improve Public Perception – The City continues to conduct permit close-out surveys to measure satisfaction among applicants. Survey results show a noticeable increase in satisfaction levels during the past year, which is likely a direct reflection of the code amendments and policy changes made in late 2021.