1. Two (2) full sets of plans and specifications stamped by an architect and/or professional engineer in the State of Alabama if the building is over 2,500 square feet is size, or is an assembly, educational, institutional, or hazardous occupancy.

2. A completed Application for Building Permit.

3. A septic tank permit from the Madison County Health Department if the property is outside Huntsville’s area of sewer service.

4. A completed “routing sheet” if the property to be developed is not located in an approved subdivision.

5. The City Engineering Department requires four (4) sets of stamped civil drawings for the development.

6. A copy of the deed to the property if the owner plans to act as the General Contractor. An owner can act as his General Contractor if the building is less than 5000 square feet, not over 2 1/2 stories, or not an assembly, educational, institutional, or hazardous occupancy. If an owner acts as the General Contractor, then they are stating they know all technical codes and ordinances. (This is NOT recommended)

WARNING: The State of Alabama General Contractors Board requires all commercial construction $50,000 and over must have a State of Alabama General Contractor’s License. The City of Huntsville requires ANY commercial permits for any amount be obtained by a State of Alabama General Contractor. The exceptions to this rule is # 6 found above. A State of Alabama Residential Contractor (issued through the State of Alabama Residential Homebuilders Licensure Board) may obtain commercial permits if the total contract is less than $50,000.

7. If the project involves a food establishment, retail market, and/or food-processing establishment, the kitchen facility or service layout must be approved by the Madison County Health Department. The Health Department requires 2 sets of plans for their review. Trained environmentalists review, inspect and monitor a large number of installations and products to help ensure a safe environment. They issue permits to restaurants, motels, hotels, septic tanks, etc. If citizens have questions or complaints concerning environmental matters they should contact this department:

Madison County Health Department

301 Max Luther Drive

Huntsville, Alabama 35811

Phone: (256) 519-3488

8. If a commercial swimming pool permit is to be secured, it must be approved by the Madison County Health Department, and the City Engineering Department must sign off on the site drawing.

9. A copy of the letter from the State Building Commission is required if the project involves city or state monies, or city or state property. All public schools and related structures, all private schools with over 25 or more pupils, all hotels/motels, public inns, and lodging houses with 15 or more rooms for rent, and/or any motion picture theater must be reviewed by the State Building Commission. Plan Submittal Requirements and Procedures can be accessed online.

10. If the project is covered by the City of Huntsville’s Master Plan, then a letter must be submitted showing the project has been through the Planning Commission giving approval for “Location, Character, and Extent.” Application for City of Huntsville Planning Commission Location, Character & Extent. 

11. If the project is for a building or any addition to a building in any of the Research Park Districts, then an approval letter from the Research Park Board must be accompanied with the building application. Cummings Research Park has established a 75 page Design Development Guide which details their design approvals process.

12. If the project received a Board of Zoning Adjustment variance or Historical approval, then a copy of the letter of approval must accompany the building application.

13. If the project is located in the flood fringe area, then a Floodplain Development Permit is required. This must be obtained by the City Engineering Department and a copy submitted with the building permit application.

14. If there are 15 or more parking spaces or 5,000 square feet of PVA area, (any area a vehicle can drive across) then two (2) sets of landscaping plans and certified photometric plans must be submitted to the Inspection division for review.

15. If the project is for demolition, renovation, or an addition, asbestos permits must be competed by the Division of Natural Resources and Environmental Management. This must be submitted with the building application.

PRE-PERMIT CODE REVIEW (Recommended but Optional)

This is either an informal meeting between all involved parties or a general review by staff only concerning various code requirements with regard to a particular project. At this stage only one set of plans are needed which will be returned to the owner or architect if requested. This review is not mandatory and is by request only, but is highly recommended on larger projects.

RELATED LINKS:  ePlans Submittal, GIS Mapping, Planning Commission, Subdivisions, Zoning 


  • Phone:


  • Address:

    Inspection Office

    320 Fountain Circle SW,

    Huntsville, AL 35801

    View Map

  • Hours:

    Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    Inspector Office Hours:

    Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m., 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

In This Section
HSV Connect

Report a problem or submit a service request using Huntsville Connect

Get Started