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  • Departmental Checklists
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Land Development (Land Disturbance Permit / Subdivision Plat Information)
  • Land Development Digital Submittal
  • Planning GIS Viewer
  • Sign Ordinance
  • Staff Contact Information
  • Tree Ordinance
  • Unified Development Code (UDC)
  • Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)


    Building Permits Back To F.A.Q. Page

    What fees will I have to pay for a building permit?

    Residential or commercial building permit and impact fees are variable based on the size and nature of the project. Please see the complete fee schedule in the Land Development Guide Appendix in order to calculate the fee for your project or you may visit the Department of Planning and Community Development for further assistance.

    What is a setback?

    A setback, also known as a building line, is a distance established by the Unified Development Code. measured from a front, side, or rear property line in which no structure may be built. Please see the definitions of building line and a structure in UDC Ch. 3.

    What structures must meet setbacks?

    Generally any vertical construction that will be above or below grade, or involves footings must meet setbacks. Any portion of the structure, including overhangs, cantilevers, etc. must meet setbacks. Please see the definition of a structure in UDC Ch. 3.

    How can I determine the required setback for a property?

    The Unified Development Code is available online, or may be purchased in the Department of Planning and Community Development. It outlines development requirements organized by zoning district. In order to first determine the zoning of your property you may utilize the Planning GIS Viewer, or for further assistance you may visit the Planning Department during regular office hours Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 5:00; ask to see the Planner of the Day. After determining the zoning for your property, choose the appropriate chapter from the Unified Development Code and find the performance standards table:

    Do I need an active LDP to apply for a commercial building permit?

    Yes, a Land Disturbance Permit (LDP) must be applied for prior to submitting shell, single tenant shell, addition or foundation only building plans for review. Please also see Department Checklists listed by permit type as a resource for application of the Unified Development Code.

    When will my permit expire? How do I renew a permit?

    A building permit may be active for only 1 year, and may be renewed one time in the Department of Planning and Community Development.

    Is pool equipment required to meet setbacks?

    No, however the pool structure or any additional feature that may involve vertical construction must meet setbacks.

    Do I need a permit for low voltage lighting?

    The installation of low voltage lighting does not require a building permit, given that no land disturbance of vertical construction will be associated, does not require a permit. Please be aware that the UDC does regulate lighting in UDC Chapter 16, which is generally reviewed by planning staff in conjunction with development permits; however the scope of low-voltage should not exceed these requirements or warrant review.

    Do I need a permit to install a fence?

    Building permits are required for fences and walls over six (6) feet in height if you are in a final platted subdivision. However, if your property is zoned Agricultural, you are exempt from these provisions. Refer to UDC Chapter 16.

    Do I need a permit to install a sign or erect a banner?

    A banner is site specific and a permit is required. This permit is temporary and is valid for 10 days. For a permanent sign refer to the Forsyth County Sign Ordinance. For further questions contact Melanie Halstead at 770-781-2237 or or find our Sign Permit Application.

    Can I install a driveway or patio in the setback area of my property?

    The driveway or patio (without footings and at grade) can be installed in a setback area however cannot exceed the property line, or encroach into a required buffer area if applicable. To determine if a buffer is required on your property, please consult the plat of your development. No permit is required for driveways or patios.

    What documents do I need to obtain a residential building permit in Forsyth County?

    Permits may be applied for in the Department of Planning and Community Development. Please visit: Forsyth County Residential Permits for resources such as forms, affidavits, and the building permit packets containing information and applications for New Homes , New Mobile Homes , New Residential Additions and Accessory Buildings , Pools or Electrical Work Only , Mechanical Work Only , or Plumbing Work Only.

    What documents do I need to obtain a commercial building permit in Forsyth County?

    Please visit: Forsyth County Commercial Permits for resources such as forms, affidavits, and the Commercial Building Permit Packet, which includes the application for building plans review and describes the process for approval of building plans in order to obtain a building permit.

    What is the process to revise approved commercial building plans?

    Please find the Commercial Building Permit Revision Packet, which includes the route sheet and describes the process of review and approval revised building plans.

    Back To F.A.Q. Page
    110 East Main Street, Suite 100
    Cumming, GA
    FORSYTH COUNTY GOVERNMENTPhone:  (770) 781-2115
    Fax:  (770) 781-2197