Permits, Inspections, and Code

Will code enforcement still be in effect?

Code Enforcement is currently postponing enforcement and Ordinance Board of Appeals meetings through the City closure. As always, we ask residents to continue to follow city code and be respectful to neighbors.

How can I apply for a permit?

All permits during this time should be submitted electronically, if you have questions please contact the departments below.

Planning Department:

Engineering Department:

Building Department:

How do I obtain a building permit during the City closure?

Trade permits and roofing permits can be obtained here. Permit applications for decks, shed, fences and concrete can be scanned and sent to the Building Department email or sent by mail for review.

Can I mail in my permit application since City Hall is closed?

Yes, you can mail the permit and plans needed to apply for a permit. This process will take longer than normal since mail delivery may be delayed while City Hall is closed. Permit applications for decks, shed, fences and concrete can also be scanned and sent to the Building Department email for review.

Are Inspections still being performed? 

The City of Sterling Heights Building Department now offers virtual inspections. Our Virtual Inspections Program allows for off-site virtual inspections for a permit holder to utilize on select inspections.

View more information on the Virtual Inspections Program here.

Schedule a Witness Test

To schedule a witness test, please email with your request at least 5 days in advance with your preferred date and time (any time after 10:00 a.m.).  Please include the following information:

  1. Address of job site
  2. Permit number
  3. Contractor contact information
  4. Type of test to be performed

We will confirm the date and time via email.  If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at or call 586-446-2955.

If I have an inspection scheduled, how do I get in contact with the inspector for an approximate time?

All office phones have been set to forward to inspector cell phones, so you can reach them simply by calling them on their office phone. If you leave a voicemail, they will also receive an email of the recording, and they will return all calls within 24 hours.

How do I submit a site plan, special land use approval, or other site development that requires planning approval?

You can find all applicable application on the Office of Planning website here. Plans, applications, etc., should be submitted electronically to If your files are too large to transmit over email please email for an FTP link to upload your documents. 

I have a question about what I can do with my property, what kind or size of sign can I have, etc., where can I find answers to questions like these?

You can find the City’s Zoning Ordinance here. The Zoning Ordinance is the first place to start regarding what can and can’t be done on certain properties and what the City’s regulations are for signs and other things. 

May landscaping, lawncare, tree service, irrigation, and related outdoor maintenance companies operate under this order?

In nearly all cases, no. A business cannot designate workers to perform these services unless the service is necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of a residence. This is a narrow exception that only permits in-person work that is strictly necessary to address a circumstance that immediately and genuinely impairs the habitability of a home during the emergency; the exception will be satisfied, at most, rarely. Routine concerns, such as about longer grass increasing insects, pests, or allergies, do not qualify. Nor can workers leave the home to perform these services at business facilities: the exception applies only to residences. Any necessary in-person work that is permitted under the order must be done in accordance with the mitigation measures required under section 10 of the order. The order does not prohibit homeowners from tending to their own yards as they see fit.