Building and Ordinance Frequently Asked Questions

A new home is being built in my neighborhood and I think the owners are living in it while they are building it. Is this allowed?

No, it is not permissible for anyone to live in a newly constructed home that has not been completed and inspected. A final certificate of occupancy must be obtained before anyone may move in or stay overnight.

How close to the lot lines can I build a structure?

It depends on the type of structure you are building and what zoning district your property is located in. Call the Building/Zoning Department for further information.

How do I file a complaint on an Ordinance violation and do I have to give out my name or any other personal information?

Call the office and ask for the Ordinance Enforcement Department. Our Ordinance Enforcement Department will assist you in filing a complaint.

How long does it take to obtain a building permit?

Once you have submitted your completed building permit application, plan review process is usually complete and the permit is ready for pick up within 5-7 business days, with the exception of holidays.

How much does a building permit cost?

Building permits are charged by the square foot. .50 cents per square foot on residential construction, and .40 cents per square foot on accessory buildings (attached & detached garages, sheds over 200 square feet, or pole buildings). Residential remodeling and alteration permits are $100.00. All permits require a bond to be posted at the time the permit is issued. Residential new construction and additions require a $350.00 bond, and all accessory buildings require a $250.00 bond. These bonds are refunded within 30 days of a final approved inspection by the building official. Call our office for further questions regarding this matter.

I have recently had people come to my door wanting to sell me something. Is solicitation allowed in Fenton Township?

Door-to-door sales/solicitations are permitted in Fenton Township under certain conditions. In general, commercial enterprises may only conduct door-to-door sales if they have been issued a permit to do so by Fenton Township. Schools, charitable organizations, churches and religious organizations are exempt from the permit requirement. Any other commercial solicitation would be a violation of Ordinance No. 707.

I understand that Fenton Township does not do the plumbing, electrical, or mechanical inspections, and that they are performed through the State of Michigan. How do I obtain my permits for them?

I want to build or replace a seawall and make a sandy beach area for swimming. Do I need a permit?

Yes, but these permits are pulled through the Department of Environmental Quality. You can download their permit application at or contact our office for a copy of an application.

I want to replace my roof this year. Do I need a building permit?

No. Building permits are not required for replacing a roof, windows, or siding. Only when you are changing the actual structure such as roof pitch, trusses, or window and/or door way size. Call the Building Department if ever in doubt.

My fence is on my neighbor’s property. Can they remove it without my permission?

This is considered a property line dispute and is a private civil matter. The Township cannot get involved in private civil matters. You will need to contact a lawyer.

My neighbor’s dog is frequently in my yard or running around the rest of the neighborhood, and it seems to be barking all the time when it is confined to its own property. What can I do about it?

Our Dog Control Ordinance No. 253 prohibits dogs from running at large. And owning, keeping, or having charge of a barking dog is prohibited in Fenton Township. A copy of this Ordinance can be obtained on this website.

What about wetlands issues? How do I file a complaint on a wetland violation?

Wetlands are regulated by the Department of Environmental Quality. Go to or call the Department of Environmental Quality Assistance Center 1-800-662-9278.

What is considered to be blight?

Blight can be anything from old tires lying around, to broken out windows in a home, to rubbish that has sat out for pick-up too long. A copy of the Blight Elimination Ordinance No. 508 can be obtained on this website.

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