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The primary responsibility of the Building Department is to review and approve construction plans for all applicable codes and consequently to inspect for all subject zoning, building life-safety, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and property maintenance codes.

The Building Department works closely with the Village Plumbing Inspector, Village Engineer, Village Ecologist, Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection District, and the Deerfield Bannockburn Fire Department in reviewing plans and ensuring code compliance. The department issues permits and inspects for construction projects such as new homes, commercial renovations, room additions, home remodeling, decks, fences, patios and other property amenities.

The Building Department is staffed by two full time employees; Rob Durning, Director of Community Services/ Building Official and Meghan Cunningham-Richardson, Building Department Coordinator.

What projects require a building permit?

New construction for primary structures, renovations, additions, structural modifications or repairs, detached structures such as sheds and gazebos, backup generators, driveways, fences, siding, patios, decks, outdoor kitchens, window replacements, swimming pools and spas, roofs, skylights, solar panels, wind turbines, electrical service upgrades and modifications, changes in topography when 10 or more cubic yards of fill are involved, building demolition, interior building demolition/ gutting, sewer and water connections, sewer repair, parking lots. If you are not sure if your project requires a permit, please contact us.

What projects​ do not​ require a building permit?

Minor alterations or basic repairs or maintenance to buildings, structures or equipment, landscaping features such as arbors, trellises or stepping stone paths, mailboxes, jetting or rodding of sewers, children’s playground equipment, minor topography alterations, low voltage wiring or lighting. Please contact us if you have questions.

How do I apply for a building permit?

Complete and sign the building permit application online or in person and submit two sets of complete plans/ scopes of work to the Building Department for review. For larger projects such as site development, or projects requiring the involvement of other jurisdictions like the Fire Prevention District, see the helpful links section. Plans and supporting documents may be submitted via email. The property owner or the owner’s agent may apply for a permit.

Note:​ If your property is located in Thorngate subdivision you must first obtain approval from the Thorngate Homeowners Association for certain projects.

How long does it take to get a permit?

Times vary depending on the scope and complexity of the project and the quality of your submittal. Most smaller scale projects are issued within five business days. Priority is given to emergency projects such as sewer repairs or re-roofing

Is there an annual contractor registration fee?

No, there is no fee for contractors.

Will my property taxes go up with my construction project?

Your township assesses for property taxes, the Village does not. The Village is served by two townships – Vernon and West Deerfield. Both townships receive copies of all subject building permits. Your property tax bill indicates which township you live in.

When can I schedule an inspection?

Inspections may be scheduled prior to 1:30pm  the business day before the day of the requested inspection.  There are no plumbing inspections scheduled on Fridays.

What is my flood zone?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) determines flood zones. Maps are printed and online indicating your flood hazard area.

What are the rules for removing trees and or woodlands?

The Village has a tree and woodlands protection ordinance in effect. A woodlands aerial delineation map is available for each individual property in the Village. We encourage you to schedule an ecological consultation with the Village Ecologist early on in your project.

Do I have wetlands on my property?

The Village Ecologist is available to meet with you to determine whether you have wetlands on your property. A certified wetlands specialist would need to perform a wetland delineation if required. Wetlands are regulated in the Village.

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Notification System

The Village of Riverwoods utilizes Blackboard Connect service for emergency resident notification side-by-side with the Village non-emergency resident email database. As a resident or business you can opt-in to emergency messages, non-emergency messages or both.

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