How to Clear a Permit with a city.

So, what exactly is to “clear the permit”? Do all projects that do business in a city or small town require a Permit to open for business? What is the step by step in clearing a permit? Who is the one responsible?

Permit application can be made by one of three (3) entities. 

These are :
Contractor or the

        The photo below is an example of what a cleared permit ( Permit to Construct).

City of Arlington Permit CLIP 2 pdf 1

          The best method is for the Contractor to make application for a building permit. However, in many
cases the Contractor has not been determined until a 3-to-4-week process of bidding and cost estimation is
carried out. If the Contractor is not known, the Owner or Architect can make application to the city for the
permit. This will save several weeks of project time schedule. 


          The goal will be to have the city staff review the building plans and make comments as regards to changes or additions that they deem necessary. Once these city staff comments are available to our firm, we go to work to correct or revise the building plans. It depends on the city and their particular method of permit review, but most projects take at least 2 weeks to receive comments once the application has been submitted for a permit.

           A very large project may take up to 4 weeks to get review comments. During the course of my four decades of preparing building plans, I have seen the city staff come back with everything from “No Comments” to over 150 comments. The majority of the time it is usually about 20-50 comments. We distribute these to our engineering consultants also. They will need to address particular items that were part of their portion of work on the project.


          After the AE Team ( Architect / Engineer) responds to all the comments, we resubmit a revised permit plan set
back to the city staff. This is accompanied by a brief letter stating to the staff the way the AE Team remedied
each comment. This is called ““clearing the permit”. Once the staff reviews the revised plans and letter they
will decide if the permit is “approved”. If the AE Team is successful, the permit is issued to the Owner or


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