Building Permits & Inspections

What codes has the City adopted?


What is a building permit?

A building permit is a license, which grants legal permission to start construction of a building project. Permits allow the enforcement of the codes which have been adopted as law by a state, county, township or city. The enforcement of codes is carried out to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens.  

Building permits are typically required for the following:

  • New Buildings 
  • Car Ports
  • Additions 
  • Alterations/Renovations 
  • Swimming Pools
  • Storm Shelters

Scheduling Inspections

Routine building inspections must be scheduled at least one day ahead of the desired inspection date and may be scheduled between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., Monday through Friday by calling the City of Tahlequah Building Inspector.

Building inspection requests may also be submitted by emailing the Building Inspector. Inspections requested by email must contain the following information:

  • Name of the person requesting the inspection
  • The address where the inspection is to be performed
  • The type of inspection you are requesting
  • The name of the person or company that performed the work

Work inspected that does not meet the approval of the inspector is subject to a re-inspection fee of $60.

Emergency Inspections 

Emergency inspections may be scheduled at any time between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Inspections for emergency repairs done after working hours, on weekends, or on holidays, and require an inspection must be scheduled on the next work day between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Special Inspections 

  • Any inspection which is not part of the normal inspection requirements, such as, but not limited to, evening, weekend, or holiday inspections, building sprinkler systems inspections, and consultation inspections. (Ordinance 981-2002, April 1, 2002)
  • The fee for all such special inspections shall be figured at rate of one cent ($0.01) per the structure’s total square footage, with a minimum of fifty Dollars ($50) per inspection. (Ordinance 981-2002, April 1, 2002).

Work inspected that does not meet the approval of the inspector is subject to a re-inspection fee of $60.

Building Safety Inspections 

According to City Ordinance 13-216, the Chief shall adopt all prudent measures for the prevention of fires. Whenever he has reasons to believe that the safety of property demands it, he and his authorized representatives shall have reasonable access in the daytime to any house, building or premises in this City to examine fireplaces, flues or other property or apparatus likely to cause fire, also places where ashes, gunpowder, straw, paper, shavings, hay, or other combustible or inflammable materials may be deposited, and shall give directions for the alteration or removal of the same, as he shall deem proper. Such directions shall be obeyed and complied with by the person or persons so directed immediately at their expense.

Safety inspections are performed by the City of Tahlequah Fire Marshal. The Fire Marshal can be contacted by calling 918-456-2424. 

Site Layout

Prior to start of construction, all lots or parcels of land platted or un-platted shall have all property lines, easements, Right-of-ways, and building lines clearly marked by a registered land surveyor.

Footing Reinforcement

Concrete footings shall have a minimum of two (2) Number 4 bar (1/2") at the top and two (2) at the bottom of the footing. Bottom reinforcement shall be located a minimum of 3 inches clear from the bottom of the footing.

Construction Documents

  • Construction documents shall be prepared by a registered design professional and submitted with the building permit application for the following:
    • One and two-family dwellings exceeding 5,000 square feet.
    • Multi-family dwellings over 2 stories in height, or that exceed 8,000 total square feet.
    • All commercial construction in excess of 4,000 square feet.
    • Commercial buildings exceeding 3 separate tenant spaces.
    • All buildings and structures used for assembly purposes as defined by the building code currently adopted by the City of Tahlequah, prescribed in section 5-102 of this chapter.
  • All construction documents may be subject to the state fire marshal’s approval. (Ordinance 979-2002, April 1, 2002).

Common Questions


Any person, firm, or corporation that starts work on a project which requires a permit before obtaining said permit, will be subject to a penalty amounting in the amount equal to, but not more than, twice the amount of the original permit fee. 

  1. Richard Coffron

    Building Inspector

  2. Ray Hammons

    Compliance Coordinator

  3. Aaron Garrett

    Assistant Fire Marshal

Building Permits

Permit applications may be submitted at the Building Inspector’s Office at 111 South Cherokee, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

A complete list of permits that can be submitted online and/or printed, are available on our Licenses and Permits page.