One North Plum Street, Germantown, OH 45327 | (937) 855-7255 (937) 855-7270

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Zoning/Building – Residential

Frequently Asked Questions

CLICK HERE to view the Germantown Zoning Map

  1. 1. Do I need a permit for a fence?
    • Yes. A Zoning Permit is required for erecting any fence, shed, and detached garage within Germantown. The permit is $15 and can be obtained on-line or at the Municipality  offices. Please call 855-7255 for more information.
  2. What about the building permit?
    • The Municipality  of Germantown enforces a model residential building code, as well as related electrical, fire and mechanical codes. The Ohio Building Officials Association Code (OBOA) applies to one-, two-, and three-family dwellings. The Ohio Building Code (OBC) applies to the construction of dwellings with more than three (3) units, commercial and industrial structures. If you are planning to construct a new building or make a change to your property in Germantown, you may obtain all the necessary information and forms at the “one-stop” offices, One North Plum Street, Germantown, or download the forms from this website. You can contact the Building Department at 433-4642 with any questions.
  3. How do I fill out a Zoning Permit?
    • Basically, the Planning and Zoning Department needs to know exactly where on your property the new construction will be sitting. Zoning deals with where things are located on your property. Therefore, on your permit, you will need to draw a fairly detailed picture of your property and where buildings are situated on it. The distance of your house, shed, etc. and their relation to your property lines are very useful.
  4. How can I get my property rezoned?
    • You will need to come to the Municipality  offices and fill out an Application for Rezoning. The Planning and Zoning Department will evaluate your request and make a recommendation to the Planning Commission. If the Planning Commission approves the application, it would then have to go to the Municipality  Council. The Council can then approve or deny the application. The entire process could take as much as 3-4 months.
  5. How can I find out if I can open a business on my property?
    • Every section of Germantown has been separated into Zoning Districts, and some uses are permitted in some districts, but not in others. You can call 855-7255 or stop by the Municipality  offices and the Planning & Zoning Department can tell you what district you live in. A copy of our regulations concerning the permitted locations for businesses is available to the public.

What you need

  • An Application for Zoning Permit and two copies of a site plan.
  • All building and permit applications require 2 copies of building plans.


Obtain and complete Application For Zoning Permit. Accompanying site plans must illustrate how all height regulations, lot area, width, and yard requirements are met for each accessory use.

General Zoning Information

Home Occupation

All occupational activities must occur entirely within the principle dwelling (home) and be conducted only by persons who live there. No separate entrance for the proposed use or modification not customarily found in residential dwellings is allowed. No more than 25% of the total actual floor area of any one story may be used for proposed use. No equipment except which is used for purely domestic or household purposes may be used. Only one non-illuminated sign, not to exceed two square feet in area, may be externally displayed. All Home Occupations are conditional uses.

Sheds, Pools, and other Accessory Structures

These improvements are allowed when use and height requirements are met as specified by the applicable zoning district regulations. In addition, they may not be erected in side or front yard areas and may not be closer than three (3) feet to any side or rear lot line. When accessed from an alley, the accessory structure shall be at least 10 feet from the alley. There shall be no more than two (2) accessory structures for each lot; each structure must be at least 10 feet from each main building. When there is sufficient side or front yard area to allow construction without infringing upon required minimum setbacks, an accessory structure (excluding pools) may be erected, provided that it is attached to the main building or connected by a covered breezeway.

Unroofed Porches and Steps may extend from the dwelling into the front yard a maximum of 10 feet.


A fence, wall, hedge, or shrubbery may be erected, placed, maintained, or grown along a lot line in the front or corner side yard to a height not to exceed three feet (3′),and not to exceed six feet (6′) in the side or rear yards. Owner assumes full responsibility for placement in any recognized easement.

Additions to Residential Structures

This includes attached rooms, garages, carports, decks, and roofed or enclosed porches. These improvements are allowed when use, height, lot area, width, and yard requirements are met as specified by the applicable zoning district regulations.
Curb, Gutter, Sidewalk and Driveway Repairs do not require a Zoning or Building Permit, but rather a Construction Permit from the Supervisor of Street and Storm Sewers.


One, Two, and Three-Family Buildings
Building Fees
Basic Fee
– New Homes, Room Additions and Alterations
$50.00 Plus $0.15 per Square Foot
Basic Fee – <400 Sq. Ft. Accessory Structure $30.00 Plus $0.10 per Square Foot
Basic Fee – >400 Sq. Ft. Accessory Structure $50.00 Plus $0.12 per Square Foot
Electric Fees
Basic Fee $80.00 Plus $0.04 per Square Foot
Temporary Electric Pole $50.00
Electric Service Upgrade $35.00
With Additional Wiring $70.00
Swimming Pools
Above Ground $45.00
In-ground $60.00
Heating and Air Conditioning Fees
Basic Fee $60.00
Each Additional Unit $30.00
Duct Extension Only $50.00
Replacement Heating and Air Conditioning (Combined) $90.00
Replacement Heating or Air Conditioning $60.00
Gas Piping Inspection $50.00
Administrative Fees
Call back re-inspection (3rd or more trips) $50.00
Unspecified Inspection $50.00 per half hour
Inspection, not specifically listed in this fee schedule
Starting work without a permit $100.00 Or Fee x2, whichever is greater
Missed inspection $100.00



If you are planning to construct a new building or make a change to your property in the Germantown area, you may obtain all the necessary information and forms at the “one-stop” customer service counter at the Germantown Offices, One North Plum Street, Germantown.  All new buildings and structures, alterations, additions, remodeling, demolitions, changes in use or other activities connected to construction or development require permits.  The following items do NOT require a building permit: siding, landscaping (other than retaining walls), painting/wallpapering for maintenance purposes and storm/screen windows and doors.

To apply for a permit, you must submit an application form, along with a $deposit (see permit fees), zoning certificate and the appropriate number of sets of plans drawn according to the Building Code.

If you are not sure whether you need a permit for the changes you plan to make, call our inspection service at 433.4642.  This simple inquiry prevents what could be costly and time-consuming mistakes.


Germantown enforces a model residential building code, as well as related electrical, fire and mechanical codes.  The Residential Code of Ohio applies to one-, two-and three-family dwellings.  The Ohio Building Code (OBC) applies to the construction of buildings with more than three (3) dwellings, commercial and industrial structures.


Provide two (2) sets (three (3) if commercial) of building plans with each application.  All building and lot plans are to be drawn to scale.  Your drawings should show pertinent details in architecture, structure, plumbing, mechanics, fire protection, elevations and foundation in accordance with applicable codes.  The lot plan must show the buildings/structure drawn to scale, the dimensions of the lot, and the distances from the building or structure to front, rear, and side lot lines, parking, screening, location of existing or proposed water/sewer laterals or septic system/wells and other required elements.  In accordance with Ohio Revised Code, plans for commercial construction under the OBC must be “sealed” by a registered design professional.


Once you submit the plans, the plans examiner, zoning and building officials will review them.  To protect the public health and safety, building permits cannot be issued until all requirements are met and plans conform to all applicable ordinances and building codes.  This process normally takes 5-10 business days.

When your building permit is approved, you must then pay the balance of any fees to cover inspection costs and filing processes.  You will need to call National Inspection at 937.433.4642 to schedule each inspection and provide them your permit number.  For each inspection the inspector will need the approved set of plans on site.

Inspectors will make routine, required inspections throughout construction of the structure.  Upon completion of the structure, you will receive and “approved” final inspection ticket and, where appropriate, a Certificate of Occupancy.


All plumbing permits are obtained through Montgomery County.  Please call 225.4421 or 781.2500.

Questions?  Please call National Inspection Corporation for any Building questions at 937.433.4642 and call the Municipality  Building for any Zoning

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Stormwater Education & Outreach

Stormwater Education & Outreach

Storm Water Friendly Watering Tips

  • Direct your downspouts to a depressed area or a garden bed so water soaks into the yard instead of rushing out into the streets.
  • Use rain barrels to store rainwater from downspouts
  • Do not over water. Excessive watering can lead to runoff, which wastes both water and chemicals you may have added to your lawn.
  • Incorporate swales and berms to your landscaping so runoff is contained and does not leave your yard.

What you can do in your yard »