The Building/Zoning Commissioner ensures that all codes, ordinances and City policies are properly enforced. The Commissioner is responsible for ensuring all inspections are performed in a fair, consistent and timely manner. On a daily basis, the Building/Zoning Commissioner plans, organizes and manages the activities of the Building Department’s inspectors and administrative staff.
The Executive Secretary greets and assists new residents, developers, architects, contractors and others who visit the Building Department each day. While facilitating the occupancy permits, this person distributes the Welcome Packets. This person also facilitates inspections, handles complaints, prepares documents for the Plan and Zoning Commission and the Board of Adjustment, and provides a wide array of support services for residents, inspectors and the Building/Zoning Commissioner.
Commercial Code Compliance Inspectors
This division is responsible for municipal code compliance by all commercial structures in the City of Richmond Heights. This includes plan review before new construction and remodeling can begin, as well as scheduled monitoring and inspection of the ensuing work as construction proceeds on the commercial structures. Commercial Code Compliance Inspectors also approve plans for fire suppression systems and, in turn, provide a thorough system test before authorizing the use of the system by the commercial tenant or owner.
Commercial Code Compliance Inspections
The owners and agents of businesses that wish to locate in Richmond Heights are required to undergo a Commercial Code Compliance Inspection process and to secure a Commercial Occupancy Permit before occupying a commercial space and conducting business with the public. In fact, these steps are required in order to obtain a Business or Merchant’s License from either the State of Missouri or the City of Richmond Heights Finance Department. The fee for a Commercial Code Compliance Inspection is $100.
Because of the number of zoning requirements that may be required at a particular site for a particular type of business and because of state and local sales tax and licensing issues that may need to be fulfilled before a Commercial Occupancy Permit may be issued – it is recommended that anyone desiring to do business in Richmond Heights start the process by contacting the Building and Zoning Department.
Residential Code Compliance Inspectors
The City’s Building Inspectors are responsible for conducting required Code Compliance Inspections and, when required, re-inspections of residential properties when a change of occupancy is to occur either as a result of a sale or by virtue of a tenant change in a rental property. The Inspectors are also responsible for ensuring that contractors adhere to approved plans and requirements on residential construction and remodeling projects. The division’s scope of work also includes routine monitoring of homes to ensure that all structures are well maintained and that residents comply with various municipal ordinances pertaining to property maintenance, which helps preserve the City’s property values.
Residential Code Compliance Inspections
The owners and agents of all single-family homes and individual dwelling units within multi-family structures in Richmond Heights are required to apply for a Code Compliance Inspection whenever a change of occupancy occurs. A Code Compliance Certificate must be issued before a new occupant may take up residence in the dwelling and before an Occupancy Permit can be issued to the new occupant. The fee for a Residential Code Compliance Inspection is $65. After the Code Compliance Certificate is issued, the prospective new occupant must apply for an Occupancy Permit at the Building Department’s office. The fee for this one-time permit is $15 per household, and it is issued immediately if a current Code Compliance Certificate is on file.
Residents of Richmond Heights who wish to do certain types of work on their homes must obtain a Building Permit. Generally, this includes any kind of work, such as adding or removing a door, adding or removing a wall, or adding or removing a room to the outside of the residence. A plan must be submitted to the Building Department for review before work begins. The plan must include the dimensions of the project, estimated cost of the project, and the materials to be used. The fee for a Residential Building Permit is $70 for the first $5,000 worth of work, and $7 for each additional $1,000 worth of work thereafter. Building plans may be submitted to – and the permit picked up from – the Building Department’s offices at City Hall, 1330 S. Big Bend Blvd.
Richmond Heights has a grass ordinance that affects both residential and commercial properties. Property owners must ensure that their lawns do not surpass the maximum height of seven (7) inches for grass and weeds. Lawns should be maintained below this height at all times. In addition, the City’s mandatory recycling program requires that grass clippings be raked up and properly disposed of as specified by the City’s recycling ordinance. Grass should be properly trimmed away from around buildings, driveways, sidewalks, and other permanent fixtures. It should not be allowed to grow between the cracks in sidewalks. The City ordinance allows for a notification process for those found being in non-compliance of the ordinance and, ultimately, the property owner could be fined for non-compliance.
No one may post any sign, poster, handbill, card or any form of announcement on any utility pole, sign post, tree, building, fence, wall or billboard on public property – including right-of-ways – in the City of Richmond Heights. Only traffic or other municipal signs, legal notices, or signage that is otherwise provided in the City’s Municipal Code may be posted.
Trash and Debris
In the interest of maintaining Richmond Heights so that it remains a desirable place to live, the owner or person in control of any private property is required to keep their property free of trash and debris. Trash includes garbage, leaves, grass, glass, rock, inoperative vehicles, building materials, etc.
Trash may not be disposed of by throwing it onto vacant or public property or in drainage ditches. Trash may be allowed to accumulate if:
- Its removal is pending.
- It will not be on site for more that seven (7) consecutive days.
- It is in containers and, therefore, not a threat to public health and safety.
- It is screened from neighbors until the scheduled day of collection
For the complete ordinance, contact the Building Department at 314-646-7658 or the Deputy City Clerk at 314-645-4595.
The property maintenance inspector is responsible for responding to complaints from residents regarding tall grass and weeds, trash, and debris.