The Building Department is primarily responsible for conducting building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing inspections within the city limits. Inspections can be made through the individual inspectors located in the staff directory or the Permit Center can be contacted at 574-294-5471 ext 3005.
The Building Department approves construction permit applications for new construction, remodeling of existing structures, and the addition, alteration or replacement of electrical, HVAC, plumbing and fire suppression systems. Prior to approval, plans must be submitted and reviewed for completeness and conformance to Indiana Building Codes. Application must be made through the Permit Center.
Plans for any Class 1 (commercial) structure may be required to be filed with the State of Indiana Department of Fire and Building Services prior to any permits being issued. You can click the link below to go to their website.
Indiana State Building Plan Review
The City of Elkhart currently issues licenses for Electrical and HVAC Contractors only. We do, however, register State Licensed Plumbers and bonded Demolition Contractors. Electrical licensing is done by the Electrical Exam Board and Mechanical (HVAC) licensing is done by the Mechanical Exam Board. All licensing and registrations are renewed yearly and processed by the Permit Center.
It is the mission of the Code Enforcement Division of the Department of Planning and Development to work in partnership with the people of Elkhart, Indiana to promote and maintain a safe and desirable living and working environment using all legal methods available to bring landlords, tenants, homeowners, business and others into compliance.
We administer fair and unbiased enforcement initiatives to correct violations of municipal code requirements pursuant to the 2006 (ICC) International Property Maintenance Code.
Code Enforcement Division
The Code Enforcement Division for the City of Elkhart has a total of three Code Enforcement Officers and is supported by Office Services Staff.
Area of Responsibility
Code Enforcement Officers are assigned a specific geographic area which is their primary area of responsibility. However, each officer has the ability to address violations located in any area within the City of Elkhart.
Code Enforcement Officers have the direct responsibility to determine if violations exist and take the appropriate action to abate the situation if possible or to seek other legal remedies.
Code Enforcement Officers have the right to observe the exterior condition of private property and to enter the exterior of publicly accessible private property. To obtain inspection warrants pursuant to IC 36-7-9-16 when required. To make inspections, post notices, issue written warnings, citations, and/or orders. To issue applicable documents for any other purpose in the performance of his or her duties.
The Electrical Exam Board is the authority approving the issuance of electrical licenses. The Board meets once every quarter to review exam scores and approve licensing. The meetings take place on the 4th Monday of January, April, July and October. This is the only time licenses can be approved to be issued.
The Electrical Exam Board is comprised of the following members:
- Daniel Riddle – Chairman/Electrical Inspector
- Kathy Kalman – Local Homeowner
- Gary Shaum – Electrical Contractor
- Craig Johnson – Industry Electrician
- Philip Niemzyk – Journeyman Electrician
- Don Santerre – Electrical Utility Representative
The exam currently used by the City of Elkhart is the Prometric Master Electrician’s Exam based on the 2008 National Electrical Code. We offer the exam here locally the 2nd Monday of January, April, July and October.
Electrical License Information
* These permits can only be issued at Public Works and Utilities
Contractor Licensing/Registration Forms
The Permit Center combines virtually all of the permit applications within a single office, thus making it less likely that an applicant will be shuffled from building to building in search of information.
When in doubt about a permit being required,
contact the Permit Center at 574 294-5471 ext 3005.
The Permit Center issues permits Monday- Friday 8:00am- 4:30pm, (Excluding City Holidays) or online. We accept cash, check or credit cards.
Structures & OTA.
When compliance of unsafe structures cannot be obtained Order To Take Actions hearings are scheduled. All parties having interest in the property are notified and the cases are brought before the hearing officer. The hearing officer may affirm or deny the Building Commissioners orders or he/she may impose additional civil penalties or issue orders for demolition of the unsafe structure.
Unsafe Buildings and Structures and Order To Take Action
When is a structure deemed unsafe?
A building or structure is deemed unsafe when it does not provide adequate egress, or which constitute a fire hazard, or is otherwise dangerous to human life. When a building or structure, in relation to an existing use constitutes a hazard to safety or health, or public welfare, by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, or abandonment as specified in the Property Maintenance Code and/or the Unsafe Building Statue the Building Code or any other ordinance are declared to be public nuisances and shall be abated by repair, rehabilitation, or demolition.
How does the OTA process work?
Whenever an enforcement officer finds that a violation exist, he/she shall caused to be served upon the responsible party a written order (notice) to abate the violation. If after a reasonable time limit the responsible party notified fails to abate the violation the code officer will forward the information to the Building Commissioner for a hearing date. At the conclusion of the hearing and after due consideration of any information presented by the code officer and the responsible party, the Hearing Officer shall render a decision as to whether a nuisance or unsafe condition exist.
For additional information please contact the Building Commissioner at 574 294-5471 ext. 1009.
Is the final decision always demolition?
Demolition is always the last option unless an emergency exists which creates a dangerous and imminent health or safety hazard to persons, property or the general public which requires immediate action. If a structure is demolished, whether contracted by the City or privately, a clean hole inspection is required. Please provide 24 hrs. notice for the inspection to be performed.