Today is Tuesday September 2, 2014

The Building Department is responsible for the enforcement of all codes relating to the use, occupancy and construction of all buildings in Grosse Pointe Woods. All construction plans are reviewed by the Building Department before permits are issued. The Building Department issues all permits for building construction and conducts inspections by registered inspectors to ensure that all structures meet safety and code requirements. Building Department employees meet with builders, architects, homeowners, business owners and pertinent city departments prior to the start of any large construction project. The Building Department also works in conjunction with the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals.

Additional responsibilities of the Building Department include: Code Enforcement, Property Maintenance including Sale and Rental properties, Signs, New Business, Commercial Properties, Rodent Control, Commercial & Residential Complaints, etc.

The primary responsibility of the Safety Inspection Division is the enforcement of construction codes relating to building, electrical, plumbing and mechanical work. The types of construction activity inspected include new construction, additions, alterations, renovations, demolitions, swimming pools, sheds, fencing and other related activities. Through inspections, the Code Official is able to ensure that all structures meet public safety and welfare requirements.

Permits must be secured for the following types of work:

  • New construction
  • Major electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling and mechanical installations
  • Additions and alterations to homes and accessory buildings
  • Re-roofing
  • Aluminum or vinyl siding installation
  • Rebuilding of masonry chimneys or fireplaces
  • Installation of fences, swimming pools, sidewalks, driveways, porches, sewers, decks
  • Temporary signs, business signs and awnings

Alterations to commercial structures require an interview before the Planning Commission. Detailed guidelines for this procedure may be obtained from the Building Department office. The Division of Safety Inspection assists the Planning Commission, which is responsible for rezoning, subdivision proposals, sign proposals, and commercial building construction (both new and old). If the Planning Commission denies the proposal, its decision may be appealed to the City Council’s Board of Appeal. For details on the Board of Appeal procedure, check with the City Clerk’s office.

The Property Maintenance Code (Sec. 6-7-1) addresses minimum maintenance standards for buildings or property within the city to promote health, safety and welfare by maintaining the integrity of the structure and state of repair during the life of the building. A copy of this ordinance is available free from the City Clerk’s office.

Whenever there is a change of ownership of a home or business, or new residential construction, a Certificate of Occupancy is required. An inspection of the property is conducted by the Code Official. The buyer or tenant of property cannot occupy the building without having first obtained the Certificate of Occupancy from the Code Official. The Certificate of Occupancy is issued when all code violations are corrected, and it is valid for two years from date of issue.

Rental properties require a Certificate of Approval and must be registered with the Building Department. Information for rental properties shall include: name, address, and telephone number of the property owner, designated agent and tenants. Also, each tenant must be verified as an adult or minor. Upon the change of tenants, the property owner or agent has 30 days to register new tenants with the Building Department.


Code Enforcement: How service is provided

Report a complaint by e-mailing the Building Department or calling the Building Department at 343-2426. A staff member will take information regarding the location and nature of the violation. The Code Enforcement Officer will conduct an inspection of the property. If it is determined that a violation exists, the inspector will attempt to make contact with the property owner to resolve the problem voluntarily. If that is not possible, the inspector issues a notice of violation.

If you receive a notice of violation

Find out how to correct the problem and do so promptly. You can ask for additional time provided you are making progress on the violations. Some problems are serious and correction must not be delayed. Remember to get proper permits that may be required for some repairs. If you are unwilling to take prompt action to correct the problems, there are several possible consequences. The City can arrange for a lot to be mowed or for a vacant, open structure to be boarded. The cost is then billed to you. If legal action becomes necessary, you will be served a notice to appear in the Grosse Pointe Woods Municipal Court.

Opening a business in GPW?

Please visit our Business Information Page for important information for both new and existing businesses.

Business Information Page

Common Code Violations:

  • Yard Maintenance Standards – Yard maintenance standards are the responsibility of every property owner and include the maintenance of plant material in any right-of-way abutting the property. On a corner lot, no fences, walls, hedges or planting shall be erected or maintained to a height exceeding thirty (30) inches above the crown of the roadway within fifteen (15) feet of the intersection of the front and side street property lines. Vegetation and trees must be trimmed so as not to impair vision or obstruct the travel of motorists or pedestrians.
  • Inoperative Motor Vehicles – Inoperative motor vehicles cannot be stored except in a fully enclosed structure that was constructed with a permit. An inoperative vehicle is a vehicle that does not display a current license tag and/or is not equipped with all parts that are required to legally and safely operate on public streets and/or cannot be driven under its own power (whether or not designed for use on the public streets).
  • Junk, Trash and Debris – Junk, trash and debris cannot be left in the yard and must be properly disposed of. This includes junk, auto parts, appliances, furniture, building materials, tires, trash such as discarded paper, cardboard, plastics, etc., and debris such as tree trimmings and fallen limbs.
  • Parking – Parking is permitted for passenger cars and motorcycles in residential lots only on a legal driveway or in a garage. A drive or parking area must be constructed with approved parking surfaces. There are limits to the amount of yard area that can be used for a driveway or parking. Check with the Building Department for more information about legally recognized parking areas.
  • Commercial Equipment – Generally, commercial equipment and commercial vehicles may not be parked or stored in a residential area unless they are within a fully enclosed structure.
  • Maintenance of Commercial Structure – All exterior building structures and walls shall be maintained in a secure and attractive manner. All defective structural and decorative elements of such building façade(s) shall be repaired or replaced in a workmanlike manner, to match as closely as possible the original materials and construction of the building.
  • Condition of Structures – The maintenance of a structure is the responsibility of the property owner. Any wood, siding, shingles, roof covering, railings, fences, walls, ceilings, porches, doors, windows and screens, and other exterior parts of a structure must be maintained in weather tight, rodent proof, sound condition and good repair. The property owner is responsible for maintaining secure windows, doors or other openings that cannot be readily opened from the outside.
  • Outdoor Storage – Outdoor storage is prohibited. Generally, any equipment, materials or furnishings that would ordinarily not be used outdoors may not be stored outdoors. For example, you may not keep indoor furniture, household appliances, auto parts, or building materials outside.

Staff Schedule

Inspector's Name Inspector's Type Inspector's Hours
Gene Tutag Residential & Commercial Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm
John Prieur Code Enforcement Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm
George Washnak Electrical & *Property Maint. Mon, Wed, Thur
8:30-9am & 1-3pm
Dave Podeszwik *Property Maintenance Wed & Thur 6-8pm
Sat 9:30am-12:30pm
Fred Daboul Mechanical/Plumbing Inspector Mon & Wed
8:30am-11:00am
*Includes Sale and Rental Inspections
Grosse Pointe Woods

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