City moves along permit process for rebuilding
July 08, 2011
In a major step forward for Joplin's tornado recovery, city officials now are granting building permits for nearly all tornado-damaged residential properties from Picher Avenue west to the city limits.

"This is a really significant step for us to be able to open up these areas to help jump start the rebuilding process," said Mark Rohr, Joplin city manager. "Many considerations caused the city to temporarily suspend issuing these permits right after the tornado, but we are sensitive to the fact that our residents want to move forward. That's why we've been working very hard with our state and federal partners to quickly remove the debris so that citizens can start rebuilding."

Building permits are still on hold for residential properties along 20th and 26th Streets, as well as Schifferdecker Road, for safety reasons because those roads are the main routes for trucks hauling out tornado debris. City officials continue to closely monitor these areas and will allow permitting as quickly as possible once traffic loads decrease to safer levels.

The availability of building permits on the city's west side now allows residents to proceed with one of two options: building a new structure on an existing foundation or basement, or starting from scratch and building a completely new structure from the ground up. When using an existing slab or basement, it's best to have a structural engineer or qualified building professional do an inspection to ensure that the slab or foundation is safe to hold a new structure.

All permits will be reviewed for compliance with zoning, future traffic plans and floodplain areas. When obtaining a permit, please be prepared to provide the following necessary documentation: a) completed permit application; b) survey plot or site plan; c) construction plan showing wall sections and elevations.

The city already has issued nearly 1,500 permits to repair damaged residential properties in the impacted areas. Repair and rebuilding permits in commercial areas also are being issued.

Building permits can be obtained at the Joplin Building Division, 4th floor of City Hall, 602 S. Main Street, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Permits must be issued in person either to a resident or contractor. Permit fees, which cover necessary municipal inspections, vary depending on size of the structure. For more information, contact the building division at (417) 624-0820, Ext. 520.

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