Building Department

John R. Watson Community Resource Center
3434 Harbor-Petoskey Rd., Suite E
Harbor Springs, MI 49740
Phone: (231) 348-1735
Fax: (231) 439-8933
Email: [email protected]

Hours: Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Powerpoint Presentation from 2022 Coffee with the Inspectors Event

Inspection requests must be made by 4 p.m. the day before in order to be considered for the following day’s schedule. Inspection requests received after 4 p.m. the day before, and up until 9 a.m. the day of the requested inspection, will be at the discretion of the inspector and may be included if time allows in the schedule for that day. This is in no way a guarantee of an inspection occurring the next day or the day of a request being received. This policy will aid the inspectors in arranging their schedules and better accommodate as many customers as possible while also allowing inspectors to schedule the time frame in which an inspection will occur. Our policy remains to perform inspections within 24–48 hours after the inspection request is received, whenever possible.

>> 2020 Virtual Inspection Policy and Procedure

>> 2021 List of Required Inspections for Construction Permits

  • Permits and Forms
  • Permit Search Online
  • Inspection Request
  • Building Department Annual Reports
  • Purchase Code Books through the state of Michigan
  • Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA)
  • Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)


The Emmet County Building Department is responsible for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the people who live and work in Emmet County by regulating the construction of our built environment to ensure compliance with the construction statutes, ordinances, and related rules and regulations.


About the Building Department

The Emmet County Building Department was established in 1974 and at that time consisted of two employees. Since that time, the department has grown to a staff of eight people, all working simultaneously to insure the minimum requirements are being met in the construction industry to ensure the safety and health of the community.

Since 2006, our office has used the BS&A Permit Tracking program, which was designed for the purpose of expediting the processing of permit applications. These systems allow the user to follow permits through all stages of inspections. These stages may include Zoning, Health Department, Soil Erosion and Road Commission approvals. This system allows the user to follow permits through all stages of the construction process, including application, inspections and occupancy. These stages may include Zoning, Health Department, Soil Erosion and Road Commission approvals. The system uses a Data Propagator to extract tax and house numbering data based on the tax identification of the property to confirm that property records are correct. The users also have the ability to track Contractors and whether their licenses for performing the work are up to date. After the building permit is approved, the application becomes a Building Construction Resources tracker monitoring mechanical, plumbing and electrical inspections until a certificate of occupancy is issued. There are all sorts of classic workflow functions that keep construction jobs from falling through the cracks for example, warnings when it’s been too long between the issuance of a building permit and when the first inspection should have occurred. It also sends electronic mail to department staff to inform them of appointments, meeting, etc.

This information is available on-line to enable the contractors and homeowners to check the status of permits and see the status of inspections. The permit applications are also available on-line and can be filled in and printed, then they simply need to be signed and can be submitted electronically, via fax, in person or through the U.S. Post Office. Finally, the programs provide accounting information for planning and helping to determine fees to be charged for the various permits issued by the department.

As with any office, there is an organizational chart to identify the responsibilities throughout the department.

  • Building Official
  • Assistant Building Official
  • Inspectors (Building, Electrical, Mechanical & Plumbing)
  • Plan Reviewer
  • Permit Processor
  • Support Staff

The Building Official is the individual appointed by the Board of Commissioners for enforcement of the building code and to work as inspector, or plan reviewer, or actively engage in the administration and enforcement of adopted building, electrical, mechanical or plumbing codes or any combination of these codes. The Building Official is also responsible for the direction of all employees in the department and sets office policy and procedures as he sees fit in order to provide accurate and efficient service to the public. The Building Official is fiscally responsible for the department’s operational income and expenditures, budget preparation and reporting this data annually to the Emmet County Board of Commissioners.

The Assistant Building Official assists the Building Official in setting and implementing office policy and is responsible for administrative duties in the absence of the Building Official. Prioritizes and monitors all aspects of the departments functions and uses independent judgment to reorganize or change the work flow process.

The Inspectors are responsible for the administration and enforcement of the construction of buildings, structures or appurtenances under the requirements of the applicable building, electrical, mechanical or plumbing code administered and enforced within Emmet County. These responsibilities include performing plan reviews and inspections of construction projects as it pertains to their respective fields.

The Plan Reviewer is responsible for examining construction documents to determine whether the construction indicated and described on the plans are in accordance with the applicable edition of the building code and other pertinent laws or ordinances.

The Permit Processors are responsible for receiving and issuing all electrical, mechanical, plumbing and building permits, and tracking and maintaining contractor license records. Additional duties include acting as Secretary to the Building Construction Resources Department Board of Appeals, Plan Review on construction documents and other duties as necessary.

The support staff is responsible for assisting homeowners and contractors when applying for permits, and scheduling inspections.

Building Department Annual Reports


Emmet County, Michigan
200 Division Street, Petoskey MI 49770
(231) 348-1702 | Contact Us