Building and Zoning

The Planning & Development Department issues building permits for all structural improvements to buildings or properties within Washington's city limits.

Most permits are issued during your visit while you wait. Complicated projects such as new construction require up to 48 hours for review prior to permit issuance.

Building permits are issued for a period of six (6) months with an option to renew if construction continues. The building permit and inspection process enables City staff to review project compliance with locally adopted codes and regulations.

The list below includes many common building projects for which a building permit is, or is not, required. If your project is not listed please contact the Building & Zoning Supervisor at the phone number or email address listed on the right to see if a building permit is required.

A building permit IS required for: A building permit is NOT required for:
  • New home or business construction
  • Building additions
  • Water or sewer service work
  • Truss or structural support work
  • Structures including garages, sheds or carports
  • Porches or decks
  • Satellite dishes, located in front/side yard/roof
  • Fences
  • Driveway approaches, streetside
  • Swimming pools - permanent
  • Signs
  • Solar Panels
  • Telecommunication towers & radio antennae     

  • Roofing, non-structural
  • Siding or guttering
  • Window or door installation
  • Interior remodeling, non-structural
  • Swing sets and jungle gyms
  • Patios or walkways at grade level
  • Sport courts
  • Satellite dishes, located in rear yard (size restriction)
  • Driveway replacement, non-streetside
  • Swimming pools - inflatable or temporary
  • Flagpoles
  • Mailboxes

SolarApp+ (Roof-Mount Solar Permitting)

Click Here to Apply for a Roof-Mount Solar Permit

SolarApp+ How-to-Guide

Upon submittal of the SolarAPP+ application, two items must be sent via email to Joe Boyer, Building & Zoning Supervisor, at

  • A certification/letter from a registered design professional certifying that the existing structure can support the additional gravity and wind loads of the solar energy system; and
  • A site plan showing the roof diagram that identifies the location of the solar panels that is compliant with the NFPA 70.

Any roof- or ground-mount solar projects must be installed by a licensed electrician.  The license can be submitted with the SolarAPP+ application.

Ground-Mount Solar Permitting

Click Here to Apply for a Ground-Mount Solar Permit

Any roof- or ground-mount solar projects must be installed by a licensed electrician.  An electrician can submit via email to Joe Boyer at a current license issued by any of the following Illinois communities: Peoria, Bloomington, Springfield, Decatur, Pekin, Ottawa,  Joliet, or any other Illinois testing community upon verification by the City building official.

  • Adopted Building Codes: 2018 International Building & Residential Code (IBC & IRC)
  • Adopted Mechanical Code: 2018 International Mechanical Code
  • Adopted Electrical Code: Current National Electrical Code (NEC)
  • Adopted Plumbing Code: Current Illinois Plumbing Code
  • Adopted National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code: 101 Life Safety Code, 2015 Edition
    (Copies are available at City Hall for viewing)
  • Deck Construction Guide
  • Swimming Pool Requirements