The Development Guide is an online reference tool that provides detailed process descriptions that outline requirements for developing and building within the City of Arkansas City. This information includes details about the requirements for approvals and permits, expected processing times and any applicable fees associated with them.
Before submitting applications for residential or commercial development projects, applicants are encouraged to research the property to verify existing conditions and obtain accurate submittal information that will be required throughout the process. The information obtained should then be submitted along with the appropriate application and plans to the City. This will minimize delays, and make the development process smoother so the project can begin as quickly as possible
Property Information can be obtained by using the City's Public Webmap. A tutorial on the use of the webmap can be found within the webmap in the top header bar.
Pre-Development Review (Optional)-Call the Neighborhood Services Office at 620-441-4420 to set up a pre-development review with your preliminary development plan. Commercial projections will also require a meeting before the Technical Advisory Committee.
Does the property require annexation? If the property is outside the City Limits and needs city services, it needs to be annexed into the City. See the Annexation Application for more information.
Does the current zoning district allow the proposed use? You can use the webmap to determine which zoning district the project is in and then use that to determine the appropriate Zoning Regulations. You can also view the City Zoning map or you can view the zoning information on the Public Web Map as noted above. If the current zoning district does not allow the proposed use, a rezoning must be requested. See the Rezoning Packet for more information.
Does the property require a Lot Split or a Plat?
Lot Split-If the current property is larger than needed a simple lot split can be obtained. This applies if it will result in only two lots and doesn't require additional city services among other things. See the Lot Split Packet for more information.
Platting-If the property needs to be split into more than 2 lots or is otherwise more complex than what is allowed by a lot split, a plat will be required. See the Subdivision packet for more information.
I cannot meet the full requirements of the Zoning Regulations, what can I do? If the property is unable to comply with the zoning or subdivision regulations, a variance can be requested. Certain conditions must be met for a variance to be granted. The Board of Zoning Appeals hears variance cases. See the Variance packet for more information.
What if I disagree with the Zoning Administrators findings? If you feel the Zoning Administrator has misinterpreted the regulations, you can file an appeal before the Board of Zoning Appeals. See the Appeal packet for more information.
Are there any existing special districts (including Historic Districts or properties listed on the National or State Register of Historic Places) or other restrictions? Special Districts carry extra regulations and guidelines. The best way to determine if your property is in the Historic District or listed on the National or State Register of Historic Places is to check the Kansas Historic Resources Inventory. If you discover your project is in a Historic District or is individually listed, there are financial incentives to help you. There are state and federal income tax credits as well as grants that can help.
Is the project in a floodplain? If yes, an elevation certificate may be required from a licensed surveyor who can also assist with any additional floodplain permits that may be required. Floodplain maps are available for viewing the Neighborhood Services office and the flood plain layers can also be viewed in the City’s Interactive Webmap . The 1 percent annual chance flood zone (also known as the 100 year floodplain) is included on the Zoning Map as the Floodplain Management Overlay District (FP-O). The City has adopted a floodplain management ordinance by reference in Article 28 of the Zoning Regulations.
The next step in the process is to determine whether your project is residential or commercial, this determines the building codes to follow as well as the development review process. If the project involves a one or two-family home, it is considered a residential project. Residential projects require a review process but it is less stringent than Commercial projects. Any project not involving a one or two-family home is considered a commercial project. Commercial projects require a full review process including a site plan review. Once you determine if a project is residential or commercial, see the appropriate drop down for either Residential Projects or Commercial Projects.
If the project involves a one or two-family home, it is considered a residential project. Residential projects require a review process but it is less stringent than Commercial projects.
The first step in the residential review process is to submit a site plan. Site plans for residential projects do not have to be done by a design professional if you already know where your property corners are but should be drawn to scale with appropriate measurements shown. See the Residential Site Plan Requirements for more information. The site plan will be reviewed by staff and appropriate comments will be returned to you. Some projects may require architectural plans or a code footprint. Consult with the Building Official in the Neighborhood Services office or call 620-441-4420 to determine if this will be required. All new residential construction will require, at a minimum, a scaled floor plan drawing. See the links below for individual requirements for different projects.
Residential Setback Requirements
New (or Additions to) One & Two Family Dwellings
Remodels & Repairs
Decks & Porches
Driveway Curb Cuts
Sidewalk Repair Specifications
Standard Sidewalk Details
Smoke Detector Requirements
Stairway, Handrail & Guardrail Requirements
Any project not involving a one or two-family home is considered a commercial project. Commercial projects require a full review process including a site plan review.
The first step in the commercial development process is to submit a full set of building plans including a site plan. See Building Plan Submittal Requirements for a list of the appropriate requirements. If you would like to meet with staff for a preliminary review of plans or proposals, contact Neighborhood Services at 620-441-4420 and ask to speak to either the zoning administrator or the building official. The next step in the process is a meeting with the Technical Advisory Committee (also known as the Utility Advisory Committee) which is made up of representatives from the various utilities, police and fire departments, Public Works and the City Manager. This committee will review the plans and provide comments. Additional meetings of the committee can be called if substantial changes are required. See the Technical Advisory Committee page for more information. Once the review process is complete, the appropriate permits will be issued. Be advised that some projects will require permitting from county, state and federal authorities as well. As construction moves forward, appropriate inspections should be called in by the contractors with at least a 24 hour advance notice. Upon completion, a certificate of occupancy will be issued by the Building Official.
Historic Review-Minor Project-This is for projects requiring only an Administrative Review
Historic Review-Major Project-This is for projects requiring Review by the Historic Preservation Board
ADA Barrier Removal Substantiation Form
Commercial Setback Requirements
Site Plan Review
Building Plan Submittal Requirements
Stairway, Handrail, and Guardrail Requirements
Water Meter Vault
Misc Concrete Details
Sidewalk Repair Specifications
Standard Sidewalk Details
Driveway Curb Cuts
Permit Application Procedures
Many projects require you to get a permit from the City of Arkansas City before beginning construction. The permit process allows the City to make sure that buildings are well constructed and safe for occupants. This also helps protect your property values and the value of your neighbor's property.
Applications for construction permits are obtained through Neighborhood Services. Permit application processes are divided into two categories: (1) one and two-family construction/remodeling; and (2) multi-family, office, commercial and industrial construction/remodeling (hereinafter referred to as “commercial” construction/remodeling). The application review and permit issuance processes for these categories of construction are significantly different in terms of required application detail and the time required to complete application review/approval.
With any construction activity to be done, it should first be determined if a permit is required. A permit is required for any construction activity unless it meets one of the exceptions in the Building Code. Permits for building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing (gas/water/sewer), structure demolition and interior demolition, are required for the following:
- certain site development activity such as excavation, grading, or placement of fill
- constructing, enlarging, altering, remodeling or demolishing a structure or space; this includes new structures, additions, most decks, masonry fences, swimming pools, etc.
- changing the building code use/occupancy classification of a building or space regardless of the level of construction changes
- installing or replacing any building wiring or equipment such as branch electrical circuits, electrical panels, water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, water or gas piping, water or sewage drain lines, water and sewer service lines, etc.
- installing or altering any fire suppression, detection or fire alarm systems
- installing or substantially altering elevators, lifts or escalators
In addition to the above, a Flood Plain Development Permit/Application is required for any excavation, fill or building development located in a federal or locally designated flood plain or flood way. Federal flood plain maps are available in the Neighborhood Services office.
If you are unsure if a permit is required, please consult with the building official.
Who can Obtain a Permit
Generally, a contractor who is tested, licensed, bonded and insured by the City of Arkansas City to perform the relevant construction work must obtain permits.
Homeowner-occupants of single-family dwellings are allowed to obtain their own permits and perform construction work on their. Such residential building permits may cover all facets of a project, including structural, building, plumbing, electric and mechanical work. However, before performing any plumbing, electrical or mechanical work, the inspector may require that the homeowner-occupant possess a general knowledge of the pertinent codes and submit a basic plan for the proposed installation. Some work will require a licensed contractor.
The Review Process
An application for a permit does not constitute issuance of the permit. The project must first be reviewed by staff before work can start. Most commercial projects require review by the Technical Advisory Committee. Depending on the size and scope of the project, this can take less than one day or can be up to 10 working days for large commercial projects.
Permit Approval and Issuance
Once the application for permit has been approved and all reviews have been completed, the permit may be issued. Once the permit is issued, work can commence. Each trade (plumbing, electrical, and HVAC) typically must pull their own permit. Permit fees can be found by viewing the City's Comprehensive Fee Schedule. Keep in mind that the Building Official can issue a Stop Work Order at any time for just cause. Typically, this only happens if unpermitted work is being conducted or there has been a major change in scope that is not on the plans or if there has been no substantial progress made for 180 days.
As required by the building code, “Construction for which a permit is required shall be subject to inspection by the building official and such construction shall remain for inspection purposes until approved. The permit holder is responsible for scheduling required inspections. The general contractor should not call in inspections for subcontractors. Inspections shall be scheduled a minimum of 24 hours prior to the requested time of inspection (exceptions may be made by the building official as appropriate).
Final Inspection/Certificate of Occupancy
Upon completion of work, permit holder shall make a request for final inspection and/or a certificate of occupancy (depending on the scope of work) prior to occupancy of the building or use of the structure.
Adopted Codes and Other Regulations
Adopted Codes and Other Regulations
All ordinances and requirements for construction and related permits are contained in the City of Arkansas City Municipal Code (Municipal Code). The Municipal Code adopts by reference nationally recognized construction codes with local amendments. The following is a summary of relevant chapters of the Municipal Code regulating development and construction activity, along with related codes that are adopted by reference. Please note that the full Municipal Code can be viewed by visiting https://www.municode.com/library/ks/arkansas_city/codes/code_of_ordinances
Municipal Code Chapter 6 Alcohol and Cereal Malt Beverage Sales Licensing Requirements
Municipal Code Chapter 14 – Buildings and Building Regulations
The full text of the adopted codes before the local amendments can be found at: http://codes.iccsafe.org/I-Codes.html#all
The local amendments can be found at: https://library.municode.com/ks/arkansas_city/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOGEOR_CH14BUBURE
- 2015 International Building Code, with local amendments
- 2015 International Residential Code, with local amendments
- 2015 International Mechanical Code, with local amendments
- 2015 International Plumbing Code, with local amendments
- 2015 International Fuel Gas Code, with local amendments
- 2015 International Property Maintenance Code, with local amendments
- 2015 International Existing Building Code, with local amendments
- NFPA 70: The National Electric Code, 2014 Edition, with local amendments
- 2015 International Private Sewage Disposal Code, with local amendments
Municipal Code Chapter 38 Historic Preservation Ordinance
Municipal Code Chapter 50 Regulations concerning Streets, Sidewalks and Other Public Places
Municipal Code Chapter 62 – Utilities: Water, Sewers, Sewage Disposal and Drains
- Water Connections
- Sanitary Sewer Connections
- Stormwater Pollution Prevention
- Grease interceptors for food service preparation/restaurants
- Industrial waste pre-treatment
Subdivision Regulations (adopted by reference in Municipal Code)
Floodplain Management Ordinance (adopted by reference in the Zoning Regulations)
Other relevant regulations:
- Kansas Accessibility Act (ADAAG)
- Federal ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG)
- Federal Fair Housing Act (for multi-family construction/remodeling, 4-plex or larger)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency National Flood Insurance Program and Flood Insurance Rate Maps
- National Pollution Discharge Elimination Program (NPDES) under the Clean Water Act (administered locally under agreement/permit with the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Water Resources)
- Other regulations as may be required.
All contractors are required to be licensed to work within the City before they can get a permit. Information and Applications are available by clicking the links below or by visiting the Neighborhood Services Office on the 2nd Floor of City Hall. If you have any questions, feel free to stop by the office or call 620-441-4420.