FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

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The answers to common questions regarding Building, Environmental Health and Housing, and Planning and Zoning are below. For a specific Building Code Question, email the Building Division

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Common Building Questions:
What is a building permit?
What is a building permit application?
What work requires a building permit?
When should I call the Building Division?
Does the Village need to inspect my project?
What documents must I display at the job site?

Common Environmental Health and Housing Questions:
What is a rental license and how can I apply for one?
What are the food safety guidelines for participating in the Farmers' Market?
Does the Village provide Animal Control?
What is West Nile Virus?
How can I report a potential property maintenance violation?
Where can I find information on household garbage and recycling collection?

Common Planning and Zoning Questions:
What is my zoning district?
What are my setback requirements?

Common Building Questions:
Q. What is a building permit?
A. A building permit is a license that grants legal permission to begin construction of a building project. Permits and inspections are necessary to verify that local building and fire code standards are met. If they aren't, the public's health, safety and welfare is at risk.

Q. What is a building permit application? 
A. After contacting the Building Division, you will have to complete an application for a building permit. It will require basic information about the project, such as who will perform the work, what work will be done, and how it will be done. The application process also will require you to submit drawings, plans or other documents for review. If the construction plans do not meet the Village's Building Code and Zoning Ordinance, or other related ordinance requirements, a code official will explain what needs to be corrected.

To receive a permit you will have to pay a fee. The permit fee helps defray the cost of the Building Division's time spent on the application, and the review and inspection process. It also gives you access to the Building Division's knowledge and experience when you have questions about the construction project.

Q. What work requires a building permit?
A. Most people know that new buildings, additions to existing structures, renovations, demolitions, and temporary buildings usually require building permits and inspections. Less obvious projects that may require a permit include installing a swimming pool, deck, fence and/or roof. Also, some tasks that involve electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and fireplaces require a building permit. A good rule of thumb is if it involves adding, moving, or exposing water, gas, electricity or walls, or it involves your property lines, it is going to need a permit!

Q. When should I call the Building Division?
A. The time to call the Building Division is before you start a project. Tell them what you plan to do and they will explain the requirements and assist you until the project has been safely and successfully completed. If you hire a professional contractor to do the work, select one who is familiar with local building codes. Then apply whether a professional or a do-it-yourselfer does the job. Building Division contact information and hours are on the Division webpage.

Q. Does the Village need to inspect my project?
A. Yes. It is the responsibility of the person doing the work to schedule inspections at least 24 hours in advance. If the inspector finds that some of the work does not meet minimum code requirements, he will provide a written list of the corrections that must be made to bring the work up to acceptable standards.

Q. What documents must I display at the job site?
A. The building permit card must be in a visible location at the construction site. A copy of the approved plans and the Tree Protection Plan must be on the job site at all times. Any proposed changes to the original plan must be brought to the attention of the Building Official. Some changes will require review and approval.

Common Environmental Health and Housing Questions:
Q. What is a rental license and how can I apply for one?
A. The Village requires the owner of any building or dwelling unit (including a single family residence) which is rented to obtain a residential operator’s license. A residential operator’s licenses shall not be issued until the landlord, or designated agent, has attended and successfully completed the Crime Free seminar sponsored by the Village of Mount Prospect. Click here to register for an upcoming Crime Free Housing seminar or to download a rental license application.

Q. What are the food safety guidelines for participating in the Farmers' Market?
A. You can learn about Farmers' Market food safety requirements by reviewing this brochure.

Q. Does the Village provide Animal Control?
A. The Village does not employ animal control staff. For information regarding common wildlife issues, please click here.

Q. What is West Nile Virus?
A. Viruses and bacteria can cause encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain) in humans and other animals. West Nile encephalitis is a mosquito-borne infection of the brain caused by West Nile virus (WNV). WNV is found in Africa, West and Central Asia, and the Middle East. Although it is not known how the virus was introduced to the U.S., it may have entered this country in an infected traveler, bird or mosquito probably in the New York City area in 1999. For more information and tips on how to reduce your risk, download this brochure about West Nile Virus.

Q. How can I report a potential property maintenance violation?
A. The Village has an online Service Request system for reporting many common requests related to:

  • Building Construction (debris on-site or in the street; work without a permit; construction drainage/water complaints)
  • Restaurant or food store safety (food handling and sanitation concerns; or food-borne illness)
  • Landlord/Rental concerns (heat maintenance, safety, and pests; or lease problems such as security deposit not returned, no written lease, regulations/rules not in lease, and landlord retaliation)
  • Planning/Zoning (illegal signs; commercial vehicle storage; home occupation; or lighting)
  • Property Maintenance (maintenance problems related to buildings, fences, pools, sheds; animal problems; rubbish and garbage accumulations/storage; compost problems; vermin; long grass/weeds; or inoperable vehicles and POD storage)

Q. Where can I find information on household garbage and recycling collection?
A. View complete information on solid waste collection by visiting this page within the Public Works Division.

Common Planning and Zoning Questions:
Q. What is my zoning district?
A. All property within the Village is within one of fifteen zoning classifications. To find a property's classification, visit the Zoning Lookup page.

Q. What are my setback requirements?
A. Setback requirements vary depending on a property's zoning classification as well as other factors such as type of structure and adjacent land uses. For an overview of bulk regulations by zoning district, click here. For detailed information, visit the Zoning Lookup page and click on the applicable zoning district