Building Permits and Inspections

COVID-19 Update

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the City of Council Bluffs Permits and Inspections division has instituted the following procedures temporarily, until such time as the Pandemic is deemed to be safe, to allow the smooth flow of construction and inspection documentation. 

Please note that inspections are required to be signed off and documented by the Master Contractor in charge of the permitted work. Permit applications are available online at the City of Council Bluffs website,, and we have established a protocol for you to submit those plans for review and subsequent permit issuance. 

We don’t anticipate that this procedural change will be in place for a long time. If you have any questions at all concerning this posting, please feel free to contact either Alicia Myers at 712-890-5284 or Steve Carmichael at 712-890-5277.

New Construction for Stand-Alone Industrial, Commercial, Multi-Family, One and two-family dwelling and utility structures for Building, Plumbing, Mechanical, and Electrical Inspections:

Permits and Inspections will be performed in the same manner and time frame that occurred prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Permits and Inspections of additions and interior alterations to existing Industrial, Commercial, Multi-Family, One and Two-Family Dwellings and Accessory Structures:

Due to the high potential and probability that our inspectors may contract the COVID-19 Virus or worse yet, become a carrier of the virus prior to the onset of physical symptoms, The City of Council Bluffs Permits and Inspections Division will no longer perform an on-site inspection in this category while the Pandemic is deemed active. The following procedures will be in effect so that we do not impact your construction projects:

  1. The Licensed Master or Licensed General Contractor will be required to provide the Division with a written Notice of Inspection Document stipulating that the construction in question meets or exceeds the minimum code requirements.
  2. Provide photographic documentation of all construction in question.
  3. Provide the Division with a signed and notary sealed Hold Harmless Agreement stipulating that the Licensed Contractor responsible for the work will assume the liability for all work performed.
  4. Each licensed contractor shall provide items 1 and 2 for each required inspection which would normally be performed by our inspection staff.
  5. If available, our staff will attempt to perform a virtual inspection, technology permitting. If that cannot be accomplished, refer to item 4 above.
  6. Any construction site, which requires pre-screening of all construction workers and our inspection staff prior to entering the site will be permitted to contact our inspection staff for normal on-site inspections.

COVID-19 Contractor Forms:
Notice of Inspection Document
Hold Harmless Agreement


The Permits and Inspections Division is charged with the enforcement of the City of Council Bluffs adopted building codes for new and existing structures.  The purpose of building codes is to establish the minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety, and general welfare through structural strength, means of egress, sanitation, light and ventilation, and safety to life and property from fire and other hazards attributed to the built environment and to provide safety to the occupants, firefighters, and emergency personnel during emergency operations.


The building division performs all required inspections for building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, fire and life safety, gas piping, energy, flood plain, grading, and excavation, manufactured home set downs, signs, and utility construction.

Please note that on all construction projects, final inspections must be performed and approved and a Certificate of Occupancy must be issued prior to occupancy of any new construction project.


The Permits and Inspections Division issues the following permits: 

  • Billboard
  • Building
  • Commercial Interior Demolition
  • Demolition
  • Electrical
  • Excavation
  • Fence
  • Flood Plain
  • Footing / Foundation
  • Grading
  • Lawn Sprinkler
  • Manufactured Structure
  • Mechanical
  • Moving
  • Plumbing
  • Retaining Wall
  • Roofing
  • Siding
  • Sign
  • Solar
  • Structural Frame
  • Temporary Pole
  • Tornado Shelter
  • Utility