Step-by-Step Guide

To further our objective of streamlining the approval process, we've created this step-by-step guide to take you seamlessly through the process. Use the links to the right to learn what you need to do at a specific step in the process or navigate through the process step-by-step by following the instructions below.

If you need further help or instruction, feel free to contact the Chief Building Official.

Determine Need for Approval

ECOBA provides plan approval and inspection services for all buildings and structures within the scope of the Ohio Building Code. Two, or three family dwellings do not fall within our jurisdiction but are required to be constructed in compliance with the current residential code of Ohio. Please contact your local city, village or township officials to determine if a residential zoning permit is necessary.

Generally speaking, approval is required to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or portion thereof, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, plumbing system, or other building service equipment, or piping system. Approvals are not generally required in the case of ordinary repairs and maintenance.


Projects Requiring Approval

  • All Commercial Structures
    • New Buildings
    • Additions or Alterations
    • Change of Use
  • Residential Greater than 3-Family Units or 3 Stories
  • Other Structures
    • Industrialized Units
    • Storage Tanks
    • Fences Greater than 6 Feet High
    • Retaining Walls Greater than 4 Feet High
  • Special Structures
    • Tents and Air Supported Membrane Structures
    • Temporary Structures
    • Pedestrian Walkways and Tunnels
    • Awnings and Canopies
    • Signs and Marquees
    • Towers
    • Swimming Pools
  • Plumbing, Mechanical, Electrical or Fire Protection Systems

Projects Not Requiring Approval

  • 1 - 3 Family Residential, Less Than 4 Stories and Detached
  • 1 Story Detached Accessory Structures, Less than 120 Square Feet
  • Agricultural Use Buildings (as defined by OBC)
  • Sidewalks and Driveways
  • (unless 30" above adjacent grade or part of an accessible route)
  • Electrical, Less than 25V or 50W
  • Piping, Less than 50' in Length
  • Portable HVAC
  • Process Equipment
  • Other Exemptions Listed in OBC 102.10
  • Minor Repairs per OBC 102.10.2
  • Routine Maintenance and Repairs per OBC 3405.1

Once you have determined if your project requires plan approval, check our jurisdictions section to determine if your project falls under the jurisdiction of ECOBA.

Complete Application Plan for Approval

Download our Plan Approval Application Instructions. This document will guide you through the process.  Then, download, print, and complete the Application for Plan Approval.

Submit Application and Plans

All plans must be prepared by a registered design professional. The first sheet of architectural plans must be embossed with an official seal over his/her original ink signature and date. All other submissions shall bear an official seal, original ink signature and date. Four (4) sets of plans and specifications must be submitted with the completed application and required fees.

Fees must be paid prior to plans examination and inspections. Payment Terms: Cash, Check (payable to: East Central Ohio Building Authority), MasterCard, Visa and American Express.

Send the application, documentation and payment to:
East Central Ohio Building Authority
ATTN: Building Official
339 Oxford Street
Dover, Ohio 44622

Or bring them by our offices in the Tuscarawas County Port Authority Building during our regular office hours.


Fee Schedule
Worksheet for Fees to be Paid

Plan Approval

Upon approval of plans, the Building Official shall endorse or stamp plans as approved. A Certificate of Plan Approval will be issued to the owner along with two sets of construction documents.

The Certificate must be posted on the job site with one set of construction documents at all times during construction.

Preparing for Inspections

Inspections must be scheduled with ECOBA at least one day prior to the inspection date. To schedule an inspection, use our convenient online form or contact the Inspector. The approved drawings must be posted on the job site, lot lines clearly marked and site access shall be provided prior to the inspection.

A re-inspection fee shall be assessed when a requestor misses a scheduled inspection, the site is not accessible, or work is incomplete as determined by the building official.

Certificate of Occupancy

Send a copy of the completed inspection log to the building official to obtain the Certificate of Occupancy or fax: (330) 364-4690.

Once all inspections have been obtained a final Certificate of Occupancy will be issued.

Certificates of Occupancy can be obtained for existing buildings upon written request from the owner. Provided there are no violations of law or orders of the building official pending, and it has been established after inspection and investigation that the alleged occupancy of the building or structure has heretofore existed, the building official shall issue a Certificate of Occupancy.