Small Business Guide

Getting Started
What you need to know

In order to prepare for your pre-development meeting, there's a few things you'll need to know.


Zoning ordinances define how a property can be used. These rules can include parking requirements, lot shapes, block patterns, height, and much more. Planning and zoning reviews are part of the small business process. You will need to obtain a Zoning Clearance in order to complete your project and open your business. 

TIP: Check Your Zoning

Purchased a property or have one in mind? Visit the Build Mobile interactive zoning map to learn more about your property. 

Initial Planning

Before you get in touch with the City, we encourage you to plan your project.

Provide as much detail as you can. A site drawing, map, design concept, or project brief will help further. A map of your property or parcel will let us understand how your property interacts with utilities, right of way, and other parcels.

TIP: Professional Advice

The development process can be complex, and licensed general contractors, engineers, or trade contractors can help make your project a reality.

You may need to create detailed development plans that are drawn to scale and to architectural standards. You may need to hire a licensed architect for these plans.

If you need to make physical changes to the grade of your property, modify the impervious surface, or install drainage structures, you will need a professional engineer.

General Contractors:
Licensed general contractors will work on major renovations or structural changes.

Trade Contractors:
Licensed professionals such as plumbers, electricians, or HVAC contractors will make trade-specific modifications.

Pre-Development Meeting
What to expect

Now that you're properly prepared, you can schedule your pre-development meeting. At the meeting, you should be ready to do the following:

Discuss Your Plans

You will walk through your development plans with City staff such as planners, engineers, trade inspectors, and other experts. They will provide guidance on next steps and can answer questions you may have about the process.

Answer Questions

City staff will ask you questions about your plans. Be ready to provide responses, but don’t worry if you don’t know the answer. City staff will work with you to provide a path forward.

Schedule Your Meeting

Email Frank Palombo at

After Your Meeting
What comes next?

After your meeting, you will receive a follow-up email with action items summarizing the next steps and points of contact for each item.

Here are some examples of common procedures and requirements:

Development Plans

Once you have presented your concept, you will need to translate City guidance into formal plans.

Be aware – these plans require you to hire a paid professional who can meet the standards set by City Code.

Permits and Licensing

Before you proceed you must obtain the proper permits and licenses for your project. 

TIP: Customer Self-Service (CSS)

Build Mobile created CSS to make it easier for citizens to submit applications, upload permits, and manage the development process. You and your contractors can sign up for CSS here

You can track the status of these reviews on your CSS account.

Regulatory Boards

City staff in the pre-development meeting may determine that portions of your project conflict with current zoning rules or ordinances. You may have to present your plans to different regulatory boards for formal review. These regulatory boards may approve or deny your project. 

Building your project.

Once your permits have been issued, you are ready to begin your build! Plan ahead and keep your timeline and budget in mind.

Work with your contractors to ensure that your site has proper signs and permits.


City inspectors will conduct inspections of your job site. These can vary depending on the nature of your build.

You and your contractors must coordinate inspections with the City and follow up with any necessary changes. Re-inspections may come with an additional cost.


You will need to make certain that your site is permitted. You will need to post signs with your permits as well as information for the public and neighbors to view.

You're almost done!

Once your build is completed, and all final inspections are passed, you will apply for a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). After a CO is issued you are ready to open for business!