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Building and Development

man filling out forms at a construction site

FAQ Topics

What is exempt from residential permitting?
  • One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided that the floor area is not greater than 120 square feet, is not on a permanent foundation, has no electrical, plumbing , HVAC or gas connections, is at least 5 feet from all property boundaries and is less than 35 feet in height. (There may be Zoning stipulations associated with your property that may impose further limitations on detached structures. Please contact the Zoning Division at (770) 528-2035 for this information prior to starting your project.)
  • Fences (However, there are height limitations for fences so please contact the Zoning Division at (770) 528-2035 for this information prior to starting your project)
  • Retaining walls that are not over 30 inches in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge such as a driveway or other permanent structure.
  • Sidewalks and driveways. Sidewalks cannot be poured within the ROW. If you are proposing adding or relocating a driveway you must obtain approval from the Department of Transportation at (770) 528-1600.
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and other finish work.
  • Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 12 inches deep with a circulation system.
  • Swings and other playground equipment.
  • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches in Group R-3 and U occupancies only from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
  • Exterior wall covering such as siding, fascia and cornice work.
  • Only residential standard tab shingle replacement is exempt. Commercial is not exempt.
  • Decks not exceeding 200 sqft in area, that are not more than 30" above grade at any point, are not attached to a dwelling, and do not serve the required exit door.
Can a homeowner obtain a permit?

A homeowner can obtain permits to do work on the home in which they reside only. The homeowner must be the one performing work on site. The homeowner must provide:

  • Proof of Ownership of Home
  • Knowledge of water setup: sewer or septic

If work is performed on the exterior of house or on another area of the property, the Homeowner must also provide a plat showing the changes being made to the property prior to the permit issuance.

Are there any additional requirements for obtaining building permits if my home is on a septic tank?

Yes, approval must be obtained from the Environmental Health Division of the Cobb & Douglas Board of Health prior to applying for a building permit of any kind. Stand-alone electrical, plumbing or HVAC work does not require their review and approval.

Environmental Health Division
(770) 435-7815

How can I contact an inspector?

The inspectors are available from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 to 4:00 p.m Monday thru Friday. Please call (770) 528-2051 to speak to an inspector.

How do I schedule an inspection?

There are 2 ways to schedule an inspection: via TEXT and Online. 

Click here to see how to schedule your inspection. 

How much are the reinspection fees?

$50.00 for the first one, $75.00 for the second one and $100.00 for each additional inspection after the second one.

How long after I request an inspection can I expect the inspection to be performed?

Inspections are typically scheduled within 1-3 business days.  There are 2 ways to schedule an inspection: via TEXT and Online. 

Click here to see how to schedule your inspection. 

Do I have to pay for inspection?

Required inspections are covered under the permit fee. However, if an inspection fails, a recall fee may be assessed for a re-inspection.

How do I get a site release?

The Site Inspector will be making periodic site inspections to track progress. Upon completion of all site work, contact the assigned inspector to schedule a final site inspection. You may also call (770) 528-2051 to schedule an inspection.

How do I submit a plat for recording?

Contact the Site Plan Review Department at (770) 528-1074.

Does my project need a land disturbance permit?

The parameters for determining whether a project requires a land disturbance permit are too numerous to list here. It is best to call the Site Plan Review Section at (770) 528-2147 and describe the location and scope of your project, so that you can be advised whether or not a permit is required.

How do I get a land disturbance permit?

If a land disturbance permit is required, please follow either of the following procedures: 

  1. Submit the following documents to Site Plan Review before Wednesday at 4:30 pm:
    1. Site plans (3 sets)
    2. One compact disc with plans and hydro in PDF format
    3. Hard copy of hydro, if necessary
    4. Plan Review form with $200 fee (Check, Visa or MC)
    5. Meet with all plan reviewers at your scheduled time at the Plan Review conference on Thursday of the following week.
    6. Address all reviewers’ comments and obtain a release from each reviewer to attend a Monday morning “One Stop” permit conference.
    7. Call Site Plan Review at (770) 528-1074 for a “One Stop” appointment.
    8. Obtain plan approval stamps and receive a land disturbance permit at your appointed time at the Monday morning “One Stop” meeting.
  2. Submit Plans electronically for review and approval by the Cobb ePlan System

For more information about this process, call the Site Plan Review Section at (770) 528-2147.

What are the fees for a land disturbance permit?

Fees associated with a land disturbance permit are as follows:

  • Plan Review fee: $200.00 per submittal
  • Commercial Project Permit fee*: $100.00 per disturbed acre ($200.00 minimum)
  • Single Family Residential Permit fee: $20.00 per lot
  • Minimum Permit fee: $200.00
  • NPDES fee (all projects over 1 acre): $40.00 per disturbed acre

*Includes Apartment, Condominium and Townhome projects.

Can I get a land disturbance permit and a building permit at the same time?

No. When a land disturbance permit and a building permit are required for a project, the land disturbance permit must be obtained before a building permit. More specifically, a land disturbance permit only allows for sufficient land disturbing activity to install erosion control and tree protection devices. When those devices have been inspected and approved, the Site Inspector issues a grading permit at the site. A building permit cannot be issued until after the grading permit has been issued.

How may I obtain a plat or survey?

This information can be found at the Superior Court Clerk’s Office.

Superior Clerk's Office
70 Haynes St
Marietta, GA 30090
(770) 528-1801

What documents do I need in order to obtain a retaining wall permit?

You will need a site plan and a design detail signed and sealed by a registered professional engineer in the state of Georgia. The site plan must show the location, height and orientation of the wall; a north arrow; and sufficient boundary and/or building locations to identify where the wall is on the site.

What is the cost of a permit?

Please contact one of the two offices below to determine the cost of your permit.

  • Residential Permitting: (770) 528-2060
  • Commercial Permitting: (770) 528-2071

Permit offices are open Monday - Friday 8 - 5 p.m. Permits are issued 8 - 4:30 p.m.

Do I need a permit to harvest timber?

Any large-scale tree removal operation that is not permitted under a land disturbance permit must have a timber harvest permit in Cobb County. Contact the Site Plan Review Section at (770) 528-2147 for more information about what is considered to be a timber harvest. In addition to the Cobb County permit, a notice of timber harvest activity must be submitted to the Cobb County office of the Georgia Forestry Commission. Call the Forestry Commission at (770) 528-3195 for more information.

Do I need a permit to remove some trees in my yard?

In most cases, you do not need a permit to remove a few trees in your yard. County review and approval is required if the trees are located in a stream buffer or a buffer required by the Zoning Code. Also, if the tree removal is extensive, a timber harvest permit may be required. Contact the Site Plan Review Section at (770) 528-2147 if you are unsure of your situation.

How do I get a grading permit?

After a project has been approved and a land disturbance permit (LDP) has been issued, call (770) 528-2142 to schedule a pre-construction meeting with the assigned Site Inspector. Upon satisfactory inspection of the installed erosion control measures shown on the phase 1 Erosion Control Plan, the Site Inspector will issue the construction/grading permit.

How can I determine if there is flood plain on or near my property?

Please call the Stormwater Management Division at (770) 419-6435 or the Site Plan Review Section at (770) 528-2147 for information regarding flood plain locations. FEMA FIRMs (Flood Insurance Rate Maps) are available for viewing at

Where can I find code information?

Code information is available from the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and within the Cobb County Code. View the Cobb County, Georgia Code of Ordinances.

What is required on a commercial project to get a permit?

View/download the Cobb County Commercial Permit Application Form. For more information, call the Commercial Permitting Office at (770) 528-2071.

How do I submit an open records request on a particular project or piece of property?

To request records on a particular project or piece of property, please visit the Open Records Center.

How do I gather information on a particular piece of property I am considering purchasing?

Contact the Zoning Division at (770) 528-2035 for information regarding the zoning category, building setbacks, and maximum allowable impervious surface. Contact the Site Plan Review Section at (770) 528-2147 for information regarding FEMA floodplain, state water buffers, public utilities, and landscape/tree issues.