The Inspection Department processes all permits and performs all inspections for Building, Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing activities within the City. The Department processes all Rental registrations & inspections and carries out Property Maintenance code enforcement. In accordance with the Governor's most current executive order during the COVID-19 pandemic City Hall currently remains closed to the public. Staff is primarily working remote or in the field. At the Broad Street entrance to City hall contractors and home owners alike can find paper copies of most the relevant application forms. Links to all permit applications are also listed below. The public may continue to call 269-983-1212 to speak with staff about Inspection Department questions or email staff using the link below.

When submitting an Application please make sure it is administratively complete. This includes a thorough Site plan for most building permits and fence & shed permits, payment in full and a signed application and contact information. The City's 24/7 drop box is available just inside the Broad Street entrance, on the right-hand side brick wall. The Inspection Department accepts payment by check only, however it is working towards a credit card payment system. Administratively complete applications are typically issued within a week, however, this turn-around time depends on the complexity of the project and the completeness of the application. Work cannot begin until a building permit has been issued and received by the applicant. If you plan is impacted by City Zoning, Sign Ordinances or the Land Division Ordinance, please use this link to view all relevant information such as the Zoning Ordinance & Map.

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Building Official:
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Joan Ross

Inspection Department Administrator (interim)
Code Enforcement Officer:
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Address: 700 Broad Street
Phone: (269) 983-1212
Fax: (269) 985-0347


Citation Implementation Notification from LARA - Attention all individuals licensed/registered as residential builders, maintenance & alteration contractors, electricians, plumbers, mechanical contractors, and boiler tradesmen please read this important notice from LARA. 


Inspection Department 

St. Joseph enforces the following code editions:

  • 2015 Michigan Building Code
  • 2015 Michigan Residential Code
  • 2017 Michigan Electrical Code Part 8 (NFPA 70 2017)
  • 2015 Michigan Mechanical Code
  • 2015 Michigan Plumbing Code
  • 2015 Michigan Energy Code
  • 2009 Uniform Fire Code
  • 2015 International Property Maintenance Code

You may purchase code books through the website using the link:,4601,7-154-89334_10575_17550-234789--,00.html

Additionally, you may view online access to the International and Michigan Codes for FREE at

Building Permits must be obtained from the Inspection Department before beginning any construction, remodeling, mechanical, electrical, or plumbing work. Purely cosmetic (non-structural) changes such as painting or flooring, may not require a permit.

Please be sure to include ALL necessary documentation when submitting plans for review. For Building Permits, please be sure to include two full size sets of blueprints and a digital copy. Site plans are required for most building permits.

If you have any questions about these topics, please contact the City and staff will be happy to help you.

 Applications, Forms and Processes - (Fillable Forms)

To view the Building Permit Fee Schedule, please click on it. To view the City entire Fee Schedule, please click on it.

Rental Program and Permits

Administration, scheduling, and inspection of all rental properties is processed through the Inspection Department: 

Property Maintenance Program 

The Property Maintenance Program is designed to be implemeted over a rotating 6-year period, with different neighborhoods of the City being inspected each year.  Within each Focus Area the Code Enforcement Officer inspects every property and identifies those which have deficiencies, as defined by the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC, 2015 Edition).

Individual inspections may also be made outside the Focus Area rotation when needed.

The City Commission adopted the IPMC under Section 8-96 of the Code of Ordinances. It is the stated intent of the IPMC to “ensure the public health, safety and welfare insofar as they are affected by the continued occupancy and maintenance of structures and premises. Structures and premises that do not comply with these provisions are required to be altered or repaired to provide a minimum level of health and safety.” 


Summary of the 2020 Property Maintenance Program – Focus Area 6

Focus Area Map of the Entire City

To view the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) please click this link

Property Maintenance Board of Appeals (PMBOA)

Property Maintenance Board of Appeals (PMBOA) 2020 Meeting Schedule

PMBOA Rules of Procedure

Applications, Forms and Processes - (Fillable Forms)

PMBOA Application –  2020 FOCUS AREA 6



Property Maintainance Issue Complaint Form

Neighboor to Neighbor Program 

For specific questions about the Property Maintenance Program please contact Joan Ross at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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