Frequently Asked Questions

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Does the Village allow short term residential rentals?
No.  The minimum rental period for any residential unit in the Village is thirty (30) days.  No residential units can be rented daily, weekly or bi-weekly.  It is also against Village ordinance to advertise a residential unit for rent for less than thirty (30) days.  

Why do I need a permit and/or an inspection?
Building codes are minimum standards for builders and property owners to follow to ensure safety of building occupants as well as neighboring properties. Another reason is to protect first responders in rescue situations. Inspections are conducted at various stages of a project to verify the code standards are being followed.  

What codes do you use?
The Village of Barrington has currently adopted the 2009 International Code Council code set including the building, residential, fuel gas, mechanical, fire and property maintenance codes. Additionally, the Village has adopted the 2008 National Electrical Code, 2015 Illinois Energy Conservation Code and the 2014 Illinois Plumbing Code. Amendments to these codes can be found on our website at http://www.barrington-il.gov/home/showdocument?id=2303

Does the Village of Barrington issue over the counter permits?
No, the Village of Barrington does not issue any over the counter permits. It takes approximately 8-10 business days for a standard permit to be reviewed, processed and issued.  Please be advised new construction, large remodels and/or additions and commercial projects will likely exceed this estimated time frame. Please plan ahead and have 2 copies of all required documentation at the time of submittal to help expedite the approval process. 

Who should apply for permits? The property owner or the contractor?
The property owner is ultimately responsible for ensuring that a permit has been applied for, approved and issued prior to the commencement of any work.  However, a contractor may complete the permit process on behalf of the property owner.  If the contractor takes on the responsibility of obtaining the permit, the approved permit package, including approved plans and permit placard must be available on-site or no inspections will be conducted.   In addition, the green permit placard must be displayed outside in a readily visible and accessible area. 

Are permits required for one for one replacements such as driveways, roofs, fences, water heaters, etc.?
Yes, permits are required for these types of replacement projects.  The Village of Barrington must ensure that the new improvement is fully compliant with all current building and zoning codes.   Code and ordinance requirements continually change due to several factors including, but not limited to, environmental changes, technology advancements, new material development, material costs and energy conservation. What was allowed under previous codes may no longer meet the current code.  

Is a permit required for a swing set?
The Village requires that you obtain a no fee permit for installation of a swing set.  The purpose of this permit is to ensure that the location you select for your swing set or other play structure is compliant with zoning regulations. Please submit a construction permit application and a plat of survey with the location of your proposed play structure shown. 

Do I need to display the laminated green permit placard?
Yes, the green laminated permit placard must be displayed outside in a readily visible and accessible area.

Is my property located in the Village of Barrington or under Village of Barrington jurisdiction for building permits?
Below is a link to the Village of Barrington’s interactive map with the Village boundaries clearly shown.
GIS Map 

Please enter your address in the search bar to determine if your property is within the Village boundaries and therefore under the Village’s jurisdiction for zoning regulations and obtaining building permits. If your property is not located within the Village of Barrington boundaries, the Village is unable provide you any information about the rules and regulations governing your property.  Please consult your tax bill to determine which township or village has jurisdiction of your property and contact them directly for additional details.  

I plan on constructing a new single family home in the Village of Barrington, what is my first step?
Your first step before developing any site plans or architectural drawings should be to discuss zoning and engineering rules and regulations pertaining to your property with our Development Services Staff.  Please contact Natalie Nye at 847-304-3474 or nnye@barrington-il.gov for all zoning questions and Marie Hansen at (847) 304-3464 or mhansen@barrington-il.gov for all engineering questions.  Development Services Staff is more than happy to schedule a meeting with you and your design professionals to review your proposed project.

Do I need to hire an architect for my project?
An Illinois registered architect or structural engineer will need to be consulted for any work at a commercial property or, with a few exceptions, any structural work on a residential property. Shingle/siding/window replacement, driveways, patios, sidewalks, small decks, finish basements, kitchen remodels and bath remodels typically don’t require an architect to be involved unless bearing walls, beams or foundations will be modified. 

What are the temporary sign requirements for my residential and/or commercial property?
ZO Chapter 04 - Table 4.19 Temp. Sign Regulations

Why does it take so long to fix a property maintenance issue?
The Village must follow all local, state and federal laws and guidelines regarding gathering of evidence and allowing sufficient time for a property owner to resolve a violation. These laws have strict guidelines on proper notification of the owners which often requires extensive research and multiple methods of notification. Some cases require the use of administrative adjudication or circuit court in order to gain compliance. Getting to this level of enforcement makes the strict compliance to previously stated notification process that much more important. 

I have received a notice of violation. What do I need to do?
If you have received an official Notice of Violation from the Village, the notice will specify what the violation is and indicate an amount of time you have to resolve the issue.  The letter will also specify the appropriate staff person to contact with any questions. 

Why does my commercial building need an annual fire inspection?
Annual inspections, also referred to as “housekeeping inspections”, are a general walk through of commercial properties to verify compliance with various parts of the adopted fire codes of the Village and of the Illinois State Fire Marshal. Typical items inspected include verifying proper operation of exit signage, emergency lighting and egress doors. Other items include making sure egress paths are clear, fire alarms and sprinkler equipment is being maintained and owner and/or occupant contact information is up to date.  This walk through also helps identify potential hazards to fire personnel in the event of an emergency response. 

I’m looking to open a new business in an existing building. Do I need to install a fire sprinkler/fire alarm system?
The need to install or upgrade a fire system will depend on a few different things. Existing systems will need to be operational and have been tested by a licensed third party fire system inspection company within the 12 months prior to occupation. If the type of business changes to a higher hazard group, the applicable fire systems must be installed. If the tenant space requires remodeling (framing, electrical, HVAC, plumbing) of 50% or more of the square footage of the building, this will require the installation of fire systems if not already in place. Please note, the amount of work performed to a building will be a cumulative number of all work performed on the building since January 13, 2003 and the square footage that is counted is for the entire building, not just a single unit of a multi-unit building. 

Where can I outlet my downspouts/sump pump?
Village Ordinance requires that the ultimate outlet (buried or above ground) of any storm water discharge system be within the required lot setbacks as defined by the Zoning District. The majority of residential zoning districts in the Village have 30-foot front and rear yard setbacks and 7-foot to 30-foot side yard setbacks from the property lines. A plat of your property will show your parcel lot lines which can be offset by the required zoning setbacks to determine the allowable area to discharge storm water. If your residence was built at the allowable setbacks, the Village will allow your downspouts/sump pump to discharge no more than 3-feet from the face of the foundation.

Example: the lot lines of the subject parcel are shown in purple. if this parcel was in the R-6 residential zoning district, it would have front and rear setbacks of 30-feet and side yard setbacks of 7-feet. By offsetting these distances from the lot lines, you can create a box (as shown in red) which delineates the allowable storm water discharge area.Drainage Diagram

When is a permit required for grading, drainage or site work on my property?
Any work on a lot beyond typical residential gardening requires a permit. The Village requires these permits for items such as downspout burial, drainage improvements, raised planting beds, etc., to provide a record that the work was proposed and completed in substantial compliance with Village Code. When your neighbor proposes improvements to his or her lot, the Village Permit review process helps to ensure that the improvements do not adversely affect any neighboring properties, including your own.