Tuscaloosa Forward launches "Call Before you Build" initiative | Business
The Tuscaloosa Forward Task Force is helping Tuscaloosa residents, business owners and contractors who are ready to rebuild by compiling information at one central location, the website http://tuscaloosaforward.com. One of the Tuscaloosa Forward's first moves is a virtual town hall, where residents can submit their ideas for the rebuilding process, including investments and improvements. (Visit http://townhall.tuscaloosaforward.com to submit your ideas.)
“The citizens and businesses of Tuscaloosa are ready to start rebuilding and Tuscaloosa Forward is ready to provide guidance to start the rebuilding effort,” said Mayor Walt Maddox in a release.
Another brand new initiative is the Call Before You Build campaign, which seeks to eliminate confusion among people who are seeking to rebuild by answering frequently asked questions. If you are ready to rebuild your business or home, call 205-248-5110 to find out where to begin. For more helpful information, see the list of FAQs below:
Call Before You Build! Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where do I start? Call Before You Build! at 205.248.5110. This number will put you in contact with the Planning and Development Services (PDS) office. You can also stop by PDS which is located on the third (3rd) floor of City Hall at 2201 University Blvd.
2. Can I obtain a Demolition Permit from the city to remove my damaged home/residential structure? Yes. There is no restriction on obtaining demolition (demo) permits. But, if the structure is on the City of Tuscaloosa’s sewer system, the sewer lateral from the structure must be disconnected and capped before a demo permit can be issued. The Waste Water Department must be called for inspection to verify the capping and disconnection of the lateral sewer. Their number for the Waste Water Department is 205-248-5900.
3. Can I demolish my remaining damaged home/residential structure and push it to the street for pickup? If you hire a contractor to demolish your property, or you are a contractor doing demolition work, then you should remove the debris from the site and dispose of it properly. If you are the owner and you demolish your own property, then you can push debris to the right of way for removal.
4. Can I obtain a building permit today to build or repair my home? Yes. If the construction is compatible in size, material, and general character of other residential structures in the general area and meets building and zoning regulations, then the City of Tuscaloosa can accept your application. If you have any questions, call 205.248.5110.
5. If I meet the requirement to build, what do I need to bring with me? You will need pictures of all four sides of the structure to be rebuilt or repaired and information on the contractor performing the work. In some cases, site plans or elevation drawings may be required, but we will help you work through that.
6. Why is the City of Tuscaloosa Planning & Development Services requiring pictures of damaged structures in order to issue permits? With all the damaged structures within the disaster zone, this is the most efficient way of expediting the permit process and determining the extent of damage.
7. What if my business was damaged in the tornado? Can I obtain a permit to rebuild or repair my business? Yes. A permit application must be submitted. If it is deemed “new construction,” then it must meet the development standard guidelines found in §24-230 of the City Code that are applicable to the specific site location. Please call a Planning and Development Services (PDS) Planner for more advice at 205.248.5110. The moratorium only applies to those structures that cannot meet the rebuilding criteria stated above, and is scheduled to end August 2, 2011.
8. How can I tell if my property is inside the recovery zone? Call us at 205.248.5110 and we can help.
9. Can I pull a new construction permit for outside of the recovery zone? Yes. The ordinance does not affect any construction outside the recovery zone.
10. What is the requirement of asbestos removable from the City of Tuscaloosa? There are currently no requirements from the City of Tuscaloosa; however, ADEM has requirements for asbestos removal after a natural disaster. Debris must be kept wet just before and during loading. The load must then be covered and hauled to a permitted landfill. This is the responsibility of the contractor. Please call ADEM at 334.271.7714 for more information.
11. I am an out of town contractor that would like to work in Tuscaloosa. What is my first step? Please contact the Planning & Development Services at 205.248.5110 and the City of Tuscaloosa Revenue Department at 205.248.5200. There are local requirements both departments can direct you to for any state boards for state requirements.
12. Do roofing contractors need permits for re-shingling a house? Yes. A permit is needed, and roofing is not exempt from the building code.
13. When is a Home Builders License required? When any contractor working for an owner exceeds $10,000.00, unless subcontractors are working under the scope of work provided by a licensed home builder.