Building Department

Current Public Hearings:  

Building permits fees, which include processing, staff review and all required inspections, are based on the cost of the project as determined by square footage. Trade permits fees are based on the actual work being performed. Homeowners are eligible to obtain permits by filing an affidavit affirming they are doing the work themselves. When a contractor obtains a permit, the person who holds the license must sign the permit application.
Permits are required for the following work: The provisions of the Code require any owner or authorized agent intending to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit. Examples include:

  • Alterations / Structural repairs
  • New Construction
  • Electrical, Plumbing, Heating and Cooling installation
  • Accessory structures
  • Decks / Porches
  • Re-roof (if the old roofing is removed to bare wood)
  • Occupancy and Land Use
  • All Signage
  • Any repairs with an estimated cost of more than $600.00
  • Any structures, fences, or projects not needing a building permit, do, however, require a Zoning Compliance Permit. 

Inspections are required for all projects requiring permits to insure code compliance. To request an inspection for all construction activity call 810 794-9320 a minimum of 24 hours in advance. All inspections will be completed in a timely manner and scheduled according to the availability of the inspector. Work must not be continued until the inspection has been completed. All permits require inspections. A list of required inspections is included in the building permit application. 
For all Inspections, call 810794-9320. 24 Hour Notice is required.
Building, Zoning & Electrical Inspections: M, TU, W after 2:30pm
Mechanical & Plumbing Inspections: M & W after 5:00pm

All inspectors in Clay Township hold appropriate licenses from the State of Michigan in their respective fields and are registered with the State of Michigan Consumers and Industry Service as inspectors. All inspectors are required to complete a set number of hours of continuing education programs approved by the State for their individual registration.

  • Sid Browne Jr. is registered as a Code Official with the State of Michigan, with designation as a Building Inspector, Electrical Inspector, and Plan Reviewer.  Sid is also the Zoning Administrator for Clay Township.
  • Kelly Smith is registered as a Code Official with the State of Michigan, with designation as a Mechanical Inspector, Plumbing Inspector and Plan Reviewer.

The Township of Clay has adopted the State of Michigan Building Codes and is the enforcing agency for the following codes:                                                         
                                                2012 Michigan Building Code
                                                2015 Michigan Residential Code ***Takes Effect February 8, 2016***
                                                2012 Michigan Mechanical Code
                                                2012 Michigan Plumbing Code
                                                2014 National Electrical Code

New 2015 Michigan Residential Code books can be ordered through the Clay Township Building Department.

A building contractor or homeowner's agent who engages in work on residential properties and residential buildings must be licensed with the State of Michigan in the field of the work to be performed. All building contractors residential or commercial must be registered with the Township of Clay. Upon request for a permit, the building department clerk will verify registration status of the individual contractor with the Township records. The contractor must pay the registration fee, as set forth by the township. At present a $10.00 fee is assessed for the duration of the current licensing cycle. All contractor registrations expire on the date that their state license expires. A General Contractor performing commercial construction is not required to be licensed by the State of Michigan, but is required to register with the Township of Clay and pay the registration fee. 

The Planning Commission reviews and takes action on the following items:

  • Special Approval Land Use reviews and approvals  
  • Rezoning requests
  • Planned Unit Development requests
  • Site Plan reviews and approvals

Site plan review and approval shall be required prior to the establishment of any New Use, Special Use, change in use, addition to an existing use, the erection of any multi-family, commercial or industrial building and all new subdivisions. All site plans reviews, except those for permitted one and two family dwellings shall be reviewed by the The Township Planner, the Township Building Official and the Chairperson of the Township Planning Commission before it is reviewed by the full Planning Commission for approval.Contact the Building/Zoning Official for specific questions regarding the above items. Applications and fee amounts for submittal to the Planning Commission are available at the Township Offices.

Complete applications, $250.00 fee and a legal survey must be submitted to the Building Department by twelve noon on the Tuesday of the fourth week of each month to be on the ZBA agenda for the following month. At this meeting, you must appear in person or be represented by an agent or attorney. 
Prior to the meeting, notices from the Zoning Board of Appeals will be sent first-class mail to all property owners listed on the Clay Township tax rolls bordering within a radius of 300 feet of the property requesting the variance approval. There will also be a notice of the requested variance published in a qualified newspaper (The Downriver Voice) at least fifteen days prior to the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting date.
Your application will not be considered unless all required information is provided at time of submission, to include a survey of the property depicting measurements, structures and proposed additions/alterations to the property.
The Zoning Administrator can be available to answer questions.
If your variance is approved building permits will be issued eight days after the meeting.

If you have any questions please contact
the Clay Township Building Department at
(810) 794-9320 or

Please address all mail to: Clay Township Building Department