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Oklahoma City, known for its ever-changing weather patterns and susceptibility to severe storms, encourages residents to prioritize safety by constructing storm shelters on their properties. If you reside in Oklahoma City and are considering building a storm shelter, it’s important to understand the process of obtaining a storm shelter permit. This article will guide you through the steps to secure a storm shelter permit in Oklahoma City.

Research and Planning:

Before embarking on the permit application process, take time to research the types of storm shelters allowed in Oklahoma City and consider their placement on your property. Storm shelters can be below-ground structures or above-ground safe rooms, and each may have specific guidelines to adhere to. Carefully plan the location of your shelter, ensuring it complies with any zoning regulations or property line restrictions.

Contact the Local Building Department:

The City of Oklahoma City’s Development Services Department oversees the permitting process for storm shelters. Contact the department to obtain information about the specific requirements, application forms, and fees associated with obtaining a storm shelter permit. The department’s website or office can provide you with valuable resources to get started.

Submit Application and Required Documentation:

Fill out the storm shelter permit application form accurately and completely. Be prepared to provide detailed information about the type of storm shelter you intend to build, its dimensions, construction materials, and its proposed location on your property. You may also need to include a site plan illustrating the shelter’s placement and distances from property lines and other structures.

Pay the Required Fees:

Oklahoma City requires payment of fees for storm shelter permits. The fee structure can vary based on factors such as the type of shelter and its size. Ensure you include the correct payment along with your application. Fees contribute to covering the costs of reviewing and processing your application.

Permit Review and Approval:

Once you’ve submitted your application and paid the necessary fees, the Development Services Department will review your application for compliance with local building codes, zoning regulations, and safety standards. This process ensures that your proposed storm shelter meets all the necessary criteria for construction and placement.

Inspections and Construction:

After your storm shelter permit is approved, you will receive instructions on scheduling required inspections during the construction process. Inspections help verify that the shelter is being built according to the approved plans and complies with building codes. Adhere to the guidance provided by the inspectors to ensure a safe and successful construction process.

Final Approval and Documentation:

Upon successful completion of the construction and passing all necessary inspections, you will receive final approval for your storm shelter. Keep all the relevant documentation, permits, and inspection reports in a safe place. These documents may be required in the future for property transactions or insurance purposes.

Maintain Compliance:

It’s important to understand that storm shelter permits in Oklahoma City are subject to specific rules and regulations. Always adhere to local building codes and zoning ordinances to maintain compliance with the law. Neglecting these regulations could result in penalties or even the removal of the storm shelter.

Obtaining a storm shelter permit in Oklahoma City is a crucial step in ensuring the safety of you and your loved ones during severe weather events. By researching, planning, and following the steps outlined above, you can navigate the permitting process smoothly. Remember that adhering to local regulations and building codes not only keeps you in compliance with the law but also contributes to creating a safer community for everyone.