The mission of the Building Department is to enforce the adopted codes governing the construction and maintenance of buildings and structures, ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the Town of Cicero. To achieve this mission, the Building Department is committed to excellence by educating its employees to deliver high-quality inspections and customer service.
Hours Of Operation: Monday-Thursday: 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.
8-8:45 AM: During this time, inspectors and a building official are available in the office to assist with code questions, provide approximate inspection times, and record inspection requests for the next business day. Please note that their availability is limited during this period. If you require a detailed discussion or a meeting, please use this time to request a convenient appointment that suits both the inspectors and the caller. Most inspectors are also back in the office at 5:00 PM to accept calls, depending on their workload for the day.
8 AM-8 PM: The Building Department is open for general business throughout this time frame. Inspection requests for the next business day are accepted until 4:00 PM. However, please be aware that scheduling an inspection for the next business day is subject to inspector availability, and a longer lead time may be necessary depending on their schedule. Transfer Stamps are issued until 6:00 PM.
Our Services Include:
Permit & Compliance Services: Accepting applications for building permits and plan submittals. Processing requests for Certification of Compliance.
Payments & Fees: Accepting payment for Compliance Inspections, Building Permits, Tickets, Fines, and Liens.
Information & Guidance: Providing detailed information on submittal requirements (compliance, permits, health, etc.) Offering code interpretations and specific regulatory information.
Permit Issuance & Payment Processing: Issuing building permits. Accepting payments for permits, re-inspection fees, tickets, and liens.
Additional Services: Issuing Transfer Stamps and Sanitary Certificates. Recording inspection requests for the next business day (until 4:00 P.M.). Providing phone communication with inspectors.
Public Records & Inspection Scheduling: Granting access to public files, plans, permit and inspection histories through FOIA requests. Recording and scheduling inspections for resident complaints.
Find It Fast!
- Plan Review Submittals
- Building Permit Requirements
- Download/Print Permit Forms
- Permit Fees
- Permit Process
- Buying Or Selling A Home
- Download/Print Real Estate Transfer Forms
- Certificate Of Compliance/As-Is
- Transfer Tax Process
- Register A Vacant Building
- Property Maintenance
- Town Of Cicero Codes/Local Amendments
- Who Can I Contact?
Does your project have full sets of architectural plans or have you been informed that you need to undergo the “Plan Review Process”?
If you are prepared to submit your plans, please click on the form below to initiate the process.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What do I need to submit?
You should include plans, relevant calculations, and the Cicero permit application form.
Do I simply email you everything?
Yes, just fill out the Plan Submittal form to begin your review process.
How long does this process take?
Typically, the turnaround time is 2-3 weeks for the initial review and 1 week for revisions.
What should I do when the review is complete?
For rejected plans, you will receive an email with review comments. You must respond accordingly by filling out another Plan Submittal form. Approved plans will result in an email with stamped plans and an approval letter. You will then need to print the approved plans and take them to the Cicero Building Department. Complete instructions will be provided in the approval letter.
How much does it cost?
Review fees are calculated based on either square footage or the number of sprinkler heads. Inspections are estimated based on the scope of work. All fee tables are included in the review letter for your reference. Additionally, besides the SAFEbuilt fees (which are paid to the Town of Cicero), the Town will assess its own fees. You must pay the total of all SAFEbuilt fees and Cicero fees directly to the Town of Cicero when you pick up your permit. You do not pay SAFEbuilt.
What do I do when my plans are approved?
You must provide the Town of Cicero Building Department with the following:
- Completed Building Permit Application with all sections completed (contractor list, value of construction, construction descriptions, etc.).
- Separate Building Permit Application for Fire Suppression, with contracts.
- Separate Building Permit Application for any trades not on the original permit application.
- Completed Electrical Permit Application and a copy of contract(s).
- Separate Electrical Permit Application for Fire Alarm, with contracts.
- Provide copies of all Contractors and Subcontractors
- All Contractors and Subcontractors must have a valid Town of Cicero Business License. If you submit permit applications from an unlicensed contractor/subcontractor, your application will NOT be processed.
- Provide 3 printed copies of the Stamped Approved Building Plans.
We hope this information simplifies the process for you. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at the email below.
Homeowners in Cicero must obtain building permits for a variety of home improvements and modifications, regardless of whether they are doing the work themselves or hiring a contractor.
When Are Building Permits Required?
Plumbing & Bathrooms: Replacing existing plumbing (this includes tubs, toilets, and shower stalls). New plumbing installations (faucets, tubs, sinks, shower stalls, toilets in new areas). Bathroom vanities and countertops (only for new installations in non existing areas).
Kitchen Renovations: Replacing kitchen cabinets or countertops.
Windows & Doors: Replacing windows. Door and frame replacements (in existing openings). Altering openings for doors or windows (any unit requiring altered openings).
Concrete & Roofing Work: Concrete work includes sidewalks, stairs, patios, or garage aprons. Roof work excludes minor shingle repairs. New shingle roof of flat roof work must be performed by a licensed contractor.
Electrical & Major Remodeling: Electrical work includes any new lines or circuits (must be installed by a licensed contractor).
Outdoor Structures & Features: Fences, decks, patios, and swimming pools.
Additional Structural & Mechanical Works: Demolition. Chimney Work. Soffits, Facias, Siding, and Roofing. HVAC Installations (furnace or central air conditioning by a licensed contractor). Reconverting illegal rooms or apartments.
Specialized Installations: Flood Control Systems (Installed by a licensed contractor). Generators (With converters or natural gas lines). Fireplaces, skylights, hot tubs (Installed by a licensed contractor). Attic fans. Backwater valve (Contact the town’s water department for follow-up inspection).
When Are Building Permits NOT required?
Homeowners or Licensed and Bonded Contractors conducting the following works typically do not need a building permit. However, it’s crucial to consult with the Building Department to confirm in your specific job requires a permit, especially since some projects may exceed the scope of “minor” work described here.
Permit-Exempt Work Includes: Painting (both interior and exterior of house and garage). Glass Pane Replacement (in windows or doors). Flooring (installing rugs, carpeting, wood floors, linoleum, or ceramic tiles). Plumbing Repairs (fixing or replacing faucets, sinks, tubs, toilets, shower stalls, and installing shutoff valves). Bathroom Fixtures (Repairing or replacing existing bathroom vanities and countertops). Door Replacement (For storm doors, screen doors, or overhead garage doors in existing openings). Landscaping (including planting, sodding, and installing sprinkler systems). Minor Concrete Patching (in sidewalks or stairways). Tuck-pointing. Gutter Maintenance (fixing, repairing, or replacing gutters). Drywall And Plaster Repair (on interior walls or ceilings). Hot Water Heater Installation. Awnings or Canopies (submit a plan for size and design for compliance with ordinances). Minor Porch Repairs (wooden porches, balconies, stairs, and steps). Fence Repairs (minor repairs only). Electrical Work (In single-family dwellings, changing or repairing light switches, receptacles, ceiling fans, and installing GFIs in existing boxes). Roof Vent Units (replacing existing ones). Gas Appliances (installing gas stove, dryer, or range to existing gas line).
It’s advisable to check with permit staff before beginning your project. What may seem minor could require a permit due to specific regulations (e.g., replacing a fence post might require a pre-pour inspection for post holes). To avoid potential issues, always verify with the Building Department whether your project meets the “minor” standard.
For your convenience, we provide access to various Building Department forms online. Please note that the Town’s original forms are carbonized, with multiple departments receiving copies. When using our online forms, ensure you make at least two (2) copies when submitting them to the Building Department.
Kindly be aware that, at this time, the Town of Cicero Building Department does not accept applications via email or the website. All documents must be printed and physically submitted to the Building Department.
We appreciate your cooperation in this matter. Email permit applications to: BuildingInquiry@thetownofcicero.com
Homeowner Allowance For Repairs: Homeowners are entitled to a $700 per year allowance for repairs they perform themselves. A building permit will be given free of charge up to this allowance. Homeowners must still apply for a building permit, even if the cost does not exceed $700. The allowance does not apply to work performed by contractors.
Special Exemptions: No fees for permits and inspections for installing lifts for persons with disabilities. Contractors must still apply for permits and undergo inspections. No permit fees for charitable, religious, educational entities, school districts, local government units, or other IRS-exempt entities. This exemption does not include other fees like plan examination, sprinkler review, electrical review, and fire prevention review fees.
Permit & Inspection Fees: For residential structures the fee is 1.5% of the construction cost, but not less than minimum fees. A notarized affidavit and a copy of the contract are required. For commercial structures the fee is 1% of the construction cost, with the same minimum fee requirement. Applies to mixed-use structures as well. Various works have minimum fees, ranging from $25 to $150.
Minimum Fee Schedule: Air Conditioning, Antenna, Asphalt, Carpentry, Cement, Drywall, Electrical, Fencing, Garage Door, Glazing, Gutter Hanging, Heating, Masonry, Plastering, Plumbing, Refrigeration, Roofing, Siding, Steel Work, Windows are all $50 Each. Storm Windows are $25. Demolition and Wrecking is $150.
Demolition & Wrecking Permits: Adequate proof of property ownership is required for a demolition or wrecking permit. If the applicant’s name differs from the property owner’s, the permit will be denied unless a notarized affidavit from the owner authorizes the application.
Building permits in the Town of Cicero are essential to ensure the safety and compliance of structures with adopted building codes and ordinances. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the Building Permit process.
For new construction projects, there are additional steps to follow
Step 1: Town Of Cicero Building Department Permit Staff
Visit or call the Town of Cicero Building Department to gather essential project information, avoid potential issues, and streamline your project.
Step 1A: Architectural Review Committee (Only For New Construction Building)
For non-standard lots, review your project with the Architectural Review Committee. Required documents include a completed application, specification sheet, stamped blueprints, and more.
Step 2: Permit Application
Complete a permit application, available at the Town of Cicero Building Department. Ensure it’s filled out completely and include detailed information about the work to be performed. New Construction Building may require digital plans for initial review and additional documentation for larger projects.
Step 3: The Review Process
After submitting your completed permit application, it undergoes a review process to ensure compliance with building codes, zoning ordinances, and town ordinances. The review time varies based on project complexity.
Step 4: Permit Approval
Once your permit application is approved, the Building Commissioner issues the permit, and you will be notified. All necessary fees must be paid before the permit is issued.
Step 5: Construction
During construction, display the permit prominently at the project site, along with approved building plans, for inspection purposes.
Step 6: Inspections
Each construction phase requires inspection by a Town of Cicero Building Inspector to ensure compliance with the permit, code, and plans. It’s your responsibility to schedule and complete these inspections.
Step 7: Project Completion
Upon completing your project and ensuring code compliances, a final inspection is conducted. If everything is in order, you receive permission to occupy the building, signifying its compliance with safety standards.
Please note that plan review times may affect project timelines, and re-submission may be necessary if plans are rejected. Town staff is available to assist with any questions or concerns during your project.
When you buy or sell a home in the Town of Cicero, it’s important to understand that this process is classified as a “transfer” of real estate. But what exactly does “transfer” mean in this context? Let’s break it down:
What Constitutes a Transfer?
1. Conveyance Of Real Property: This includes the process of transferring property through a deed, articles of agreement for a deed, or assigning the beneficial interest under a land trust.
2. Use Of Real Property As Loan Collateral: If real property is used as collateral for a loan, this is also considered a transfer.
3. Changes In Land Trust Beneficiaries: Any transaction that involves adding a present beneficiary to a land trust falls under the category of a transfer.
By understanding these definitions, you can navigate the real estate process in Cicero with greater clarity and confidence.
There Are Two Essential Steps Your Must Complete To Ensure A Smooth And Lawful Transition:
1. Purchase Real Estate Transfer Stamps: This is a mandatory step in the transfer process. Real Estate Transfer Stamps are required as a part of the transaction and must be acquired.
2. Obtain A Certificate Of Compliance: Ensuring that the property meets all the necessary standards is crucial. A Certificate of Compliance confirms that the property is in line with all applicable building codes and Town Ordinances. This certificate is vital for the legal transfer of the property.
Completing these two steps is crucial for any real estate transfer in Cicero. They not only comply with legal requirements but also assure that the property is safe and up to standard. In Cicero, Real Estate Transfer Stamps are a non-negotiable requirement for ALL real restate transfers. This applies even to transactions that are otherwise exempt from certain regulations. While the Certificate of Compliance, which verifies adherence to building codes and ordinances, is required for most transactions, it is not necessary for those classified as exempt.
Not All Transfers Require The Same Level Of Scrutiny. Some Exempt Categories Include:
1. Court-Ordered Transfers: This includes transfers via tax deeds, sheriff’s deeds, or those made pursuant to orders by local, county, state, or federal courts.
2. Vacant Land Transfers: Transactions involving only vacant land are exempt.
3. No Change In Ownership Interest: Transfers that do not result in a new party acquiring ownership or beneficial interest in the property.
4. Familial Transfers: Adding a spouse to a deed, as outlined in Section 22-281 of the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Cicero (effective since 3/24/2017), falls under this category.
For these exempt transfers, neither inspections nor a Certificate of Compliance are required.
The Compliance Process is an essential step in ensuring that your property transfer meets the Town of Cicero’s regulations. Here’s what it involves:
1. Property Inspection By A Town Building Inspector: The initial step involves a thorough inspection of the property by a qualified Town of Cicero Building Inspector.
2. Receiving A Compliance Checklist: After the inspection, the property owner will receive a detailed list of all aspects that are not in compliance with the Town’s Code.
3. Bringing The Property Up To Code: Before a Certificate of Compliance can be issued, the property must be brought into full compliance with the Town’s Code. This is a crucial step to finalize the transfer process.
It’s advisable to regularly consult with the Town of Cicero Building Department Compliance Staff throughout this process for accurate and up-to-date guidance. The compliance process is comprehensive and involves reviewing multiple aspects of the property. Please allocate ample time for this process to ensure a smooth and successful transfer.
Options For Selling Or Transferring A Home In Cicero
When it comes to selling or transferring a home in the Town of Cicero, there are three distinct methods available. Each method has its own set of requirements and processes:
1. Selling With A Current Certificate Of Compliance: This approach is used when the seller has already brought the property up to code compliance. The property meets all the requirements set by the Town of Cicero, making it a straightforward transfer for the buyer.
2. “As-Is” Sale: In an “As-Is” sale, the buyer assumes the responsibility of bringing the property into code compliance. After the purchase, the buyer will need to obtain a Certificate of Compliance by ensuring the property meets all the necessary standards and codes.
3. Exempt Transaction: Certain transfers are classified as exempt and have different requirements. These typically include specific types of transfers such as familial transfers, court-ordered transfers, transactions involving vacant land, etc., where standard compliance processes may not apply.
Step 1: Preliminary Information
A visit or phone call to the Town of Cicero Building Department is your starting point. This step is crucial for gathering necessary information and ensuring a smooth real estate transfer process. Early engagement with the Building Department helps avoid potential problems that could lead to delays and additional expenses. Be prepared to answer questions like “What type of transaction are you planning?” and “How many units does the property consist of?” It’s important to inquire if the property has any unpaid debts to the town. Remember, all debts must be cleared before the property transfer can proceed. To expediate the process, you can fax your payoff requests to 708-656-9708 or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 2: Compliance Application & Zoning Form
When you visit the Town of Cicero Building Department for your real estate transfer, you’ll need to complete two key documents.
1. Certificate Of Compliance Application: This application will ask for details about the seller(s)/grantor(s),buyer(s)/grantee(s), and any Broker, Loan Officer, or Attorney involved in the transaction.
2. Zoning Request Form: This form is used to verify that the property complies with the Town’s Zoning Ordinances.
Both documents are mandatory to start the compliance review process. You can pick up both the Compliance Application and Zoning Request Form directly at the Town of Cicero Building Department. Currently, these applications cannot be faxed or emailed.
Remember to include contact information for all parties involved. This is essential for the staff to reach out if needed and to schedule any required inspections.
Some other important documents you might need to provide include, but are not limited to: Real Estate Listing Sheet, Signed Contract from all parties, Zoning Clearance, Copy of Death Certificate (if applicable), Copy of Executor of Estate, Copy of Probate Papers, Copy of Trust Agreement (specifically the page stipulating person(s) named in the Agreement) and Copy of Marriage/Civil Union Certificate.
Step 3: Paying For & Scheduling Inspections
Inspection fees are due at the time you apply for an inspection. Accepted Payment Methods include Certified funds, money orders, personal checks, or cash. Make payments payable to the “Town of Cicero.”
Residential Property Fees: Single Family ($100), Two Units ($130), Additional Units ($30 each), Empty Lots With Accessory Structures ($35), Please Note: Fees cover the first and final inspections. Any additional inspections due to missed or failed inspections incur a $50 charge per inspection.
Commercial & Industrial Properties: Up to 5,000 Square Feet ($100), Additional square foot over 5,000 ($0.01 each).
Additional Fees For Vacant Properties: Vacant Building Registration Fee ($200). This applies as per the Vacant Building Section requirements.
Mandatory Electrical Inspection: An Electrical inspection by the Town Electrical Inspector is mandatory for residential properties over three units, and all Commercial and Industrial properties.
Scheduling Your Inspection: Schedule your inspection at least 30 days before the proposed closing date to avoid any transfer delays.
Step 4: Review Process
The review process starts once the property has been inspected. Your compliance application undergoes examination by multiple staff members at the Town of Cicero. The team assesses whether your property meets the required building codes, zoning ordinances, and other town ordinances. The time it takes to complete this review depends on the condition of each property.
Be prepared to provide additional information if contacted by the Town staff during this process.
If violations are found, they will be listed on the Compliance Inspection Report. This report guides either the buyer (refer to the Escrow Process) or the seller in obtaining the Certificate of Compliance. All issues listed must be resolved before the Certificate of Compliance is issued. The Compliance Inspection Report is not a substitute for a Building Permit. For any work that requires permits, consult with the Building Department Staff.
Step 5: Process To Comply With Violations
If the property is not being sold “as-is,” any violations identified on the Compliance Application must be corrected by the seller. Corrections are mandatory before the issuance of a Certificate of Compliance and Real Estate Transfer Stamps. The seller must provide all necessary submissions and ensure that all work listed on the Application is completed. Refer to the Town’s Permit requirements for information on work that necessitates a permit.
Step 5A: Escrow Process Approval (Optional)
Submission of the original As-Is Application is required. Submit an original, completed, and signed Town of Cicero Repair Agreement by all parties involved. A fee of $100 is applicable for all As-Is-Property Transfers. If a buyer sells a property without completing the Repair Agreement, a $250 impact fee is required before any further transfer stamps can be issued. Failure to adhere to the Repair Agreement will lead to citations and a court date.
Step 6: Completion Of Repairs & Issuance Of A Certificate of Compliance
Once all compliance repairs are completed and meet the code, you need to schedule a final inspection with the inspector. The initial inspection fees cover your first and last inspections. Any additional inspections, including missed ones, will incur separate charges. Payment for these must be completed before the Certificate of Compliance can be issued.
You will be required to sign multiple affidavits as part of the process. It’s important to consult with the Compliance Staff regarding these affidavits for proper understanding and completion.
After verification and approval of the completed work, the Building Commissioner will issue a Certificate of Compliance. If the work was completed in a timely manner according to the repair agreement and any approved extensions, a refund of the escrow deposit will be processed (if applicable). The final inspection signifies the completion of your project. It confirms that the building is safe to occupy and meets the minimum safety standards required by code.
For standard real estate transfers, the following documents and procedures are required:
Town of Cicero Transfer Tax Form (available at the Building Department). State and County Forms (Originals or copies of PTAX Forms). Original Deed (Needed for affixing stamps). Proof of Final Paid Water Bill (Valid for 72 hours prior to purchasing transfer stamps). Clearance of All Debt (All debts must be paid before issuing any transfer or exempt stamps). Certificate of Compliance (Required, or copy of the approved Escrow Repair Agreement for As-Is Transfers). Buyer Affidavits (All required affidavits must be signed and notarized by all purchasers).
Transfer Tax Rate ($10 per $1000). Accepted payment methods include: Attorney’s check, money order, certified checks(cashier’s check only). No cash or personal checks.
Additional items may be needed based on the transfer type. Consult Compliance Staff for details.
For exempt real estate transfers, the following are necessary:
Town of Cicero Transfer Tax Form (Available at the Building Department). Exempt Transaction Affidavit (Signed and notarized). Original Deed or Document (Required for affixing stamps). Certificate of Compliance (Required, except for dropping a name off title only). Final Paid Water Bill Or Zero Water Balance (Valid 72 hours prior to purchasing exempt stamp, or zero balance if dropping an entity off title only). Clearance of All Debt (Required before issuance of any stamps). Old Deed or Title Commitment/Policy (Necessary under certain transactions).
Exempt Fee is $50 per transaction. Accepted payment methods include: Attorney’s check, money order, certified checks (cashier’s check only). No cash or personal checks.
Additional items may be needed based on the transfer type. Consult Compliance Staff for details.
The Town of Cicero was significantly affected by the nationwide Foreclosure Crisis. As an Entitlement Community, Cicero received Neighborhood Stabilization funds from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) due to the crisis’s severe impact. This situation led to a substantial increase in vacant and abandoned properties, prompting the need for stricter regulations.
The Vacant Building Ordinance (Sec. 22-611 of the Town Code) aims to identify, register, and regulate buildings that are or become vacant. It outlines the responsibilities of owners of vacant buildings. It includes provisions for administration, enforcement (including abating public nuisances), and penalties for violations.
The Vacant Building Registration Fee is $200. Premises with unpaid or registration fees are ineligible for Town real estate transfer tax stamps.
Vacant Building Registration Forms are available at the Building Department. These forms detail the requirements for owners of vacant properties. Properties should be registered as soon as they become vacant. Failure to register does not exempt owners from this process.
Owners can appeal a determination by the Building Commissioner to the Vacant Building Appeals Committee within 15 calendar days of the notice’s mailing. Owners can challenge the applicability of this ordinance to their building by writing to the Building Commissioner. If deemed a Vacant Building, the owner has the right to appeal to the Vacant Building Appeals Committee. When submitting appeals or challenges, provide ample documentation to support your case.
Forms for both the Appeal of Determination and the Challenge of Applicability are available at the Building Department. Ensure to provide comprehensive documentation to support your appeal or challenge.
Annual Inspection By The Building Department: Exterior inspections of every property in Cicero are conducted yearly. Owners will receive a “Property Maintenance Inspection” Form if violations are found. It’s a friendly notice to correct identified code violations without immediately issuing a ticket. Each property will have a set period to complete the repairs.
Responding To Complaints: The Division also investigates code compliance violations reported by residents. Residents are encouraged to report any known violations to the Building Department.
Avoiding Fines & Court Dates: Addressing the notice promptly can prevent fines and court appearances. If more time is needed, contact the Building Department to discuss a possible extension with the inspector.
Routine Checks To Prevent Violations: Common items to maintain include; visible address numbers on home and garage. Well-maintained window frames, doors, eves, and soffits. Intact window screens. Properly maintained porches/steps. Gutters and downspouts in good condition. Siding free from damage. Regularly cut and maintained lawn. Crack-free sidewalks. Well-maintained fences and gates. Avoidance of “Soft Ground Parking.”
Importance Of Regular Maintenance: Cicero’s homes are predominantly older and require ongoing maintenance. Routine maintenance preserves property value and neighborhood quality. Regular property inspections are recommended to identify potential issues.
Building Department’s Approach: Voluntary Compliance is encouraged before issuing tickets. Issuing tickets are a last resort, or in cases where immediate compliance is necessary. For guidance contact the Building Department for any queries about property maintenance reports, tickets, or to report a violation.
The Town Of Cicero has adopted the following codes, which are applicable to all properties located in the Town of Cicero:
- 2009 International Building Code
- 2009 International Residential Code (With Local Amendments)
- 2009 International Mechanical Code
- 2009 International Existing Buildings Code
- 2015 International Energy Code
- 2009 101 Life Safety Code
- 2009 International Fire Code (With Local Amendments)
- 2008 National Electric Code (With Local Amendments)
- 2014 Illinois Plumbing Code (With Local Amendments)
- 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design
- Cicero Illinois Code Of Ordinances
- Town Of Cicero Zoning
Local Amendments Are Available For Review From The Town Of Cicero Clerk’s Office
Direct Contacts For Building Permits, Property Transfers & Vacant Property
Direct Contact For Debt Letters & Payoff Requests
Direct Contact For Property Complaints