Q&A with the Anniston Building Department


Staff member
Apr 16, 2023
I asked the Anniston Building Department the following basic questions about building permitting in Anniston, AL. Their responses for each question, provided in email correspondence dated June 22, 2023, are listed below.

1) How long does it typically take to receive a building permit after applying in Anniston?

Answer: The time it takes to receive a building permit can vary, mainly based on the complexity of the scope of a project and whether or not the scope requires the preparation, submission, and approval of plans prepared by a design professional. Simple projects such as roofing (no structural changes), painting (not located in a historical district), interior finish updating, etc. are typically issued once a permit application has been submitted and proper licensing has been verified.

2) What are the consequences of starting a construction project without a permit in Anniston?

Answer: The initial time a project is started prior to the obtainment of required permits results in the charging of double permit fees with additional fees being added for subsequent violations.

3) What's the process to obtain a building permit if a property is located in a historic district of Anniston?

Answer: Only projects located in a historical district require Anniston Historical Commission approval and only when exterior work is proposed to be performed. Though small exterior projects that will not alter existing materials / colors may be able to be administratively approved, larger scale projects that will alter the exterior of such a building will require the applicant (contractor or owner) to submit application to the Anniston Historical Commission to receive a C.O.A. (Certificate of Appropriateness). Building permits cannot be issued until the C.O.A. has been issued.
Anniston, Alabama, United States
It's reassuring to see that the Anniston Building Department has a well-defined process for building permits. The flexibility in permit issuance based on project complexity is practical, and the consequences for starting without one are a good deterrent. The historical district regulations seem fair and balanced, prioritizing preservation.