Applications & Forms

Pursuant to MCL 125.1510(2), SMBA is requiring proof of authorization to obtain a permit on behalf of a property owner with ALL new permit applications.  See our updated application forms for details.

Use the tabs to select the permit category you need.
If you plan to print the forms out and fill them out by hand, use the “printable” versions of the documents.
If you plan to fill them out on the computer, use the “fillable” versions of the forms.
Once you have completed the application form, you may submit it via email to, or submit it to our office in-person or via the mail.

If you intend to re-use a form, we recommend downloading the form to your computer and edit it using Adobe Reader (Please regularly check here for updates to the forms).

If you are filling out the application in your web browser:

  • Go to print the completed form
  • Select “Save as PDF” from the list of available printers
  • Select the location you’d like to save the file to on your computer

Who to contact with FOIA requests:

Southwest Michigan Building Authority
Legal Counsel
James W. Porter
7275 West Main Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

(269) 375-7195

Application Process

Pre-Application for Building Projects

Before you engage SMBA for a building permit, you should check with your township’s zoning department to ensure that you will be able to do what you want with regards to your zoning setbacks, overall square footage requirements, etc.

Depending on the scope of your project, you should also engage a registered design professional to draft plans before applying.

There are several types of application which require additional documentation.  These include:

  • Pole Barns –> Post Framed Building Cross Section
  • Manufactured Homes –> Manufactured Home Information Sheet

Permit Application

Once you have assembled the necessary documentation and filled out all applicable permit application forms (including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, or demolition), you may submit them to SMBA.

Applications may be submitted in-person during open office hours, via the “SMBA” drop box located in the parking lot of the Oshtemo Township Hall, via email to, or via the mail.  Building permits require 3 hard copies of plans to be submitted at the time of application, as well as a digital copy submitted via flash drive, email, or cloud sharing service.

For building projects with a flat fee (or trade M/E/P permits where the fee is calculated on the application form), you may submit a check for payment at this time.  Otherwise, payment will be collected later.


Once your application has been received, staff will perform an initial document check to ensure that all documentation is in order.
After this is completed, the application will be sent to the building official and the township zoning administrator for concurrent review.  During this process, either official may contact you for additional information or to request revised plans.

For commercial projects, depending on the type of permit and scope, plans may additionally be sent to a third party reviewer.  You will be billed direct cost for the review.

Collect Payment and Issue Permit

Once the review is complete, someone from our office will contact you to inform you of the fee total and when you may come in and pick up the permit.
If you have already supplied a check, we will apply the payment at this time.  If the fee total ends up being greater than the amount provided, you will be contacted to arrange for the payment of the balance due.
Otherwise, you will have the option to pay by check, cash, or credit/debit card.
Card payments may be taken in-person or over the phone.  Card payments will have a $2 or 3% fee (whichever is greater) assessed by our credit processor.
Check and cash payments may be taken in-person, or deposited in our secure drop box located in the Oshtemo Township Hall parking lot.

After the balance due is paid in full, the permit will be issued.  A copy of the payment receipt as well as the permit will be emailed to the email address listed on the application form.  Building permits will generally have a laminated placard which must be obtained from our office.  This placard must be displayed so that it is visible from the street prior to the start of work on the project.

Begin Work

Congratulations!  You have been issued your permit(s) and may now begin work on the project.

Call for Inspection

The permit applicant is required to call for inspection at various points throughout the project when ready.
You may request inspections either via our online form, by calling 269-585-4150, or by emailing your request to

Permits are valid for 180 days after the issue date listed on the permit.  If you do not call for inspection, the permit will be marked as expired.  We will make several attempts to contact you in order to get the inspections scheduled.  If these attempts are unsuccessful, the permit will be marked closed.  Any further work done on a project after it has expired will require a new permit to be obtained.

Finalize Permit(s) and Issue Certificate of Occupancy

After the final inspections have been requested and approved for all permits on a project, a certificate of occupancy may be requested.
A certificate of occupancy (C/O) is issued for new residential and commercial buildings and when a buildings use type or occupancy changes.

If the project is not eligible for a C/O due to failure to pass inspections, a temporary C/O may be requested so long as all life/safety issues have been resolved.
To issue a temporary C/O, a $1000 bond is required for residential projects, and a $5000 bond for commercial projects.  This bond will be refunded when the full C/O is issued.