Procedure to Follow

How long will this take?

It may be just a phone call or visit with the Building Official to find out that you have only a minor repair or minor alteration that requires nothing further. In most cases it involves the time it takes for you or your contractor to complete a Permit Application and for you to secure a Neighbor Notification Form and then to have the project reviewed by the chair of the ARB. However, it can be two months or more if your project is complex and requires a full ARB or Board of Zoning Appeals hearing. 

Here's what you should do and what the City will do.

Call the city's Building Official at Westwood City Hall: 913-362-1550. Make an appointment to to discuss your project. If the Building Official is unavailable for more than a short time, call the current chair of the ARB.  If neither the Building Official nor chair of the ARB is available, call the mayor or a city council person. During your visit the Building Official will evaluate your project. They will explain what procedural steps you will need to follow and, importantly, help you estimate approximately how long the process will take before any permits can be issued. The Building Official will give you the necessary forms your project may require. The Building Official will also explain what responsibilities your contractor, architect, or engineer may have, and what these persons should provide to the City.

Keep in Mind: Projects often change in scope and detail as you work them out with your contractor. Be aware that these changes can, in turn, change the procedural steps and timetable that were  originally set out for you. Keep the Building Official updated as any possible changes in your plans occur.

Permit Application Process For a Project

  1. During the initial visit with the Building Official you discuss the planned work generally and get a Permit Application and Neighbor Notification Form.   
  2. Either you or your contractor files with the Building Official a Permit Application that includes construction drawings (a site plan and architectural drawings and specifications prepared in a professional manner, not just a sketch or schematic.)  These shall be in sufficient detail to indicate the location, nature, and dimensions of the work proposed, as well as specific materials that will be used.  These shall contain enough specificity to establish that the project will meet building codes and city ordinances.
  3. The Permit Application shall also include a completed ARB Neighbor Notification Form with signatures that you have secured from your neighbors.  Your adjacent neighbors sign this form to acknowledge that you have discussed the proposed work with each of them.  Signing the form (a) does not indicate they approve or disapprove, nor (2) does a completed form bypass the need for the Permit Application or for ARB approval. Again, this form indicates only that you've given your neighbors a heads up about what you plan to do so that they can find out more if they wish.
  4. The Building Official then will advise you or your contractor whether the Permit Application filed is complete or whether more detail is needed. 
  5. The Building Official will at that time (if they have not done so earlier) inform you whether your project is of a type that can be approved by the chair of the ARB or whether it will require a full ARB hearing. They will also advise you whether a zoning variance will be needed. 
  6. The Building Official will explain the next procedural steps and the time before a permit can be issued. For example, the ARB keeps open the second Tuesday of the month for hearings, but a legal notice of the hearing must be delivered to all adjacent neighbors five days in advance of that date.  Legal notice will be given only after the Permit Application is fully completed, filed, and accepted by the Building Official.The City issues the legal notice required.  If only review by the ARB chair is needed, she will explain how long that is likely to take.