Newly constructed, relocated, or altered areas of a building require a certificate of occupancy (CofO). A new Co O is also required if the occupancy classification of a building, or portion of a building, is changed.
Any building that has been legally occupied, without a change of occupancy as defined by the building or land use codes, is assumed to have a CofO for the current use. A Zoning Compliance review is still required for any change in Tenancy. This review may result in a Zoning Compliance Certificate instead of a new Certificate of Occupancy. For questions about certificates of occupancy please contact Eric Newcomb, Building Plans Examiner at 520-837-4911, or Steve Shields, Site Review Manager at 520-837-4956.
A new CofO can only be issued following the issuance of a building permit and performance of inspections to assure compliance with the current codes governing the proposed occupancy. The process to obtain a certificate of occupancy varies depending on the building or structure in question. Certificates for public and semi-public occupancy uses must be obtained in person in our office. Two copies of a plan prepared by an architect registered in the State of Arizona will be required for building undergoing a change of use.
Temporary Certificates of Occupancy
If occupancy is needed prior to full completion of a project, recommendations will be necessary from each inspection team. These inspection teams are based on the scope of work included in the permit but usually include Building, Site, and Fire. Businesses that include food service will also need Pima County Health Department authorization. No civilian activities are allowed in the building until occupancy has been granted to include furniture movers and network specialists. Only those persons covered by the general contractor of record are permitted to work on site prior to occupancy. A temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) may be issued for a variety of limitations to include stocking of product, staff training, or even full business operations. The extent of occupancy granted will be based on individual site conditions. A TCO will expire after 30 days and must be renewed if a permanent certificate has not been obtained. Please follow these steps to obtain a TCO:
- Ensure all life safety elements are complete including a fully function fire protection system (when applicable)
- Ensure any remaining construction activities on the site are separated from civilian activities
- Schedule final inspections from each inspection group and request occupancy from the inspectors
- Provide special inspection reports, water supply sterilization reports, and air balance reports (when applicable)
- Submit a TCO application to Planning & Development Services for review
- After the application has been approved, pay the nonrefundable fee of $500 + $82.50 for each outstanding inspection group
Certificate of Occupancy Forms (PDF files)
Issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall not be construed as an approval of any violation of the codes and ordinances adopted by the City of Tucson.