Commercial building permits apply to buildings with spaces occupied by business. A building which includes spaces for people to live is a mixed-use building and is treated as a commercial buildings.

For large-scale ($10M) or complex commercial/industrial construction projects, a Project Coordinator will be assigned. This is a free service Salem provides to have a one-stop City contact that can assist throughout the entire project.

Types of Commercial Permits

The following are typical projects that require permits:

  • New construction/additions
  • Multifamily construction
  • Site development
  • Change of use
  • Demolition

Step 1: Prepare

Trade Permits for electrical, plumbing, mechanical or fire work related to residential work are separate permits.

Resolve site constraints

Are there site constraints or planning issues that must be addressed before Development Review (Site Plan Review)?

Check for the presence of wetlands, flood hazard, landslide hazard or soil contamination to verify that no state or federal permits are required for development. These permits may be required prior to Site Plan approval.

Other site considerations

  • Does the zoning allow the use?
  • Will an access or street improvement be required?
  • Is the site in an Overlay or Historic District?
  • Are there adequate utilities?
  • If the property was divided, is the Final Plat approved and recorded?

Schedule a pre-application conference

A pre-application conference can help you learn about the land use process and give you an opportunity to discuss your project in detail with City staff. It is not meant to identify or resolve every issue. Some land use actions require a pre-application conference, but you can request one for any land use action.

You can schedule a pre-application conference through the online Permit Application Center Portal.   

Site Plan Review process

For projects not requiring Variances, Historic Review, Conditional Use Permits, Class 3 Design Review or other actions requiring a public hearing, submit a site plan review application.

Systems Development Charges

Systems Development Charges (SDCs) are one-time fees based on the proposed new use or increase in use of a property. They apply to both new construction and redevelopment projects which increase impact to city infrastructure. 

Depending on the project, SDCs may increase a project's budget substantially. It is important to determine the impact of SDC fees as early as possible in the process.