BUSINESS RESOURCE GUIDE (Business Advice and Technical
All property located inside the City of Shreveport and within approximately five miles of the City limits is zoned for specific land uses. The three broad classifications are:
- R - Residential
- B - Business/Commercial
- I - Industrial
There are numerous sub-categories within each of these classifications which further define specific types of zoning and permissible land uses.
All re-zoning decisions are first made by the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC), a nine-member citizen board, which then forwards its recommendations for zoning ordinances and ordinance amendments to the City Council (for cases inside the City of Shreveport) and the Caddo Parish Commission (for outside-city cases).
Any citizen desiring to locate a business or manufacturing operation within the MPC’s jurisdiction should first determine whether the proposed site is properly zoned for the intended business or industrial purpose.
This can be done by providing a legal description of the property (from tax notice or property deed) to the:
Metropolitan Planning Commission
Government Plaza, Room 440
If the proposed site is not properly zoned, the property owner or his authorized agent can file an application to the MPC for re-zoning at a cost of
Sometimes a parcel of property is properly zoned, but the proposed development cannot, for a number of legitimate reasons, occur without a special exception approval or without a variance in one or more requirements. Requests for variances in zoning requirements and special exceptions are heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).
Fees and application information can be obtained from the Metropolitan Planning Commission office.
Click here to see all applications
Some variations from strict compliance with zoning ordinance requirements can be handled by MPC
staff. Please contact:
Metropolitan Planning Commission
Government Plaza, Room 440
to determine if your request can be handled in this simpler manner. The fee for a minor modification for planning director approval is $150.
Before a commercial or industrial building can be occupied and used, a
of Occupancy is required. Provided all building and other code requirements
have been met and building and zoning requirements are complied with,
the office of Zoning Administration will issue a Certificate of Occupancy.
Such certificates are also required before an occupational license
can be issued. To apply contact:
Home-Based Businesses are also required to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy. For a copy
of the Home Occupation Criteria, call (318) 673-6440.
First Floor of the Government Plaza
505 Travis Street
(318) 673-6442 or (318) 673-6440 (Zoning Office)
Click here for
*NOTE - Certificates of Occupancy
are not to be confused with Occupational License Taxes Requirements.
here for more information on Occupational License Taxes.
Prior to the construction or placement of
outdoor advertising structures
a permit from the Office of Zoning Administration must first be obtained. Placement, size, and type of structure must accompany the application.
Government Plaza, Room 440
Often, the establishment of a new business or the expansion of an existing one involves building construction, alterations, renovation or enlargement. In these cases, construction permits of various types (building, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, or sign) are likely to be required. Following is information about the permitting process.
WHO ISSUES PERMITS?
The City's Permits Center issues construction permits.
Government Plaza, Room 130
WHEN IS A PERMIT REQUIRED?
A permit is required whenever an owner, authorized agent or contractor proposes to construct, enlarge, alter, repair or move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a structure, or is going to construct, alter, repair or move air conditioning and ventilating systems, electrical systems, plumbing and gas piping systems, sprinkler and fire extinguishing systems, elevators, signs, incinerators, furnaces or boilers.
WHAT TO BRING WHEN APPLYING FOR A PERMIT?
When applying for a permit, two complete sets of plans and specifications are required. One complete set will be returned to you when the permit is issued.
WHO MUST PREPARE THE PLANS?
A mechanical engineer registered to do business in Louisiana must prepare and place his seal on all plans for mechanical installations valued at $10,000 or more in commercial and industrial buildings, apartments or townhouses. When the permit is for a commercial or industrial building, apartments or townhouses (with four or more units) having a value of $50,000.00 or more, the plans must be prepared by and bear the name and seal of either an architect or civil engineer registered to do business in Louisiana. Otherwise, the owner or a plan service may prepare the detailed plans.
WHAT MUST A COMPLETE SET OF PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS INCLUDE?
The plans and specifications which accompany a permit application must be prepared in detail sufficient for the City's reviewers to determine if all code requirements are met. Required submittals must include:
-- Site (plot) plan to scale (showing existing and proposed landscaping), size and location of all utilities, all structures proposed and existing, paving, parking, drainage, grade, elevations or contours
-- Foundation plan with details to scale
-- Floor plan to scale - labeled rooms/ spaces
-- Exterior and interior elevations, and wall sections
-- Schedules for doors, windows, room finishes, and framing details
-- Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning plans to scale
-- Details on proposed alterations and renovations
Specific detailed information is required within each of these submittals. To help avoid confusion and otherwise unnecessary delay, you are encouraged to contact the Permits and Inspections Division for additional information about these requirements.
HOW ARE PLANS REVIEWED?
Plans are reviewed by the Permits and Inspections Division and other officials to assure that the requirements of the following codes and ordinances are met:
-- Zoning Ordinance
-- Standard Building Code (which includes NEC, plumbing, HVAC and other requirements)
-- Property Standards Code
-- Drainage/Storm Water Control Ordinance
-- Flood Hazard Prevention Ordinance
-- Fire Prevention Ordinance
State Fire Marshal Rules and Regulation
-- On-Premise Outdoor Advertising Ordinance
-- Off-Premise Outdoor Advertising Regulations
-- Cross Lake Pollution Control Ordinance
-- Erosion Control During Construction
This generally requires that representatives of several City departments review the submitted plans. For simple projects with properly completed plans, application reviews can often be completed in one or two days.
Projects which affect exits, stairs, seating arrangements, handicap accessibility, or any other features covered under state statues must be submitted to the State Fire Marshal for review. This may take from two to three weeks. If a project does not include any of these features, or you aren’t sure if your plans need to be submitted to the State Fire Marshal, you are encouraged to contact
for determination the
Shreveport Fire Prevention Bureau
WHAT OTHER PERMITS ARE REQUIRED?
If a new driveway is required, a permit must be obtained from the Office of the City Engineer. The Permits and Inspections Division can assist in determining whether a driveway permit is needed. If construction involves assembly occupancies, above or underground fuel tanks, explosive storage or handling, or a burn permit, the Fire Prevention Bureau will require a separate permit.
Note: City Ordinances #10 of 1997 requires permit fees for retail sales and display of fireworks.
If a project involves food and/or beverage handling facilities, the plans must be reviewed by the
Caddo Parish Health Unit
Shreveport, LA 71101
Although there is no fee for plan review, a permit fee must be paid before such businesses begin operation.
IS THERE A PERMIT FEE?
Permit fees are established by City ordinance and vary based on the scale of the project. If work begins without a permit, the permit fee will be doubled and other penalties may be imposed.
WHO SHOULD APPLY FOR THE PERMIT?
Permits are issued in the name of the applicant. For that reason, it is generally helpful to have the contractor (rather than the building's owner or lessee) apply for the permit. This will assure that the contractor is held responsible for correcting any code violations. The decision as to whom the permit is issued rests with the building or project owner.
Commercial/Industrial projects costing $50,000 or more must be constructed by a contractor licensed by the State of Louisiana and all insurance requirements are to be on file. Out-of-state contractors must post a bond required by the Louisiana Department of Revenue and Taxation prior to the issuance of any construction permits. For additional information, contact
Louisiana Sales Tax Section
Baton Rouge, LA
CAN PRELIMINARY PLANS BE REVIEWED BEFORE BIDDING?
The City encourages building owners, architects and engineers to submit plans for review before bidding. Although no permit will be issued at that time, corrections required as a result of a pre-bid review can be made without the necessity of costly change orders.
WHEN WILL A PERMIT BE ISSUED?
Permits are issued as soon as all plans and specifications have been reviewed and approved. Applicants will be notified when a permit is ready to be issued by telephone, fax or letter. Permits may be issued with written stipulations that minor changes be made to the plans, or during construction.
WAIVER OF PERMIT FEES?
Waiver of Permit Fees for Rehabilitation or Renovation of Properties Located Within the Downtown Development District – In an effort to re-develop and beautify the Shreveport downtown and riverfront areas, the City has waived all permit fees incidental to the rehabilitation or renovation including any repairs, alterations, or additions of buildings and structures located within the Downtown Development District (DDD). Qualifying buildings and structures must have been constructed prior to 1960.
Note: The waiver of permit fees does not exempt the applicant from obtaining all permits, approvals, plan reviews, and inspections required by applicable provisions of the Shreveport City Code.