Permits & Approvals

Department Permitting Process
The Planning, Building and Development Department processes and issues various types of permits and approvals in unincorporated Lake County. If your property is located in a village or city please contact their office.

Certain minor improvements including re-roofing (if the work will be done by a roofing contractor licensed by the State of Illinois), re-siding, fences, and sheds, subject to certain standards and restrictions, require only a registration form and nominal registration fee.

Early Assistance

The Early Assistance (EA) process is an important step in providing quality customer service. It helps the customer save time and effort through coordinated and timely County guidance for projects in unincorporated Lake County. The EA process is most effective if the customer:
  • has an immediate objective in mind;
  • has a vision on what they want to do and a specific site where they want to do it; and
  • is the owner of the land or has the owner's permission to use it. 
The EA process can be initiated in two ways:
  • customer requested, prior to making a permit application; or
  • the project manager (PM) determines that the EA process would be helpful during discussions with a customer.( i.e. PM decides the project warrants an EA letter.)   

Request an Early Assistance letter by contacting a Project Manager at 847-377-2600. An Early Assistance letter is provided at no charge, this letter will identify project requirements and design issues before the project begins. The meeting (if requested) may offer guidance on the best use of a complicated site, and we may help you in locating consultants to assist you with your design. The meeting will be coordinated by a PM to ensure all applicable Lake County departments are present to address your proposed project. Notes from the meeting will be provided for your use.

Should you feel Early Assistance is not necessary for your project, you may download a permit application. Applications must be submitted in person, by either the property owner or authorized agent at our office. Please call ahead if you have questions about the submittal materials, and to ensure that your submittal is complete. 


Types of Permits

The types of Permits and Approvals issued by the Department are:


    • Building Permit - Required for new construction, additions, alterations, garages, sheds, fences, signs, plumbing or electrical work, etc.
    • Change of Use Permit - Required for changing the use of the building or land
    • Demolition Permit - Required for demolishing a building
    • Site Development Permit - Required for grading, filling, or moving of earth
    • Temporary Use Permit - Required for establishing a temporary use such as a fund raiser, outdoor concerts, Christmas tree, farm produce, or food sales, etc.
    • Conditional Use Permit - Required to establish certain special uses
    • Administrative Conditional Use Permit - Issued for use legally existing prior to changes in the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).
    • Zoning Approvals - Various types of approvals such as rezonings and variations.
    • Subdivision Approvals - Required for the subdivision of land and applications involving subdivisions.
    View a list of projects or activities which do not require permits.

    More Information
    We encourage our customers to contact our office if you have any questions relating to permits or approvals. Our contact information is located on the right side of the page.