Permits & Applications
To apply for a new license or to renew an existing license, simply fill out our application and mail it to us or stop by our office at 5209 N. Trenholm Road. If you mail in your application, don't forget to include a check for payment. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover if paying in person at City Hall. We cannot accept payment over the phone. If this is your first time applying for a license, be sure to include our business information sheet.
If you have trouble calculating your fee, consult our Business License Fee Calculator.
Typically, if there are no errors on your application, we will mail you back your business license in a week or less. The turnaround time may be slightly longer close to April 30, the deadline for renewal.
If you have questions about the application itself or the licensing process, please do not hesitate to contact our licensing clerk, Laura Boatright.
Our Building Department issues permits and completes inspections using the 2018 South Carolina Building Code. Other than homeowners operating under the homeowner exemption, only contractors licensed by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation can obtain permits. If subcontractors will be used, a list of subcontractors must be provided at the time of application. A copy of the contract must be submitted which must include the homeowner's name and address, the contractor's name and address, the scope and cost of the work to be done and the signatures of both parties.
Building permit applications must be turned in at City Hall (5209 N. Trenholm Road) for processing and payment.
Garage Sale Permit Application - Our garage sale permitting processes ensures that our neighborhoods have friendly, organized garage sales without having them become a neighborhood nuisance. Each residence is allowed a maximum of two garage sales a year, with each sale lasting a maximum of two consecutive days. Each sale is only allowed to have one sign, and the sign must be placed on the private property of the residence having the sale. There is a five dollar fee for each garage sale, which must be paid in person at city hall.
Homeowner Exemption - State law provides for a licensing exemption when a homeowner acts as a general contractor for projects done on his or her property as long as the property is not sold or rented within two years of completion of the project(s). Before you can pull a permit for construction as a homeowner, you must sign the disclosure statement acknowledging the requirements set forth in state law.
Residents of Forest Acres are free to operate a business from their home, but only if the following guidelines are met:
- The business must be wholly contained within the resident's principal building (home).
- The portion of the home used to conduct the home occupation must constitute no more than twenty (20) percent of the floor area of the home.
- No merchandise can be displayed for advertising purposes. No merchandise can be visible from outside of the home.
- No merchandise or articles can be stored outside of the home.
- The residential character of the building or premises cannot be altered.
- Only people residing on the premises may be employed and/or work with the home occupation.
- The business shall not generate traffic in greater volumes than would normally be expected in a residential neighborhood, and any need for parking must be met off-street and not in the required front yard.
We take the safety of our citizens very seriously. Because of that, we monitor and license door-to-door sales within the city limits. In order to sell products door-to-door or to solicit charitable contributions door-to-door, individuals and entities must first fill out our application and turn it in at City Hall, 5209 N. Trenholm Road. The application lists numerous requirements that must be fulfilled in order for a permit to be issued.
Any time you are required to submit plans for review by our Building Official, a plan review application must be submitted.
In addition to the application, two sets of construction documents are required with the following:
- Plat of property including proposed location of current building(s) and proposed construction.
- Detailed footing and foundation information.
- Detailed cross section or full framing details including floor joist, rafters, roof pitch, ceiling joist, floor joist with all spans, spacing between framing members and method of wall bracing per IRC 602.10
- Floor Plan
- Elevations – Views from all sides.
- All electrical information including receptacle locations, GFCI locations, smoke detector locations and panel box location.
- Energy Code Information or Reschek -2009 International Residential Code
- Manual J (equipment sizing)
- Manual D (duct work)
It is important to us to strike a good balance between allowing businesses to successfully advertise while maintaining the attractive appearance and upscale shopping atmosphere for which Forest Acres is known.
Before you erect a sign, please fill out our a sign permit application for wall signs or free standing signs. Once the application is turned in (along with the necessary fees) at city hall, the turnaround time is usually 2-3 days.
If your sign vendor needs guidance during the design phase, our sign design requirements can be found starting on page 49 of our zoning ordinance. Please note that banners and other temporary signs are not allowed unless they are being used to advertise a public, charitable, educational or religious event. Our code enforcement officers will confiscate, on sight, any such unpermitted temporary sign or banner.
Tree Removal Information Packet - If you are not familiar with our tree ordinance, download this information sheet. It outlines the purpose of the permitting process, how to know when you need a permit, and how our inspectors will evaluate your application.
Tree Removal Permit Application - If you would like to remove trees on your property that are governed by our ordinance (see packet above if you're unsure), fill out and submit this application. We'll also need a map showing the location of the trees you would like to remove - don't worry, a simple drawing sent with the application works great. It's also a good idea to mark the trees in question with ribbon or tape to avoid confusion. Once we receive your application, one of our inspectors will be out to check out the tree as soon as possible. From there, your application will either be approved or denied, and our inspectors will contact you shortly with their determination.
Land Disturbance Permit Application - If you're planning on grading, dredging, filling or otherwise altering land which may result in soil erosion or sediment relocation and you don't have an approved building plan, you must first get a Land Disturbance Permit.