The Permit Center is a centralized location for obtaining development permits and for acquiring information on all construction, zoning and land use requirements for the City of Lake Charles. The City of Lake Charles Permit Center establishes rules and regulations for the construction, alteration, repair, removal, relocation, demolition and the use and occupancy of buildings, structures or premises.
The Permit Center is also responsible for the following:
  • Review plans for compliance of new construction and alteration of existing structures
  • Issue building, electrical, plumbing, gas, and mechanical permits
  • Perform inspections of various trades on new and altered buildings to assure compliance with codes
  • License various construction trades, such as building, electrical, plumbing, gas and mechanical contractors
  • Investigate complaints dealing with building, electrical, plumbing, gas, mechanical, zoning or property standards, such as junk vehicles, junk materials, garbage and trash, or tall grass on private property
  • Handles condemnation procedures


New Construction Elevation Standards

Effective 1/1/21

The following minimum foundation elevation requirement is established to provide protection from flooding events in the City.  The minimum floor elevation shall be one (1) foot above the highest of the following four (4) measurements.

1.  The BFE measurement value in flood hazard areas AE and VE shall be based on the latest Calcasieu Parish Flood Insurance Study (FIS).  The BFE measurement value for flood hazard area A is a site-specific value determined by the COE after application by the City.

     a.   For sites with a BFE of nine (9) feet or less, the minimum measurement value shall be ten (10) feet or

     b.   For all other sites, the minimum measurement value elevation shall be the BFE;

2.  The measurement value at the center line of the nearest street across from or adjacent to the structure, except for a corner lot adjacent to multiple streets where the lower centerline street elevation shall control;

3.  The measurement value at the top of the nearest upstream or downstream sanitary sewer manhole where a community or municipal system is provided, or;

4.  The measurement value of the highest recorded historical or modeled (100-year) inundation level, if known.

     a.   All enclosed residential or commercial structures/buildings, and any substantial improvements related to the same, shall be constructed at the minimum floor elevation as established above.

     b.   All mechanical equipment and all sewerage lift stations must also comply with the above minimum lowest floor elevation requirements.

If you have any questions about this requirement or for a copy of the full ordinance you may contact the Zoning Office at 337-491-1542.

Construction Permits

To apply online for a permit please click here and then click on the customer portal and create an account. Follow the prompts and enter all information for each field. The last page will be where you will upload the electronic copies of your plans and documents. Make sure to upload all the required documents (building plans, site plan, grading plan, water and sewer availability form, storm water BMP photos etc.) and click submit.    NOTE:  SEPARATE PERMITS ARE REQUIRED FOR EACH TRADE.

The required forms are available for download by clicking here. Once our Permit Techs verify that all required documents have been submitted you will receive an email with an invoice with detailed instructions on how to pay online for the plan review. The application will then be forwarded through the review process. Once each Plan Reviewer reviews the plans they may electronically request more information, at which time you will be notified by email, or they will electronically approve the plans at which time the Permit Techs will invoice you for the cost of the permit which you can pay online. You will then receive an electronic copy of the permit.

Please see the attached flyer with additional instructions. Also there is a phone number to the help line on the flyer. If you have any questions or to schedule an inspection, contact our office at 337-491-1294 and select option #2 for the permit staff.

If you have any questions regarding permit requirements for Building, Electrical, Mechanical or Plumbing activity on your property, please contact the Permit Center at (337) 491-1294.

Effective August 1, 2019, statutory changes were made in regards to the use of residential and commercial licenses.  Please follow this link to the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors for current updates to state rules and regulations.  (The supervision and enforcement of these provisions of state law are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Louisiana State Licensing Board of Contractors.)

Access the City of Lake Charles GIS Data by clicking button below.