Frequently Asked Questions
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Do I need a building permit for a deck?
Do I need a permit for a detached building?
If it is two hundred (200) square feet or less you do not need a permit, but it still must maintain the required 5-foot setbacks from all property lines. Any structure on the property cannot be on a utility easement.
How big can a detached building be and where can I build it?
A detached structure can be up to one thousand (1000) square feet or 30% of the rear yard, whichever is less and must be five (5) feet from the side and rear property lines and five (5) feet from any other structure on the property. In addition, it may not be located in front of the house.
Can I place an inflatable pool on my driveway?
Any pool that is capable of holding 24 inches of water or more is required to be placed in the rear yard and must have a minimum of a four (4) foot fence or barrier around the pool with a lockable, self-closing gate. View Residential Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs and Spas restrictions for more information.
Are roof permits required?
Yes, and only one layer overlay is allowed. Ice and water barrier must be installed. View our Roof Permit Application.
What repairs require a permit?
Why are there small utility flags in front of my home?
Utility flags are indicative of some type of work being done that includes digging. These are placed so that contractors know where utilities are. If you want to know more about flags in your area, visit searchandstatus.com or call Public Works at 816-847-0091.
What is an inoperable vehicle?
Any vehicle that is not currently licensed, has an expired or missing license plate, flat tire(s) for five days or more, on jacks/stands/support for five days or more and/or has defects that make the vehicle unable to legally be driven on the street.
Where can I park my vehicle?
Passenger vehicles are required to be parked on paved driveways or other approved driveways that lead to a garage or carport. No portion of the vehicle can block any public sidewalk, extend into the street, or be parked on any grass.
What’s the maximum height grass/weeds can be before it’s in violation?
Grass and weeds are in violation if exceeding ten (10) inches.
What am I responsible to mow?
In addition to mowing the lawn, all right of way adjacent to your property and easements included within your property lines are required to be mowed which includes everything up to the street.
What can I store outside?
Outdoor lawn furniture, grills and children’s toys. Play equipment must be located in the rear yard.
Do I need a permit to install a fence?
Yes, a permit is required. There are regulations on materials, location, and height.
Can I keep my existing gravel driveway?
If the original driveway was gravel and legally permitted at the time of installation, it would be legal, but non-conforming with current regulations. You may keep the existing gravel drive, provided you maintain it however, you may not increase the size.
What will happen if I have a code violation?
The Codes Enforcement Officer will notify you of the violation and provide you a specific time frame to comply. These time frames are determined by code. If you need additional time, please contact the Codes Enforcement Officer. If circumstances prevent your ability to make the corrections, an extension of time may be granted. Our goal is to achieve voluntary compliance through communication and cooperation. If compliance is not achieved, the Codes Enforcement Officer can take additional action either through abatement of the violation with the cost being assessed to the property or through a “notice to appear” in Municipal Court. If you are issued a “notice to appear”, you will be given an arraignment date to appear in court and have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. The Municipal Court Judge will determine guilt or innocence and the appropriate penalty.
What is the code on trash container(s)?
Trash containers cannot be at the curb side/pick up area 12 hours prior or 12 hours after pick up time.
What is the code on storing trash outside?
Trash being stored outside must be in a container with a lid.
What is the code on the sidewalk being blocked?
Anything that blocks the free use of a sidewalk is not permitted. Examples are vehicles, trailers, trees, etc.
Can you park on grass?
Parking of automobiles, trucks, boats, trailers, recreational vehicles, or any motorized vehicle is not permitted on unimproved surfaces.
What is the code for grass clippings?
Grass clippings cannot be blown into the neighboring yards or the street. If this occurs, the grass clippings need to be blown/raked/pushed back into the yard.
What can be installed in the right-of-way by the road?
Mailboxes, utilities, driveways, and sidewalks are the only allowable items allowed to be installed in the right-of-way by the road.
What is the code for the maintenance of an accessory structure, detached garages, fences and walls?
It shall be maintained structurally sound and in good repair.
I smell sewer odors inside my house/building. What do I do?
- Check the caps on floor traps and cleanouts to ensure proper installation
- Check drains and make sure water is in the trap
- Check and make sure cleanout plugs are removed from the inside of floor drains
- Make sure there are no cracked or separated vent pipes in the interior of the structure that will allow sewer gas into your house/building
- Visually check for one of these conditions and correct if needed. If odor problems continue, have your plumber check out the entire house system for any drain system air leaks
What happens if sewage backs up in my house/building?
First, contact City of Grain Valley Public Works Maintenance Division 816.847.0091. A crew will respond to address the situation. If water does not recede after City crews clean the City sanitary sewer line, you should contact a professional plumber to have your home's service line cleared.
Why are there flags in my yard?
It is generally because there is excavation work being planned in the area and the person, company or utility planning the work has requested "locates". The flags mark the location of buried utility lines. Before The City of Grain Valley would do any major excavation work on your property you will receive a letter on your door unless an emergency situation exists.
Why did you put that manhole in my yard?
When manholes are built, the tops of the manholes are left accessible. Later when homes and businesses are built, manholes are occasionally buried in yards and driveways. The Sewer Maintenance Staff uncovers these "lost" manholes and adjusts the manholes to grade so they are accessible again. Having the manhole exposed will benefit the homeowner in a sewer emergency and reduce treatment costs.
What is a sewer lateral?
A sewer lateral is the pipe that carries wastewater from a home or business to the sanitary sewer main line in the street or easement.
What is my responsibility regarding sewer laterals?
Property owners are responsible for the laterals that run from their home or business to the sanitary sewer main line.
Why can’t I pipe my sump pump, house drains, and footer drains into my sanitary sewer lateral?
The City of Grain Valley and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources prohibits storm water discharges into the sanitary sewer system. This is to prevent overtaxing sewers which causes backups and also to minimize the amount of water that needs to be treated, which has an impact on your sewer rates.
Can I landscape around the sewer manhole?
The City recommends that all infrastructure items such as water meters, hydrants and valves are clear of any obstructions within a 3’ radius. This will benefit the City and the homeowner by providing faster access and avoid damages to landscaping.
What is Stormwater runoff?
The flow of water that results from precipitation and which occurs immediately following rainfall or as a result of snowmelt that is not absorbed in the ground. This runoff usually flows into the nearest stream, creek, river, lake or ocean. The runoff is not treated in any way, unless it passes through a natural filtering system such as vegetation, ponds, or wetlands.
Are substances that enter drain inlets in the street treatable or safe?
Those substances that enter the storm drain system are not treated at all! Anything poured into a gutter or a storm drain, such as used motor oil or antifreeze, may flow directly to creeks, streams or rivers.
Where does the storm water go after it drains into a storm drain?
Storm water that does not seep into the ground, drains into systems of underground pipes and may travel for many miles before being released into the streams.
If it only affects streams and creeks, why should I care?
Streams and creeks feed into rivers, lakes and the ocean. We all drink water, so we are all affected when our water systems are polluted. When water treatment costs rise, the price of drinking water goes up. Money made from tourism and water recreation can also be impacted, as are businesses and homes flooded by stormwater runoff. When we pollute our water, everyone is affected!
What can I do to reduce the amount of stormwater pollution I contribute?
- If you own a car, maintain it so it does not leak oil or other fluids. Be sure to wash it on the grass or at a car wash so the dirt and soap do not flow down the driveway and into the nearest storm drain.
- If you own a yard, do not over fertilize your grass. Never apply fertilizers or pesticides before a heavy rain. If fertilizer falls onto driveways or sidewalks, sweep it up instead of hosing it away. Mulch leaves and grass clippings and place leaves in the yard at the curb, not in the street. Doing this keeps leaves out of the gutter, where they can wash into the nearest storm drain. Turn your gutter downspouts away from hard surfaces, seed bare spots in your yard to avoid erosion and consider building a rain garden in low-lying areas of your lawn.
- Pet owners should pick up after their pets and dispose of pet waste in the garbage.
- Keep lawn and household chemicals tightly sealed and in a place where rain cannot reach them. Dispose of old or unwanted chemicals at household hazardous waste collections sites or events.
- Never put anything in a storm drain.
Map · Grain Valley Community Development
711 Main Street · Grain Valley, MO 64029