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Administrative Approval

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Administrative Approval?

Administrative approval is granted by the Planning Division for minor site plan and design changes to new or existing buildings and properties.

When is Administrative Approval required?
An administrative approval is required for minor site plan and design changes such as:

  • changes to dumpster locations
  • signage
  • screen wall changes
  • landscape changes
  • sidewalk changes,
  • mechanical equipment changes
  • window changes
  • alteration of minor architectural details and
  • other similar changes to a structure or property that do not significantly impact the site layout or design of a building.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive. If one or more of the above changes would significantly affect the site layout of a property or the design of a building, design review by the Planning Board may be required. 
Why is Administrative Approval needed?
Administrative approval, as site plan and design approvals, are needed for the City to ensure quality design to enhance the urban fabric of Birmingham. Section 7.14 and 7.32 of the Birmingham Zoning Ordinance provides administrative approval authority to the Planning Division to provide the applicant with an inexpensive and efficient process to get minor design and site plan changes approved by the City, without having to apply and appear before a City board or commission.

Administrative Approval Process

Step 1 - Application for Administrative Approval filed: An application is deemed complete upon submission and acceptance of the completed application form and all required documentation as indicated on the application form.

Step 2 - Departmental Review: Submitted plans are sent to appropriate departments for review. Comments are returned to the Planning Division prior to final review by Planning Division personnel. The Planning Division approves or denies the requested changes and the applicant is notified by fax and mail as to the decision.


An applicant that wishes to appeal an administrative decision of the Planning Division has the right of appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals. An appeal must be made to the Board of Zoning Appeals within 21 days of the date of the decision from which the appeal is made.