Get answers to the frequently asked questions within the Planning Department.
- Mold Information
- Business Licensing
- General FAQs
- Albuquerque GIS FAQs
- Building Safety FAQs (Zoning)
- Code Enforcement FAQs
- Development Review Services FAQs
- Zoning Regulations FAQs
Who do I call if I have mold in my house?
Call Air Quality, a division of the Environmental Health Department, at 505-768-2662. You may also check the Yellow Pages under "Mold Inspection and Removal."
Contact New Mexico Taxation and Revenue division of the State of New Mexico (505-841-6200).
You may also want to visit the City of Albuquerque's Treasury website. The Treasury Department issues the actual business license.
- What is the physical size of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County?
Albuquerque is 188.8 square miles. Bernalillo County is about 1167 square miles.
- How can we find a copy of the covenants on our property?
If you can determine the subdivision name and filing date from your paperwork (deed, etc.), you can contact the Bernalillo County Clerk's Office to purchase a copy of the covenants. For more information, contact the County Clerk at (505) 468-1290.
- How can we find out who owns a problem property in our neighborhood?
Contact the Bernalillo County Assessor's Office
- Where do I find zone designations and what they mean?
You can find information related to zone designations in the Comprehensive Zone Code.
- Where do I obtain maps of Bernalillo County?
Contact the Bernalillo County GIS office.
- Can I get the Zone Atlas on-line?
Yes. The Zone Atlas is available for free at the AGIS website.
- Can I view AGIS data on the Internet?
Yes. The City of Albuquerque has an interactive GIS web site at cabq.gov/gis.
- Can I download GIS data?
Yes. There are many GIS data layers available at www.cabq.gov/gis.
- Can AGIS provide location information for specific addresses?
Yes. This information is available on the city's GIS website.
- What neighborhood association am I in?
You will need the address or legal description of the property. Call AGIS at (505) 924-3816.
- Can I get a map of a Neighborhood Association?
Yes. These are available on the AGIS page. These are updated annually, so if you need more current information, visit the GIS interactive website.
- How can I obtain demographic, census, or economic data?
The City Planning Department's Publications and Records Division maintains some current and historical information. Contact the Planning Department's Publications and Records Division office at (505) 924-3662. The office is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional information may be available at the Bureau of Business and Economic Research -OR- The Mid-Region Council of Governments -OR- the United States Census Bureau.
- How do I determine if my building project or property is in the city or in the county?
You will need the address or legal description of the property you are asking about. Call AGIS at (505) 924-3816.
- I live in the City of Albuquerque and your GIS site displays my address incorrectly. Who do I contact?
City Addresses can be verified by the City Address Verification Clerk. Phone contact: (505) 924-3848.
- I live in Bernalillo County and your GIS site displays my address incorrectly. Who do I contact?
County Addresses can be verified by contacting Bernalillo County permits section.
- Can I purchase city maps?
Yes. You can purchase many standard product maps as listed at the following website: www.cabq.gov/planning/agis/. If you don't see what you need contact call (505) 924-3816.
- I don't know how to use the GIS interactive website?
You can call (505) 924-3816 for assistance or you can refer to the GIS Interactive website.
Building Plan Review / Permits Section
- How long does it take for the permit process?
Plan review is approximately 2 ½ weeks for residential and three 3 ½ weeks for commercial depending on size and complexity of project. The permit will be issued when approved by each division.
- Do I need landlord approval before submitting plans for permit?
Landlord approval is not necessary in this jurisdiction.
- Can I mail in my drawings?
Yes you may, but we now offer E-plan electronic plan review – the capability to submit projects on- line that improve the plan review cycle.
- What is Green Path?
Green path projects exceed code minimum requirements to construct a more energy efficient building.
- How much does a plan review / permit cost?
Permit fees are paid when plans have been approved by all required division and are based on square footage and valuation (materials and labor) of the construction project; plan review fees are paid at time of submittal and are 65% of the permit fee plus zoning and hydrology fees.
- What is Fastrax and how much does it cost?
Fastrax is an optional expedited plan review with a guaranteed initial plan review completion date.
The cost is 3 times the plan review fee excluding zoning and hydrology fees.
- What do I need to submit for a permit?
Building permit submittal requires 2 sets of complete construction drawings. Plans shall be drawn to scale, clearly indicate the nature and extent of the work proposed and conform to all codes, laws and ordinances. All commercial projects must be certified by a New Mexico registered architect and/or engineer and may be required for some residential projects.
- Can I make changes or corrections to the drawings?
Yes, unless the plans have been certified by a registered architect and/or engineer.
- What is a homeowner's permit?
A homeowner's permit is a permit issued to a customer who will act as the general contractor to build a single family residence that will be owned and occupied by them or add, alter, repair or demolish a structure at a residence that is owned and occupied by them.
- Can I track the status of my plans and view comments online?
Plan review status and comments are available online using the plan review number (tracking number including the "T" at the beginning of the number) issued at time of submittal at
- Do I need a permit?
Building permits and inspections are required for commercial, public, private and residential new construction, additions, and remodeling work.
- Swimming Pool
- Walls, Fences, and Retaining Walls
- Relocation of Existing Buildings
- Foundation Only
- Sign Permits
- Mechanical Permits
- Electrical Permits
- Plumbing Permits
- What are the design criteria for Albuquerque?
Wind speed is 90 mph (3 second gust).
Snow load 20 pounds per square foot non-reducible. Frost line depth is 16 inches below grade.
Seismic Zone – Engineer has to determine appropriate seismic category according to the function of buildings, use and types of soil.
- What happens if I build without a permit?
Whenever any work is done without a permit and a permit is required, a stop work order is issued. A building without a permit notification letter is issued and the owner is given 30 - 45 days to comply. If compliance is not met a final notification letter issued and the owner is given 10 days to comply. If compliance is still not met a pre-criminal summons is issued and the owner is given 10 business days to comply prior to court action.
- Can I find out if a certain address has a permit, final inspection or certificate of occupancy?
Yes. If a building permit has been obtained, it should be posted so it is clearly visible from the front of the house or commercial project or contact Building Safety Division for further information.
- Building - (505) 924-3969
- Electrical - (505) 924-3311
- Inspections - (505) 924-3320
- Mechanical - (505) 924-3310
- I believe a contractor is not building to code or does not have a permit. What should I do?
You may file a complaint to the Building Safety Division at (505) 924-3319, all information is confidential, just the address is required and a brief description of the work being done.
- What codes are the City of Albuquerque currently using?
State, national, and city codes are available on our website at http://www.cabq.gov/planning/planning-regulations-policies/building-codes
If not available at local book stores, or at the public library, the International Codes can be ordered on the International Code Council website and the Uniform Codes can be ordered on the National Fire Protection Association website. The National Electrical Code is available on both websites.
- When is a Mechanical Engineer required to certify the construction documents?
Plans must be prepared and sealed by a Registered Professional Engineer licensed to practice Mechanical Engineering in the State of New Mexico, when the total mechanical equipment, materials and labor exceeds $50,000.00 in valuation or if the building exceeds two (2) stories in height.
- When is an Electrical Engineer required to certify the construction documents?
Plans, specifications and calculations must be prepared and sealed by a Registered Professional Engineer licensed to practice Electrical Engineering in the State of New Mexico, when the installation exceeds over 200A for single phase or over 50 KVA for three phase.
- How many bathrooms do I need for my business?
The number of bathroom required depends on what type of business it is and how many employees and customers your space allows.
- When do I need a type 1 hood?
When you have cooking producing grease and smoke.
- Do I need grease interceptors?
When you have food production and 3 compartment sinks.
- Do I need to show one-line diagram?
When providing new panel a service diagram is required.
- Do I need to have panel and light fixtures schedules in my drawing for a tenant improvement?
Yes both panel and light fixtures schedules are required.
The following is a list of other required permits:
Building Inspections Section
- I received a red tag – how do I get a permit for a structure already built?
Building permit submittal requires 2 sets of complete construction as-built drawings. Plans shall be drawn to scale, clearly indicate the nature and extent of the work constructed. The structure must still conform to all codes, laws and ordinances. As-built drawings are plans drawn according to the way the structure was built.
- Can I pay my re-inspection fee over the phone?
No, currently no fees can be paid over the phone. An authorization agreement for direct payments (ACH debits) account can be set up.
- Does the City have plans for my house?
Effective August, 2012 the City began to scan residential plans.
- I have a correction notice, do I need to pay and re-schedule for a re-inspection?
A re-inspection fee is determined by the inspector and has to be paid prior to rescheduling a re- inspection. If there is not a fee due then a re-inspection needs to be re-scheduled, the building permit number is required.
- What are the results of my inspection, did it pass?
If the inspection passes the inspector will leave a green tag and sign off on the back of the building permit card. If the inspection fails the inspector will leave a correction notice with the reason why.
- What type of inspections do I need and when do I call in for them?
Once a permit is issued an inspection/permit card is issued with a list of inspections, if unsure at the time to call for each inspection, contact the inspections division at (505) 924-3320.
- When is a building complete?
Building final inspections and certificate of occupancy information can be addressed through the inspections division at 505-924-3320.
- Are there any code violations at an address?
Inspections division at 505-924-3320.
- What inspector has my inspection today; can you give me his number?
Inspections division at 505-924-3320.
- What time is my inspection?
You can contact the Inspections division at (505) 924-3320 and they will give you your inspector's cell number and he will be able to give you a general idea of the time he will be out to do your inspection.
- How far back does permit history go? Plans, microfilm, permit information?
All plans are available at the Building Safety division while in construction. Once construction is complete, they are sent out to be scanned, during this time a written request is required in order to retrieve a set of plans from the City's Records department. Many permits are available on microfilm at the Building Safety division at (505) 924-3304; permit information is available on-line at http://www.cabq.gov/planning/planning-regulations-policies/building-codes Building Permit Reports - Pre-June 2008 and Building Permit Reports - June 2008 to current.
Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing Permit Section
- What can we do to get a gas meter installed?
Only a certified licensed contractor may install a gas meter and pressure test the gas system. A permit and inspection will be required, once the inspection has passed, the gas company will set the gas meter.
- Can a home owner install a new water heater? And is a permit/inspection required?
Only a certified licensed contractor may install a water heater or any gas appliance. A permit and inspection will be required.
- My house sewer and/or water supply is damaged; can the home owner make repairs? Is a permit required?
Repairs to sewer or water supply will not require permits or inspections and a home owner may do the repairs. However if a new sewer or water supply is going to be replaced, a permit and inspection will be required then a homeowner's permit can be issued.
- Can a home owner install a new furnace and/or air conditioner?
Only a licensed mechanical contractor may install heating and air conditioning. A permit and inspection will be required.
- We want to replace our fixtures in our bathroom and/or kitchen is a permit required?
A permit is not required if changing "LIKE FOR LIKE" plumbing fixtures. Example: sinks, lavatory, or water closets.
- Is a permit required to have our sewer lines cleaned?
A permit is not required to have sewer lines cleaned.
- Can a homeowner do his own plumbing on an addition or new home?
A home owner's permit can be issued to the homeowner if they pass the homeowner's plumbing test.
- Can I schedule an am/pm inspection?
Yes; call the assigned inspector at 8:00 a.m. the morning of the scheduled inspection to arrange a time. Availability may be limited.
- How far out can they schedule an inspection?
The next day.
- How can I find out who my inspector is and a phone numbers for them.
Call mechanical and electrical inspections at 505-924-3310 or 505-924-3311.
- How long does it take to pull a permit?
1 to 2 days.
Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing Inspection Section
Elevator / Boiler Section
- Where can I get a permit application: Are they available online?
Elevator permit applications are available at the Elevator / Boiler section, the building permit counter at 600 2nd St., N.W. or on-line at http://www.cabq.gov/planning/developers/forms/building- forms-and-reports Permit Application Forms (editable PDF format)
- When is my next elevator inspection due?
Elevator inspections are due every 6 months.
- Where can I get a copy of the last inspection report?
The Building Safety Elevator section at 505-924-3327 or 505-924-3325.
- Where can I get a list of all the elevator contractors?
For a current list contact the elevator section at 505-924-3327 or 505-924-3325.
- Why is the elevator so noisy?
- Why does the elevator smell bad?
- Why isn't the elevator going up or down?
- Is the other elevator working? - asked when one of two or more elevators in a building are being inspected.
- Why is the elevator running so slow?
- Why do I need a permit for my new boiler?
The City administrative code requires that a permit must be obtained and the boiler must pass inspection.
- When did that become part of the code?
The National Board Inspection Code (NBIC) updates the boiler code every two years.
- I am not ready; can you reschedule my inspection and come back later today?
Do not call for a final inspection until the boiler is completely done.
- What time will you be there?
If necessary we will schedule a time with you or your contractor to inspect the boiler.
- Where is that in the code book?
If you cannot find something in your NBIC code book, contact the boiler division at 505-924-3366.
- Can I ask you a question about the code?
If you have any questions about the codes in the NBIC, contact the boiler division at 505-924-3366.
- When does a gas water heater or a boiler fall under the NBIC?
In commercial construction only, all gas water heaters or boilers that are at 200,000 BTU and up, will fall under the NBIC and must have a national board number.
- How many times a year does my boiler get inspected?
All low pressure steam and hot water heating/supply boilers get inspected every two years. All high pressure steam and high pressure hot water boiler get inspected every six months.
- Does the owner of the boiler have to remind the City when the boiler inspection is due?
No, our computer system will notify us when your boiler is due for an inspection.
- When a boiler is built to the standards of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) a national board number is assigned to the boiler.
The above complaints should be reported to the building manager.
Building Safety General Questions
- Who is the Chief Building Official?
Land Clark, you can contact him at 505-924-3314.
- Where are you located?
The Plaza Del Sol Building at 600 2nd St., N.W., Suite 1B, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102.
- How late are you open?
5:00 p.m., it is recommended if submitting plans for plan review to come in no later than 4:00pm in order to guarantee process completion including payment of fees.
- Is the address in the county or the city?
Jurisdiction information can be addressed through the Zoning division at 505-924-3857.
- How far can I build my storage shed from the setbacks?
Setback information can be address through the Zoning division at (505) 924-3857.
- Where can a customer get a site/plot plan?
A site/plot plan is available through the builder; sometimes a property survey if recorded is available at the county clerk's office, (505) 468-1290. A copy of a lot with dimensions is available at the Zoning division located at the Plaza Del Sol Building at 600 2nd NW, Suite 1B, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102.
- Where can I get information on trash enclosures/inspections?
The Refuse division, plan review section at 505-924-3631.
- Contractor information – (Does a specific contractor have a license).
New Mexico E-Services for Contractor Licensing at http://public.psiexams.com/search.jsp.
- Who can I report a non-licensed contractor to?
Construction Industries Division at 505-924-2222.
- What's the number for information concerning curb cuts, driveways, sidewalks, barricades?
Department of Municipal Development at 505-924-3400.
- What's the number to the County Assessor's office?
Bernalillo County Assessor at 505-222-3700.
- Where do I find zone designations and what they mean?
You can find information related to zone designations in the Comprehensive Zone Code.
- What businesses are allowed in a single-family residential neighborhood (R-1 zone)?
Home businesses or "home occupations" are allowed, but are limited to telephone or mailing services or low-key businesses. Manufacturing, which includes baking, small machine repair, and automotive work, are not allowed. For more information, contact Zoning at 505-924-3850.
- Are there any rules that govern landscaping in a single-family neighborhood?
Single-family homes built after October, 1995 must meet water conservation standards which limit the amount and type of plants and grass used. The City's anti-pollen ordinance, enforced by the Environmental Health Department, controls the types of trees which can be planted after 1992.
- What can I do if my neighbors tree is impinging on my property? Trees that drop leaves or otherwise encroach on a neighbor's property are a civil matter and must be dealt with by property owners.
- Is there a limit to how many garage sales my neighbor can hold?
Each home in an R-1 area may have a garage sale or yard sale once every twelve (12) months. The sale may not exceed three (3) days in length and only normally accumulated household goods may be sold.
- How can you find out the zoning of a particular property and what the property can be used for?
Call City Zoning at 505-924-3850 with the specific property address or legal description or visit City Zoning at 600 Second Street NW, 5th floor.
- Can a recreational vehicle be parked on private property in an R-1 zone?
Recreational vehicles, boats and boat trailers may be parked inside or outside in the side yard or rear yard, provided that no part of the unit extends over a public sidewalk. The unit can only be used for dwelling purposes for a maximum of 14 days. Cooking is not permitted and there can be no permanent connection of water, sewer, or electricity. Call Code Enforcement at 505-924-3850 for more information.
- Can a car repair business be conducted at a home in a residential neighborhood?
The Zoning Code does not allow auto repair done as a business to take place in residential zones.
- Can day care be conducted in a residential neighborhood?
A family day care home, with only members of the residing family providing care for no more than 6 children (limit not including provider's children over 6) may exist if the activity is licensed by the State as a family day care home. If over 6 but not more than 12 children are cared for, the facility requires that a conditional use be obtained from the City.
- Can a group home be located in an R-1 zone?
A Community Residential Program (not a Community Residential Corrections Program or a Community Residential Program for substance abusers) with up to ten (10) client residents can be located in an R-1 zone provided that the standards of Section 14-16-3-12 of the Zoning Code are met.
- Can you tell me on which Zone Atlas page my property is located? Can you tell me if my property is located within the city limits?
Yes. This information is available on the city's GIS website.
- Can you tell me what the zoning is for my property?
We can tell you how the zoning of a piece of property is reflected on the Zone Map. For verification of zoning, you need to contact Zoning Code Services at 505-924-3850.
- What process do I follow for a zone change, site plan approval, landscaping plan, sector development plan amendment, conditional use, etc.?
The Comprehensive Zone Code and the Development Process Manual contain information related to these questions. For specific inquiries or explanations of the process, call the Planning front counter at 505-924-3895 or Planning reception at 505-924-3860.
- I live in a poorly maintained apartment/house. What can I do?
Make contact with the Housing Code Enforcement at 311 (Citizen Contact Center) and report the problem to us.
- How do I know whether or not I can file a claim against my landlord?
To receive advice on your legal rights regarding your landlord, call the Landlord Tenant hot line at 505-998-4529.
- Can I purchase a posted/condemned property from the City of Albuquerque?
No, the City of Albuquerque does not take title to the property. The owner, bank, or realtor would be a first contact for these inquires. Ownership can be found by contacting the Bernalillo County Assessor at 505-222-3700.
- Can the City put a lien on my property?
Code Enforcement Liens - The Code Enforcement Division occasionally creates and files liens on properties when they have been found to be in violation of the Anti-Weed and Litter Ordinance or the Uniform Housing Code Ordinance. In both cases, property owners are notified that their property is in violation and are given time to resolve the violation(s). If the violation(s) are not corrected in the time given, a work order is created to have the work completed and a lien a filed against the property for the work performed. All liens are filed with the County Clerk's office and can be reached at (505) 468-1294 or visit the Bernalillo County Clerk's website.
- Did I call the correct number for Weed and Litter?
Please call 311.
- Can I file a complaint and remain anonymous?
Yes, call 311.
- Who inspects commercial properties?
Call Building and Safety at 505-924-3319.
- Who is responsible for treating roaches? Landlord or Tenant?
Review your lease agreement, but ultimately the owner of the property is the responsible party.
- Is there a Tenant/Landlord Hot Line?
Landlord/Tenant Hotline, 664 Alta Vista Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505 505-983-8447. Law Access New Mexico - Albuquerque: 505-998-4529 Statewide: 1-800-340-9771.
- What is the number to Legal Aide?
- What do I do when my water heater has been Red Tagged?
Call Plumbing & Mechanical at 505-924-3310 or Housing Code at 505-924-3450.
- What are the height requirements for fences?
Call Zoning at 505-924-3850.
- I need to report my neighbor for building without a permit. How do I report that?
Call Building Safety at 505-924-3368.
- How do I report Section 8 housing program abuse?
Call Albuquerque Housing Authority at 505-764-4900.
- ADDITIONS TO EXISTING BUILDINGS
All additions to existing buildings must be approved by the Zoning Enforcement office prior to construction. Generally, the building addition is subject to the same use and set¬back restrictions as the existing structure.
A carport may be erected permissively provided that it complies with the same setback standards as those that apply to the dwelling on the lot. If the carport cannot be erected in compliance with the required setbacks, a conditional use may be obtained, allowing the carport in the side or front setback, but no closer than three feet to the side line. The carport may never be enclosed.
- FENCES AND WALLS
Fences and walls may not exceed three feet in height in the front yard and may not exceed eight feet in height in the side and rear yards. Fence and wall height is measured from lowest grade on either side. All fences and walls require permits.
- GARAGE SALES
Garage or yard sales are allowed once every twelve months at a given residential location. The sale may not exceed three days in length and only normally accumulated household goods may be sold. Advertising signs may not be placed on medians or other city property.
- HOME OCCUPATIONS
Certain businesses may be run from the home as permissive uses. Generally the business must be of a phone arid mail operation or a low-key service business. No home business may sell, display or manufacture from the residence.
All signs need to be reviewed for permitting. The copy on a permitted sign may be changed without review. All signs including bandit and garage sale signs are prohibited on the public right of way including medians, sidewalks, and area between the sidewalk and curb, street trees, light and utility poles.
- RESIDENTIAL PARKING
All motor vehicles parked in a residential zone shall only be parked on the improved parking and maneuvering area in the front yard setback.
- INOPERATIVE VEHICLES (JUNK CARS)
All motor vehicles parked in a residential zone must be operative unless such vehicles are parked inside a building, including a carport. Vehicles covered by tarps or stored in the rear yard must still be in operating condition. Major automotive repair, even of personal vehicles may not be conducted outdoors.
- MANUFACTURED HOMES
Manufactured homes with a minimum size of 24 feet by 36 feet and meeting the HUD standards for construction are treated as any site-built house. A manufactured home, when placed on a permanent foundation as prescribed by the manufacturer or state statute, is allowed in any residential zone.
- RECREATIONAL VEHICLES AND BOATS
Recreational vehicles and boats that are parked in the front yard area must be parked no closer than 11 feet from the face of the curb and must be perpendicular to the street.
- RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS
Only regulations specifically found in the Zoning Code are enforced by the Zoning Enforcement office. Restrictive covenants are not considered in assessing zoning requirements; however, restrictive covenants may be more restrictive than zoning regulations and enforced through civil action.
- SEMI-TRUCKS & OTHER COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
Only those vehicles whose use is incidental to a residential activity are allowed on a residential property. A non-commercial vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of not more than 10,000 pounds and can be legally parked in a standard 8.5 by 20 feet parking space.
- SWIMMING POOLS
Swimming pools must be constructed so that the waters edge is no closer than five feet to any building or lot line. Pools must be enclosed with a wall or fence six feet high.
- TREES, SHRUBS & OTHER LANDSCAPING
Landscaping in a single-family residential zone must comply with the Water Waste and Water Conservation Landscape Ordinance.
- WEEDS & LITTER
Any growth of weeds to a height greater than four inches, or any accumulation of weeds, is prohibited on occupied and unoccupied land within the city. This includes the area located between the property line and the middle of the alley adjacent to the property, and the area located between the property line and the curb, the area of any curbs or sidewalks located adjacent to the property, and the area located ten feet outside the property line where there is no curb.
- Where do I get information about the Comprehensive Plan? Where do I get information on Sector Plans?
The Comprehensive Plan and most Sector Development Plans are available on the Planning Department's Publications website. Call 505-924-3860 for further information.
- A Reminder for Neighborhood Associations
It is a good policy to let your City Councilor know about your meetings. Send meeting notices or call, giving them advance notice, especially if you plan to invite them to participate.
- Annual Reports for the month of January are due to the Office of Community and Neighborhood Coordination by April 1, February reports are due by May 1, March is due by June 1, etc. Just a reminder – we will need the original Annual Report and a copy of the announcement of your Annual Meeting before your Annual Report will be approved for the year. Call 924-3906 if you have any questions.
- Please Let Us Know If Your Neighborhood's Contacts Have Changed
If you have any questions or changes, please contact Dalaina at 505-924-3914 or email@example.com.