Arlington Heights reinstates roof permit requirement two years after nixing it

  • Jorge Torres

    Jorge Torres

Updated 12/7/2021 1:01 PM

Arlington Heights is reinstating a local roofing permit requirement for both residential and commercial properties two years after it was eliminated.

Former village Building & Life Safety Director Steve Touloumis got rid of roof permits in late 2019 because village inspectors weren't actually going up on roofs to inspect the work done, thereby providing a false sense of security for residents, he argued.


But the new department director hired a year later, Jorge Torres, says local permits create a paper trail that can hold contractors responsible under state code if poor workmanship is later found. And prospective homebuyers have submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to village hall to find out when a roof was last done.

"I understand that an inspection of roofing is difficult to do and we do not do that. We don't go on top of the roof," Torres said at a village board meeting Monday night. "However, we want to hold the contractor responsible and liable for the installation of the roof."

The village board, which asked that the issue be revisited a year after Touloumis suspended the permits, agreed Monday to put the requirement back into municipal code, along with establishing associated fees. Commercial roofing permits will cost a flat rate of $125, plus a plan examination fee of $70. Residential permits will cost $75, and residential garage permits $25.

"It does make good sense," said Trustee Jim Tinaglia, who also sits on the building code review board that endorsed the change. "It was a different perspective from a different building director at the time and seemed to make sense at the time. But this is a logical realization of what we should be doing."

"While we can't guarantee anything because we're not going up there, what we can do is hold the contractor's feet to the fire that they are doing what they're supposed to and have a paper trail for the residents," Tinaglia said.

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