What is a Certificate of Occupancy?
The Certificate of Occupancy is an important document that in effect ensures the public that a facility was constructed with conformance to the building codes in place at the time of construction. The certificate of occupancy as issued by the City of Soldotna effectively substitutes the Alaska Housing Finance Corporations (AHFC) required form PUR-102 in their financing process. Other mortgages companies in Alaska will generally accepted the City's Certificate in lieu of PUR-102.
Buildings are not allowed to be occupied (or furnished) until the Certificate of Occupancy has been issued.
Provisional Certificate of Occupancy
There are times when portions of a building, or portions of the required work cannot be completed and the building owner is in need of the Occupancy. Such an example is cold weather has set in and the landscaping cannot be completed. When a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy is granted all of the life safety features must be 100% completed. Temporary Certificates of Occupancy are considered on a case by case and may or may not be granted. A final Certificate of Occupancy will be granted upon completion of the agreed-upon work.
Certificate of Completion
Certificates of Completion are similar to Certificates of Occupancy however they are only for projects where the existing Occupancy is remaining unchanged and the project is a remodel to the facility that does not change the existing occupancy. An example would be construction of ramps, decks, remodeling upgrades, etc.
Expiration of a Permit
The building code defines permit expiration as a “permit where no work has occurred for 180 days.” The code allows for a permit extension if a written request is received from the applicant. The winter season can impose difficulty on an owner, and our department understands that sometimes a shutdown will need to occur. Permit extensions may not be granted for projects that have excessively exceeded a reasonable time of stoppage. Once permits are deemed “expired” by the Building Official, the process must be started over, with all fees incurred again (without discount).