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Storm Shelter or Safe Room

Permits REQUIRED on all new construction, the alternation or repair of a existing storm shelter or safe room and any additions to such structure, including but not limited to doors, stairs, vents, access points.


  1. 50% Brick or Masonry. Siding that looks like brick or masonry to meet this requirement will not be accepted.
  2. Minimum 1,000 sf, or the minimum square footage set by the covenants and restrictions, if located in a subdivision.
  3. Minimum 1-car attached garage.
  4. Sidewalks will be required.
  5. Signed and Notarized Liability Waiver for re-use of slab, if applicable.


    • Below-ground installations:
      • i. Plans prepared and sealed by a Licensed Professional Engineer.
      • ii. Exact location and size of the storm shelter.
      • iii. Distance to property lines if located outside the structure footprint.
      • iv. Location of all existing detached structures and/or swimming pool, as applicable.
      • v. Has the structure been designed to handle hydrostatic pressures?
      • vi. Is the shelter ballasted to prevent uplift from buoyancy of saturated soils?
      • vii. Is the shelter able to resist deterioration from moisture and/or corrosive soils?
      • viii. Is the shelter adequately sealed to prevent water leakage?
      • ix. Is the shelter adequately vented to provide breathing air for maximum occupancy and to relieve atmospheric pressure changes accompanying tornadoes?
      • x. Do the steps or ladders comply with NSSA or OSHA standards?
    • Installed within a structure:
      • i. Label all rooms (Example: bedroom, kitchen, restroom, etc.)
      • ii. Location and size of all windows in or adjacent to storm shelter.
      • iii. Note location of walls to be removed or added, if any.
      • iv. The engineer will also need to provide the City of Aurora a letter that the existing house foundation will not be compromised. If the house has post tension slab that has been compromised, then an engineer letter will also be required for repairs.
    • Building permit must be obtained by the contractor or by the building contractor or the property owner if they themselves are installing the shelter. Separate Plumbing, Mechanical, and Electrical permits if required.
    • Homeowners, with proof of homestead, may obtain a plumbing permit.
    • A licensed electrician and mechanical contractor registered with the City of Aurora must obtain any necessary electrical and mechanical permits.
    • After installation, the engineer will provide a letter that the shelter was installed according to all requirements of the International Residential Code and to manufacturer’s specifications.


  1. Be sure to turn in 1 set of elevations along with your building plans, with brick or masonry noted.
  2. Check the floodplain! Contact City Administrator, Dr. Toni Wheeler, who also serves as our FEMA Flood Plain Administrator, for more information.
  3. Maximum lot coverage for the home is 40%.

A permit is required for any construction, change in use or occupancy, alteration, and/or repair of any structure, building or building system including plumbing, electrical, mechanical and irrigation systems. If in doubt please contact the City of Aurora at 817.636.2783.

To obtain a permit first submit an application, required fees and supporting documentation that is of sufficient clarity to indicate the location, nature and extent of the work proposed and show in detail that it will conform to the provisions of the adopted codes and ordinances. The permit application will be approved and a permit issued when all provisions of the adopted codes and ordinances are met.