City of Shawnee

Retaining Walls: Building Permit Guidelines

Residential Permit Application (pdf)
Commercial Permit Application (pdf)


  1. Two sets of plans, prepared by a Kansas registered Engineer, shall be submitted with the application for retaining wall permit. Plans should show sufficient detail to adequately describe the scope of work, including the location of the wall with respect to property lines and all construction details.
  2. Please note that permits are not required for retaining walls which are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall.
  3. All retaining walls on commercial property, regardless of height, should obtain approval from the Planning and Development Engineering Divisions prior to construction. Any retaining wall regardless of height requires a permit if constructed in a right-of-way, a drainage easement, flood plain, located on an E/I lot (as shown on the subdivision records of the City Engineer’s office), or if the wall supports a surcharge or impounds Class I, II or III-A liquids.
  4. A completed permit application form is required to be submitted at the time of application. All applications are made to the Building Codes Division.
  5. Projects that involve grading and fill placement of more than 50 cubic yards or that are within 50 feet of a natural or improved channel or drainage way may require the obtaining of a Land Disturbance Permit.
  6. Work which will be done in the regulatory floodplain shall comply with all Federal, State and City regulations. All required permits shall be obtained prior to City permit application submittal, and copies of those permits shall be included with the application.
  7. All contractors are required to possess a valid business license with the City of Shawnee. Contact the Licensing Specialist at (913) 742-6247 for any questions.
  8. All work shall comply with the 2018 International Building Codes.


Remember, any time you plan to excavate or dig on your property you should contact the free service of Kansas One Call – just dial 811!

Questions call Building Codes Division (913) 742-6010.