Charles Woodward appointed as new Southfield Building Official

May 3, 2023

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The Southfield City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Acting Southfield Building Official Charles Woodward as the new Building Official at the May 1 City Council meeting.

“Mr. Woodward has a proven track record and a great deal of experience in protecting and serving the public in the city of Southfield and other communities,” commented City Administrator Fred Zorn. “He has already implemented several new policies and procedures to help streamline the building code and permit process by utilizing technology in the field such as laptops and smart phones. He has an extensive building and code background and I’m confident that he will carry on the high standards of both the city of Southfield and the Southfield Building Department.”

Building Official Woodward has worked in the building trades for more than 30 years, including positions with Township of West Bloomfield as both a Plumbing and Building Inspector as well as plan reviewer in both disciplines. He also previously served as a Building Inspection Supervisor (Deputy Building Official) for the Township of West Bloomfield as well as Interim Director for the Building Department in West Bloomfield. Mr. Woodward is also a Licensed Residential Builder, Licensed Plumbing Contractor, Licensed Master Plumber, Licensed Building Official, Licensed Building Inspector, Licensed Plumbing Inspector, and Licensed Plan Reviewer (in both disciplines). He has received commendations from the city of Hazel Park Police Department for service above and beyond the call of duty and he served in the armed forces in the United States Marine Corps.

Under Building Official Woodward’s direction, the Southfield Building Department will transition to a completely digital permitting system over the next several months to increase efficiency and expediency. The Building Department will discontinue receiving and issuing paper permits, plan reviews, and inspection requests over the counter beginning on June 30, 2023. All permit requests, applications, inspection requests, and the entire plan review process will take place online through BS&A at

The city of Southfield Building Department initially launched the BS&A Online Permit Application System to help streamline the permit application process in August of 2020. Residents and contractors can now apply and pay for all permits and schedule inspections (with few exceptions) right from the comfort of their home or office at BS&A Online also offers users other useful tools such as residential, rental property and other record searches as well as the ability to make additional online payments including property taxes and special assessments.

The Southfield Building Department serves residents and businesses by supporting new construction projects, renovation of existing properties, and building expansion within the city of Southfield. Building staff work to provide user-friendly, professional customer service in order to make it easier for individuals and companies to achieve their building objectives and to comply with building codes, zoning requirements, and City ordinances. The Building Department, in cooperation with other City divisions such as the Planning Department and the Business Development Team, actively encourages investment and reinvestment so that the City remains an attractive and vibrant community in which to live and work. The Building Department’s goal is to provide comprehensive, consistent, and clear information on the codes and ordinances that need to be followed to protect the health, safety and quality of life of Southfield residents.