Radio interview source: Aaron Steele, Community Planner
Living in the country gives you many freedoms that you don't have in town. But you may need permits to let your local jurisdiction know what you're up to on the land.
Aaron Steele is a community planner. He says building permits can vary a lot from place-to-place.
"Some will be as simple as just electrical or plumbing, others will be enforcing the full building code," says Steele. "If there is not a building code, there probably still is a zoning code, and so someone would need a permit to put up a new structure on their property, and a zoning permit would just deal with the size and placement of that structure on the property rather than the details of how it's built."
Permits may be needed to build a septic system or well, put up a fence, or establish a home business and any signs associated with it.
Steele says if you're planning on any land work in a designated flood plain, you will likely need a permit. Same goes with any activity in natural habitat areas such as rivers or streams. Excavation work often needs to be permitted, as well as constructing a new field entrance, or driveway.
"You're probably going to have to cross or connect with some public ground, a ditch perhaps," says Steele. "The local government will have some regulation as to how that crossing needs to be made, so you would want to contact your local roads department and check out any requirements for that as well."
Some permits are local, state, even federal. Steele says it can be a pain, but for the process to go smoothly you have to ask exactly what permits are required, from which agency, and in what sequence before starting on a project.
Learn more about different types of land permits and what may be needed to complete a project
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