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Land Use & Zoning

What projects require a land use permit from Land and Resource Management?

A permit is required for any structure built or moved onto a property in Douglas County*, including but not limited to: Dwellings, storage sheds, decks, patios, playhouses and garages. A permit is also required if you are remodeling and planning to change the footprint of the original structure, changing the roof pitch, or making any structural changes. Permitting procedures are relatively similar for all projects. For information on how to obtain a permit and what it will cost see our handout “Procedure for Obtaining Land Use Permits” and the current fee schedule. Before issuing any permit Douglas County Land and Resource Management requires that sewers over 5 years old be inspected or have had a compliance inspection within the past three years. In most cases, a permit is not needed for new siding, windows or shingles, or remodeling projects that do not affect the exterior footprint. Please check with our office to determine if your project requires a permit. Some projects may require a variance or a conditional use permit. If you are within two miles of the city limits of Alexandria, you will also need to meet the permitting and building code requirements of the City of Alexandria.

* As of January 1, 2007, permitting for all properties located within Alexandria Township is done through the township office.

How do I get a building permit?

To obtain the permit you must apply in person at Douglas County Land and Resource Management. You will need to bring a plan or drawing showing the dimensions of the lot, location of proposed structure and any other structures located on the property. You will need to know the percentage of impervious coverage of your lot. You will also need a building plan and names of licensed contractors that will be working on the project. For more information on obtaining permits see our handout “Procedure for Obtaining Land Use Permits” and the current fee schedule. It will take up to 15 days to issue any building permit. Work may not start until the permit is received on site so please plan accordingly.

If your property has a septic system that is more than five years old, Douglas County will require that you have a current sewer compliance inspection on file before issuing a land use permit.

Land Use Permits must be obtained by applying in person at the Douglas County Courthouse. Currently there is no online application process available.