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Treasurer’s Office/Motor Vehicle Department Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center 935 2nd Street SW Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 319-892-5500 Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m.
Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control319-286-5993
2018 IBC-IRC Building Ordinance Building Regulations
2017 NEC Electrical Ordinance Electrical Regulations
2018 IMC-IFGC Mechanical Ordinance Mechanical Regulations
2018 Plumbing Ordinance Plumbing Regulations
2015 IFC Fire Regulations Fire Regulations
Code books may be obtained from the International Code Council.
View current building and construction codes.
Permit fees are established to offset the cost of administering the building codes including plan review, inspection, inspector vehicles, staff support and record keeping. Building permit fees are calculated based on the valuation of the building or the work (material and labor) involved. In most cases, the building department determines the valuation based on square footage of various components. Please see our Building Permit Fee Table (attached) or contact the Building Division at (319) 892-5130 for an estimate on the permit fee.
Yes. Alterations and repairs require building permits. Certain work is exempt from permits, for example: painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops and similar finish work. If you have questions about whether a building permit is required, please call (319) 892-5130.
Inspections are required at various stages of work in progress before that work is covered up. Footings require inspection before pouring concrete. Underground electrical, mechanical and plumbing work is inspected before covering. Rough in electrical, mechanical, plumbing and framing must be inspected & approved before covering with insulation or finish material (gypsum board). Inspections are also required on gas piping systems and electrical services. An approved final inspection is required before the building may be occupied. Note that Linn County inspectors are trained and certified as combination inspectors, which means each inspector is responsible for inspecting all trades. Please view these handouts for further information: Inspection Required - Detached Garages & Accessory Inspection Required - New Construction & Additions Inspection Required - Remodeling and other work at the link below. Office staff are available from 7:30 - 5 each workday at (319) 892-5130 to take your inspection requests. (It is not necessary to speak to an inspector to set up an inspection. For better service, please do not leave an inspection request on voice mail). Allow at least twenty- four hours if you need a specific time for an inspection. Inspection requests made on the same day, a specific time cannot be given, it will be worked in the schedule where possible.
Typically, inspectors are in the field performing inspections from 9:30 A.M. until 3:30 P.M. The best time to reach an inspector in the office is 8:00 – 9:00 in the morning and 4:00 – 5:00 in the afternoon. We can on a case by case basis, do inspections between 8:00 - 9:30 when needed. Unlike some city jurisdictions, Linn County inspectors do not return to the office over the lunch hour due to the driving distances involved in the county. Our office phone number is (319) 892-5130.
Separate building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits are required. Application for a building permit includes the submittal of two sets of construction drawings 1/4" scale. In order to determine a valuation and permit fee, please include the area in square feet for: each floor, finished basement, unfinished basement, garage, decks and porches. Plans are thoroughly reviewed by an inspector for code compliance before issuance of the building permit. Electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits must be obtained and work performed by contractors licensed (Master A) in the respective trade. A homeowner may obtain these permits as long as they reside in the residence. For further information view our Single Family Dwelling Form at the website link below. Before the above permits can be issued, the Planning & Zoning Division must verify that all zoning requirements are met and must also approve a site plan. Planning and Development staff can assist in creating your site plan, but you will need to be able to provide the location of the proposed structure, distances from lot lines and well and septic drainage field locations. Contact the Linn County Planning and Development Department for information on required submittals for constructing a new house or garage at (319) 892-5130. Contact the Public Health Department at (319) 892-6000 for information on well and septic system permits and the Linn County Engineer at (319) 892-6400 for information on a driveway entrance permit and addressing permit.
335.2 Farms exempt.
Except to the extent required to implement section 335.27, no ordinance adopted under this chapter applies to land, farm houses, farm barns, farm outbuildings or other buildings or structures which are primarily adapted, by reason of nature and area, for use for agricultural purposes, while so used. However, the ordinances may apply to any structure, building, dam, obstruction, deposit or excavation in or on the flood plains of any river or stream.
331.304.3.b Farms exempt.
A county building code shall not apply to farm houses or other farm buildings which are primarily adapted for use for agricultural purposes, while so used or under construction for that use.
Even though the State exempts farms from zoning and building regulations, it has provided few guidelines as to what should be considered a farm. In order to qualify under the agricultural exemption, it must be clearly demonstrated that the principal use of the land and the proposed building(s) is farm-related. This includes proposed dwellings, and that the occupants of the dwelling are primarily engaged in agriculture.
We strongly encourage anyone wishing to claim the exemption - especially for a new house - to contact us prior to the start of construction to determine if the exemption is appropriate. The farm exemption applies only to Linn County zoning and building regulations. Other permits (such as floodplain development, well, septic, E911 address or driveway access) may be required. Please contact the appropriate county department for information.
We may be reached at (319) 892-5130 or you may submit an information request by contacting us at email@example.com.
Farm Exemption Information & Application Sheet
Separate zoning, building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits are required. Application for a building permit includes the submittal of two sets of construction drawings. In order to determine a valuation and permit fee, please include the area in square feet for: each floor, finished basement, unfinished basement, garage, decks and porches. Plans are thoroughly reviewed by an inspector for code compliance before issuance of the building permit. electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits must be obtained and work performed by contractors licensed in the respective trade. For further information view our Single Family Dwelling Handout. Before the above permits can be issued, the Planning & Zoning Division must verify that all zoning requirements are met and must also approve a site plan. You will need to provide staff with the locations of the well, septic drainage field and existing structures. You will also need to provide the location of the proposed improvement showing dimensions from property lines and from existing structures. Contact the Linn County Planning and Development Department for information on required submittals for constructing a new house or garage at (319) 892-5130. Contact the Public Health Department at (319) 892-6000 for information on well and septic system permits and the Linn County Engineer at (319) 892-6400 for information on a driveway entrance permits and addressing permits.
Ag Exemption Handout & Application
Yes. It is called a cut-off day. A cut-off day is the last day you can submit a case for the next month's case cycle. Cases of this nature would include a rezoning, final plat, conditional use, or variance. The cut-off day is normally the 3rd Wednesday of the month. Contact our staff at 319-892-5130 for further information, or check our Planning and Development Calendar for application deadline dates.
Current zoning maps can be found at the Linn County Online Mapping site. Click accept if prompted (you may need to download Adobe Flash). Type in the parcel address or GPN (if GPN switch the Search Layer Field) and click Search. Then click Zoom in upper right hand corner. At the top left of the page is a box that reads More. Click on it, and click the grey arrow to the left of Land Records. Scroll down and check Rural Zoning. Click Base Map next to More and choose 2012 Imagery. If the zoning doesn't appear, zoom into the parcel closer, or call 319-892-5130 and ask for assistance.
It is possible to operate a business from your home if the business meets certain criteria. A permit is required if any of the following are true of your business: has non-resident employees, has more than (5) five customer visits in one day or more than three at once, has commercial vehicles or business equipment parked outside all or a portion of an accessory building is being used for the business. Please contact the Planning and Development Staff to determine whether your particular business will require a permit. Home occupations requiring a permit are granted by the Linn County Board of Adjustment after review and recommendation by the Planning and Zoning Commission. The regulations in the Unified Development Code governing Home Occupations is Article VI, Section 107-133(h).
ZONING REQUIRED SETBACKS A setback is defined by the Unified Development Code as “the minimum horizontal distance between a lot line and a building or structure located upon such lot required by the provisions of this Ordinance.” In order to know the distances from the proposed structure or addition to the lot lines, you need to know where your property lines are located. If your property has been surveyed or is a platted lot, survey pins should be located at the corners of your property. If there are no property pins, or you are unsure of their location, please see the attached “Tips for Locating Your Property Lines.” You may also have easements located on your property. Please use the link below to refer to Article VII, Section 107-147-2; Summary Table of Zoning District Dimension Standard and turn to page CD107:181
"A private legal restriction on the use of land, attached in the deed to a property. A deed restriction is most commonly used in the establishment of a subdivision to restrict the use of all individual lots in the development to a certain type of use, e.g., single-family dwellings. Usually the community has no control over deed restrictions." (Source: Huntington, Stuart. Iowa Land Use Planning Notebook, Glossary of common planning and zoning terms. (Iowa State University Extension. Pm-1353. Reprinted March 1995.)
Deed restrictions may also restrict the type of construction materials, the minimum finished floor area, and may even require review and approval of building plans by an "architectural control committee." Deed restrictions, also called restrictive covenants, are private controls and the county has no authority to enforce such restrictions. Enforcement is therefore a civil matter between owners within the subdivision.
Linn County has broadened the definition of what was once called a Farmstead Split. It is now called a Residential Parcel Split, which allows the splitting off of a dwelling from the larger tract of land if it meets the following criteria: A dwelling being on the property on, or prior to, January 1, 1985 ( or significant evidence of a dwelling, if not currently in existence ) All resulting parcels have access to an abutting public roadway A minimum of 1 acre shall be required for each residential parcel split This process nor any former "farmstead split" zoning process has previously been used to sever a lot from the parent tract If the remaining land results in less than 35 acres, that remaining land needs to be included in the plat of subdivision and noted as a non-buildable lot, or combined by deed restriction with an adjacent parcel of land to total over 35 acres. For consideration, a residential parcel split requires a fee, an application signed by the property owner, site plan and either a plat of survey or plat of subdivision. A plat of subdivision may be required if the division of land results in any remaining tract being less than 35 acres that cannot be combined by deed restriction with an adjacent parcel. The site of the previously existing dwelling must still be currently intact and shall not have been converted to agricultural production. The purpose of the Land Preservation Parcel Split is to prescribe uniform procedures to allow a single division of land from a parent parcel which contains one or more single family residential structures and which the proposed division does not qualify as a Residential Parcel Split. A land preservation parcel split shall only be approved when all of the following conditions are met: the parent parcel qualifies as a legal lot of record; the parcel proposed for the split (i.e. "bonus parcel") shall contain a minimum of one (1) net acre, must include an existing single family dwelling and may include associated accessory structures; and if one or more dwelling(s) exist on the parent parcel which qualify for a Residential Parcel Split, that process must be completed prior to, or in conjunction with, the Land Preservation Parcel Split process. The following provisions shall apply to the remaining land (i.e. "land preservation parcel") of the parent parcel: the land preservation parcel shall be designated as an Outlot on the plat; the land preservation parcel shall contain a minimum of 10 net acres; and the land preservation parcel may not contain any principal dwelling or other principal structure, but may contain existing accessory buildings or structures (such as agricultural buildings) associated with the use of the land preservation parcel. For further information please contact the Planning and Development Staff at (319) 892-5130.