Do you need a permit?
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you do need a permit:
- Is it a new structure (principal or accessory building)?
- Is it an addition?
- Is the work on heating, ventilation, or air conditioning?
- Is the work a remodel, alteration, or repair?
- Is the work considered repair or alteration to a load-bearing wall?
- Is the work any type of swimming pool (above or in ground)?
- Is the work a deck or enclosing an existing porch?
- Is the work replacing or repairing a roof?
However, you will need to contact the town hall or the county building inspector if the work is within the town limits of:
- Van Buren
How long before I can get an inspection?
Typically the next day, but we require an advanced notice of 24 hours.
Are you responsible for Tax Assessments?
No, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Assessor's Office at 765-668-6562.
I have drainage problems!
Please contact the Drainage Board through the County Surveyor's Office at 765-651-2407.
Do we issue/sell business licenses?
No, but you may want to check with the Grant County Recorder's Office or the State of Indiana.
What setbacks do I need for my home or building project?
Specific information on residential setbacks can be found in the Grant County Code of ordinances on pages 224 through 226 (Click here for the Code
) . For most properties, the following is accurate:
Front yard setback - 30' in agricultural or suburban areas; 15' to 25' in town settings (depends on zoning)
Side yard setbacks - 10% of front yard width with a minimum of 5' and maximum of 25'
Side yard fronting on street (corner lot) same as front yard
Rear yard - 20 feet for house and 5 feet for accessory structures for most properties.
For more detailed questions or commercial properties, please contact the Area Plan office at 765-668-4765
Is ice shield protection required on roofs in Grant County?
According to Indiana code, in Grant County ice protection is NOT required; unless the shingle material's manufacturing instructions calls for it (which supersedes Indiana code).
Is drip edge (flashing) required on roofs?
Yes, drip edge is required on roofs. Drip edge should be installed in such a manner so as to prevent moisture entering the wall and roof through joints in copings, through moisture permeable materials, and at intersections with parapet walls and other penetrations through the roof plane.
What is a variance and how do you get approval?
A Variance is when a property owner seeks to do a property improvement that will differ from established development standards (such as setbacks, dwelling size, number of homes on one tract of ground etc.) Variances are granted by the Board of Zoning Appeals following the filing of a petition and a public hearing process. A variance "runs with the land" as long as the request does not change, and if the variance is granted it is in place forever.
What is a special exception and how do you get approval?
Each zone district lists special exceptions that, because of their special impact or unique characteristics, can have a substantial adverse impact upon or incompatible with other uses of land. They typically are uses that are not directly related to the original intent of the use of the land by zoning code. Special Exceptions may be granted by the Board of Zoning Appeals following a petition and a public hearing process. If granted the Special Exception, "it runs with the owner of the property". If the property changes owners, the Special Exception is no longer valid. A new Special Exception would have to be applied for by the new owner and approved again.
Can I/how do I call in a permit over the phone? Can I register as a contractor in Grant County?
Please call our office at 765-668-4765
and ask for a permit clerk. If no one is available immediately, please leave a message with your name, address, and phone number and we will get back to you as soon as possible. You can get permits for roofs and electrical hookups over the phone. You can also call in to register as a contractor. Please email (firstname.lastname@example.org
) or fax a copy (to 765-651-0892) of the registration form (click here
) and we will contact you when we receive the form. At this time, we are only accepting credit or debit cards for over the phone requests. Also, if it is a contractor trying to get a permit, we will need a copy of the contract, or a letter from the owner, approving the contractor to pull the permit before we issue the permit.
What number do I call if my property is in the city?
Who do I contact on septic systems or leach fields?
Please contact the County Health Department at 765-651-2401 ext. 132.
Where can I get a driveway permit?
The Grant County Highway Department at 765-667-6044, or the State Highway Department at 260-484-9541.
Yard Barns/Accessory Structures - What do I need to know?
In 1974 Grant County Commissioners adopted the Area-wide Zoning Ordinance. The county ordinance specifies that structures over 120 square feet, have to get an accessory building permit from the Grant County Area Plan Commission prior to installation. Within the ordinance, it addresses building rules to use for construction that are based on the International Residential Code book with Indiana Amendments. The IRC states that any detached garage, carport or accessory structure over two hundred (200) square feet must be placed on a permanent foundation and/or footer. With the recent construction and purchase of yard barns larger than 200 square feet (10x20)several counties in Indiana are allowing for options for permanent foundations. Other methods may be approved by the Building Inspector to meet the anchoring and base requirements. Please contact the Area Plan office for more information on this subject.
How many residences can I have on one parcel of land?
Per the Grant County code, you can have only one single-family or two-family residential building on any tract/parcel of land UNLESS your tract is at least 40 acres in size (allowing 20 acres for each residential structure). You can also request a variance from the general development code or you could have a tract of property smaller than 40 acres split into two parcels.
Can I put an accessory building on a vacant piece of property.
What if I want to turn my house into a bed and breakfast?
When you convert your home or part of your home into a bed and breakfast your structure becomes a Class 1 residence as defined by the Indiana Building Code with amendments. Simply put, that means you will need to either get a design release or approval from the Building Plan Review section of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. This is to ensure that your structure, with or without additions or alterations you make, meets minimum design standards as established by the state's building code. For more information contact Area Plan
(765-668-4765) or the Department of Homeland Security Plan Review section
What types of open burning are permitted?
Generally, all open burning is prohibited in the state of Indiana with a few exceptions. Indiana Code 13-17-9-1 and Open Burning Rule 326 IAC 4-1 allows for burning of vegetation from agriculture land for maintenance purposes. Private residences may open burn clean wood products and paper in a noncombustible, well-ventilated container that is enclosed on the bottom and sides. Specific exemptions for open burning activities can be found at 326 IAC 4-1-3(c)(1) which states that recreational or ceremonial fires, some disposal burning, and burning of clean wood, etc. is exempt. In all cases adequate firefighting equipment should be available. Under 326 IAC 4-1-3(a) undesirable wood structures on real property or wood remnants of the demolition of a predominantly wood structure in an incorporated area can be burned. However, houses or commercial structures are typically not considered a predominantly wood structure. In all cases, it is recommended people contact their local fire officials or Grant County Area Plan before any open burning activity.
If you are building a swimming pool in Grant County, you need a permit from Area Plan. Your pool will need to be inspected and have a certificate of occupancy allowing you to use it before you use it. This is important for your safety and we will assess fines for use without a COO. Above-ground pools need fences (or the walls of the pool with a self-locking ladder) that are 48" high. You don't need permits for temporary pools that are taken down in the fall. We have drowning deaths almost every season so please check with us before you build or install your pool. Get a permit, get inspected! Call 765-668-4765 with questions.
Demolition on private property
If you want to tear down a building on private property you do not need a permit from the county. However, there are several things you should be aware of. First, contact all utility companies and make sure that utilities are disconnected. Make sure you call any utility companies that may have lines on the property before you initiate digging, excavation, or demolition. If you are going to burn something, please contact our office (Area Plan - 765-668-4765) or the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to make sure you understand the regulations regarding open burning. Also, you can only bury solid fill (think, concrete, rock, stone, etc.) or unpainted wood. You can't bury shingles, siding or other building materials. Anything buried must be buried below three feet (36"). Also, if there is a foundation it should be broken up and removed (or buried below three feet) and clean dirt put in as fill.