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Bureau County Planning & Zoning Department
ph. (815) 875-1631  |  700 S. Main St., Princeton IL
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Frequently Asked Zoning Questions

Frequently Asked Zoning Questions at the Bureau County Planning & Zoning Department
Following are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive in our office. Simply select each question below to toggle the answer and additional information. If you do not find the answer, clarification or information you seek, please Contact Us for additional help.

  • Q.How can I find out how my property is zoned?
    A.

    To find out how your property is zoned, you will need to contact us and have your permanent index number (PIN) number available, if possible.

  • Q.How can I find my permanent index number (PIN)?
    A.

    Your permanent index number (PIN) number is located on the upper right hand corner of your property tax bill or you may contact the Bureau County Supervisor of Assessment's Office at 815-875-6478 if you need further assistance.

  • Q.Who has zoning jurisdiction over my property?
    A.

    The Bureau County Planning & Zoning Department has jurisdiction over the unincorporated areas of Bureau County as well as all incorporated municipalities without their own Zoning Ordinance. These include: Arlington; Buda; Bureau; Cherry; Dover; Hollowayville; LaMoille; Malden; Manlius; Mineral; New Bedford; Ohio; Sheffield and Wyanet.

  • Q.Which municipalities have their own Zoning Ordinance?
    A.

    The municipalities that have their own Zoning Ordinances include: Dalzell; DePue; Ladd; Neponset; Princeton; Seatonville; Spring Valley; Tiskilwa and Walnut. Click on the following link for contact information for the areas with their own Municipal Zoning Control.

  • Q.Do I need a building permit?
    A.

    Generally, any new construction requires a building permit which must be obtained prior to beginning construction. Projects that need a permit include, but are not limited to: decks, sheds (144 sq. ft. or more in area), garages, gazebos and other types of accessory structures (whether on a permanent foundation or not); dwellings; commercial and industrial buildings; additions to any building or structure.

  • Q.If my building is on skids, do I need to obtain a building permit?

    Yes. A structure needs a building permit regardless of whether or not it is constructed on a permanent foundation.

  • Q.Do I need a permit to re-roof, install new window(s) or to install new siding?
    A.

    Generally, a permit is not required for re-roofing, to replace or install new windows, siding replacement or similar maintenance projects. If in doubt, please contact us.

  • Q.Do I need a permit to erect or construct a residential fence?
    A.

    The Bureau County Zoning Ordinance does not require a permit to erect or construct a fence in residential Zoning Districts. However, the Bureau County Planning & Zoning Department advocates a "good neighbor" fence policy and the Ordinance does contain fencing requirements in regards to fence height, acceptable materials, setbacks from property lines, placement in sight triangles, etc. Click the following link for more information on fencing requirements.

  • Q.How do I find out where my property line(s) is located?
    A.

    The Bureau County Planning & Zoning Office does not locate or mark property lines. You will need to contact a registered land surveyor to locate and/or mark your property lines.

  • Q.Do I need a permit to erect or install a sign?
    A.

    Yes, most signs on private property require the issuance of a building permit before the sign is installed. Article V of the Bureau County Zoning Ordinance sets forth separate sign regulations.

  • Q.Who do I contact for a septic and well evaluations, septic and well permits and/or with questions and concerns about well and septic systems in Bureau County?
    A.

    Please contact the Bureau County Health Department for evaluations, permits, questions and concerns with wells and septic systems located in Bureau County.

  • Q.Once I have a building permit, are any inspections required?
    A.

    Typically, three zoning compliance inspections are conducted during the course of construction - an initial site inspection at the stake-out stage, a second inspection at the footings stage, and a final inspection upon completion of the project for issuance of an Occupancy Certificate. These inspections are not building inspections. They are conducted to determine that the project is in compliance with the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance and / or the Floodplain Ordinance.

  • Q.What should I do to prepare for a site inspection?
    A.

    Place stakes or other visible markings (such as paint) where your proposed building or structure will be located, have all lot / property lines clearly marked.

  • Q.Do I have to be present during the site inspection?
    A.

    No, it is not necessary for you to be present unless there are issues that require your presence. The Planning & Zoning Department will determine whether or not your presence is necessary on a case-by-case basis.

  • Q.Has Bureau County adopted building codes?
    A.

    Bureau County has not adopted a building code. However, a number of cities and villages with their own municipal zoning control within Bureau County have adopted building codes. Please contact them by clicking the above link for their contact information.

  • Q.Are there building codes for commercial buildings constructed in Bureau County?
    A.

    Public Act 096-0704 (20 ILCS 3105/10.09-1) requires that no person may occupy a newly constructed commercial building in a non-building code jurisdiction until:

    1. The property owner or his or her agent have first contracted for the inspection of the building by an inspector who meets the qualifications established by the (Capital development) Board; and
    2. The qualified inspector files a certificate of inspection with the municipality or county having such jurisdiction over the property indicating that the building meets compliance with the building codes adopted by the (Capital development) Board for non-building code jurisdictions based on the following:
      1. The 2006 or later editions of the following codes developed by the International Code Council:
        1. International Building Code;
        2. International Existing Building Code; and
        3. International Property Maintenance Code.
      2. The 2008 or later edition of the National Electrical Code NFPA 70.

    "Commercial building" means any building other than a single-family home or a dwelling containing 2 or fewer apartments, condominiums, or townhomes or a farm building as exempted from Section 3 of the Illinois Architecture Practice Act.

  • Q.Does the County enforce any of the covenants or deed restrictions that may be applicable to my subdivision?

    Many of the subdivisions in Bureau County are subject to covenants and deed restrictions which regulate the use of property beyond the limitations contained in the County's Ordinances. These covenants and deed restrictions are private agreements between property owners and are not enforced by Bureau County. Therefore, before you add a shed or a fence to your property or initiate any other changes, you should also obtain a copy of your subdivision covenants, recorded property deed or other documents and check with your homeowner's association (if one exists) to determine if any private restrictions apply.

  • Q.How can I get a copy of the deed for my property?
    A.

    Please contact the Bureau County Clerk & Recorder's Office to obtain a copy of a deed recorded in Bureau County.

  • Q.Is it possible to obtain a plat of my property from the County?
    A.

    The Planning & Zoning Department maintains files for subdivisions located in unincorporated Bureau County and for subdivisions inside Village limits for municipalities without their own zoning. You may request a copy of the information we have on file, however, the Planning & Zoning Department does not have the capability to reproduce large format sheets on a single sheet larger than 11" x 17".

  • Q.I understand that my property may be located in a "floodplain" or a "flood zone". Can this affect my plans to build on the property?
    A.

    The presence of a floodplain or flood zone on your property can affect its use and /or development. Please contact us for additional information regarding floodplain or flood zone rules and regulations.

  • Q.How will my proposed building project affect my real estate taxes?
    A.

    Please contact the Bureau County Supervisor of Assessment's Office at 815-875-6478 with any questions you may have in regards to real estate taxes for property located in Bureau County. Please have your permanent index number (PIN) number available to facilitate answering your real estate tax questions.

Zoning & Building Codes
About the Bureau County Planning and Zoning Department
Planning and Zoning Forms
Frequently Asked Zoning Questions
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