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Building Permits

Do I Need a Permit? "Oh, I thought I didn’t need a permit for construction if I lived in the country," is a common statement. The fact of the matter is that a Building Permit is required for all new construction and/or expansion of any building. Even a portable structure requires a permit and required setbacks from property lines must be met.

A Building Permit starts the building process in the unincorporated portions of Marion County. All new buildings, or expansion of existing buildings, require a Building Permit. When in doubt call the Zoning Office at (641) 828-2231 option 9 or email to verify whether any permitting is required.

The County Engineer must approve all new driveways and driveways with a change in use. Example: existing farm entrances need to be approved for an upgrade to a residential use drive. Please call the County Engineer at 641-828-2225.

For a new building on a property without a 911 address, an address will be generated as part of the Building Permit process.

All newly constructed homes or buildings with any type of waste water facilities are required to obtain a septic permit from the Marion County Environmental Health department. Reconnection to an existing septic system will require a review inspection and permit. You may contact Environmental Health at 641-828-2238 extension 3847, or by emailing [email protected]. Additional information is available on the Marion County website including the complete Code of Ordinances for Marion County.

All new homes are required to be wired by a certified electrician and inspected by the State of Iowa. Other electrical work may be done by homeowners but may require an inspection. The State website with the requirements is

Marion County also advises to check with your mortgage lender and insurance company for any requirements they may have. Contacting Marion County before you start building to find out the requirements will help the building process go more smoothly with less chance of delays.

Building Permit Application & Documents

Online Application Download/Print (PDF)

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