Frequently Asked Questions
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Is a building permit required in Marion County?
A building permit is required for any permanent structure built in Marion County. Setbacks differ depending on the zoning district. Setbacks are required to ensure overall safety and welfare for Marion County citizens.
There is no charge for agriculture buildings. Ag permits are not used to regulate. Permits are used to provide county statistical data, valuation, size and location of agricultural buildings constructed or remodeled, which may be used for county assessment purposes.
How do I get a 911 address?
A building permit generates the 911 address. After a completed building permit is returned to the zoning department, the E911 address will be assigned.
E911 addresses are not assigned to bare ground.
How do I get a 911 address marker?
After the property has been addressed, and the permanent, improved driveway is in place, the 911 department will install a resident address marker. The fee for this marker is $110.
What permits and inspections are required by Marion County when building?
A septic permit and inspection will be done by the Marion County Environmental Health Department. Building permits are issued by the Zoning department. Marion County does not do building inspections. At the time a building permit is submitted the zoning staff will cover the setback and zoning regulations required by Marion County. In most cases when a principle building is built, Marion County may observe the setback stakes before construction begins to make sure the setbacks have been applied for the correct zoning. The State of Iowa requires electrical permits and will do electrical inspections.
Is Marion County a zoned county?
Yes, Marion County has been a zoned county since 1971. Before you change the use of your building or land it is advised to contact the zoning office and make sure it conforms to the Marion County Zoning Ordinance.
UPDATE 1/1/2023 Pershing is now zoned and required to comply with zoning regulations; including building permits.
Zoning classification and tax classification are two separate classifications. These two classification systems have different definitions, operate under different rules, and are administered by different offices. Before making a change in use of your land or building it is advisable to also contact the Assessor’s office.
2023 Marion County Zoning Ordinance changes
Effective 1/1/2023 changes were made to the Marion County Zoning Ordinance. These changes were made based on growth and change in Marion County. The changes include but not limited to:
- All permanent structures (dwellings, commercial and industrial primary structures) are to have a permanent foundation.
- Essential services utility uses added to more zoning districts.
- Minimum lot sizes added to C-A, C-1, C-2, M-1, M-2.
- Definition additions and clarifications.
- Pershing will now be zoned R-1 and must comply with zoning requirements as of 1/1/2023.
The current zoning ordinance is available at: marioncountyiowa.gov on the zoning page. Questions can also be sent to the zoning department email or by calling the Marion County Zoning Department.
I want to divide my land, what do I need to do?
Contact the Marion County Zoning office to see what will be required in your area. Marion County does have a subdivision ordinance. Each land division request must be reviewed on an individual basis. All land divisions must be approved by Marion County. Depending on the location of the property City land division regulations may apply.
How do I get a septic permit?
On new construction building permits requiring septic systems will not be finalized until the septic permit is in obtained.
Contact the Environmental Health office to set up a meeting at your site. It is recommended that you also select a septic contractor and have them out at the site as well. Next, EH staff will determine what type of system needs to be installed and if a percolation/soil test is required. Finally, the property owner will pull a septic permit from the EH office and septic installation may begin.
I have a septic system that requires a maintenance agreement. Do I have to have a certified contractor maintenance agreement?
Yes, a maintenance contract is required for the life of the system. All monitoring and servicing shall be
performed by a manufacturer’s certified technician. Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that an adequate number of certified technicians are available to service all aerobic treatment units at the specified intervals.
Systems requiring maintenance contracts shall be inspected for proper operation at least twice a year at six-month intervals by the certified technician.
I am selling my home, what do I need to do with my septic system?
Iowa's time of transfer septic system inspection law (SF261) was passed by the Iowa legislature in April of 2008 and took effect July 1, 2009. The new law requires that every home/building served by a septic system have that septic system inspected prior to the sale or deed transfer for the home/building. The purpose of the law is to eliminate sub- standard or polluting septic systems. All inspections must be conducted by an inspector that has been certified by the department. It is better to have the time of transfer inspection completed sooner, rather than later, lessening the risk of holding up the sale closing.