Help in Obtaining a Building/Zoning Permit
- Who needs to get the permits?
- When must a Building or Zoning Permit be obtained?
- What information must be supplied? (zoning permit) (building permit)
- What may be done before a permit is obtained?
- Do I need a permit to put up a fence?
- Who do I contact to apply for a permit or ask questions?
- Where do I find Building Application Forms? OR (ZONING) forms
- Either the owner of the property or the appropriate contractor may apply for a zoning and/or building permit. Forms may be obtained at the office of the applicable department to aid in preparing the application prior to making formal application.
- The prime contractor will normally apply when the project entails one or more sub-contractors with various areas of responsibility. A property owner may act as his own prime contractor but may not perform those activities for which a license is required unless those parts of the project are signed off by a city-licensed professional. (i.e. plumbing, electrical, gas fitting, etc.)
You must have a zoning permit if:
- You are constructing, reconstructing, moving or altering any building or structure, which activities involve adding to structural square footage on the zoning lot.
- You are improving the land or changing it's use.
- You are creating a "Home Occupation" that includes a sign.
- Your project is located within the 100-year Floodplain and involves: buildings or other structures, fences, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation, or drilling operations.
Zoning Permits are issued by:
- Within the City Limits - City Zoning Administrator.
- Within three miles of the city limits - County Zoning Administrator [EXCEPT]; Floodplain Development Permits are issued by the City Zoning Administrator.
- Beyond three miles of the city limits - all permits will be from the County Zoning Administrator unless they fall within the jurisdiction of one of the other cities.
- Legal description of the property on which the project is taking place. (Found on your title or may be obtained from the County Register of Deeds.)
- A scale drawing of the property showing all existing as well as proposed structures, entrances, parking, etc. Dimensions of structures along with distances from property lines must be shown. (Click for Sample)
Note that you may also have to obtain Site Plan approval from the City Planning Commission in certain instances. A brochure on Site Planning along with accompanying checklists and application materials are available from the City Zoning Administrator. They are also available on this website by clicking this link.
- Normally, neither a zoning nor building permit is required to erect a fence. You should know the location of your property lines and ensure that 100% of your fence construction stays on your side of that line. If you construct a fence on your neighbor's property, that fence may become his property to do with as he pleases. A fence that straddles a property line should only be erected if there is a legal agreement stating rights and responsibilities for that fence filed with you and your neighbors deeds in the office of the County Register of Deeds.
- However, if a fence is to be placed within the required front yard setback, which is found on every side of a lot that has a street frontage (see link to diagram below,) then a "Conditional Use" permit must be applied for prior to erecting the fence. A Conditional Use is a process involving a public hearing before the Board of Zoning Appeals. You will need to contact the City Zoning Administrator directly in order to get information about and apply for this permit. Please note that the process takes about 1 1/2 to 2 months of your time, will involve direct notification of all neighbors owning property within 200 feet of your property (1,000 feet if your property boarders the city limits) and involves a non-refundable fee. (Click for drawing showing areas where Conditional Uses are required.)
- You are building, or adding on to, a structure of any size whether for personal, residential, commercial, or industrial uses anywhere within McPherson County.
- You are changing or remodeling a structure and those changes involve any plumbing or electrical work or involve changes to load-bearing structures or fireplaces.
- You are re-roofing or re-siding an existing structure.
Within the City Limits and extraterritorial subdivision jurisdiction of the City of McPherson, building permits are issued by the City Building Inspector. The extraterritorial subdivision jurisdiction is an irregularly shaped area outside of the city limits extending an average of one mile and not more than 1 1/2 miles beyond the city limits. Beyond this jurisdiction, all building permit questions should be directed to the County Planning and Zoning Administrator.
- Zoning Permit - if required (see above.)
- Legal Description of property.
- Drawings that show work to be done, drawn to scale.
- Accurate estimated cost of work to be performed.
- Owner's name and address.
- Name and address of all contractors including plumber and electrician if applicable. Note: plumber and electrician will have information to submit that will need to be included when the permit application is made.
- Signature attesting that all work will be performed in accordance with applicable building codes.
- Payment of applicable fee. A free brochure entitled "Inspection/Permit Information and Rates" is available at the building inspector's office.
A Zoning Permit should be requested early enough in the planning process that any required public hearings for change of zoning, special, or conditional use approvals, or variances may be held prior to the initiation of any construction.
A Floodplain Development permit (a special category of zoning permit) should be obtained before any relocation of dirt is commenced.
- Except for excavation for footings, foundations or basements; preliminary dirt work for grading and/or drainage may be started without a building permit unless the property is in the 100-year floodplain as noted above.
City Zoning Administrator - 620-245-2548
City Building Inspector - 620-245-2547
P.O. Box 1008
400 East Kansas Avenue
McPherson, Kansas 67460-1008
FAX -- 620-245-2549
County Planning and Zoning
Kenny Cook - 620-241-2288
1115 West Avenue A
McPherson, Kansas 67460