Helpful Tips

Call Before You Build         

We have all seen or heard the advertisements for Gopher One – Call Before You Dig.  I would like to change that up a bit – Call Before You Build. 

A Zoning Permit, or Land Use Permit, is issued to allow the construction of a structure or to allow a land use when the provisions of the Ordinance have been met.  In other words, a permit will be required to construct a structure, such as a shed, add a deck, or change the footprint of a building, etc. 

If a property owner constructs a structure without a permit there is a penalty – an After the Fact fee, or five times the original permit fee.  In other words, if someone were to construct a shed requiring a $50.00 permit, without the permit, they would be charged $250.00.

There are many different reasons for requiring a permit.  Some reasons may be as simple as making sure setbacks from lot lines are being met and impervious coverage limits are not being exceeded.  Others may be as complex as the intended use may not be permitted in a certain zoning district.

The staff at City Hall is there to answer your questions and help however they can.  You don’t need to come in and fill out paper work.   

It is better to be safe than sorry.  Call the Zoning Office at 568-6699 to see if a permit is required for your activity.

Be A Good Neighbor

With the snow melting and the onset of spring, most of us cannot wait to get back outdoors.  We may not be great gardeners or have the resources to invest in grandiose landscaping, but we all should do our part to make our buildings and yards aesthetically appealing.

The City has Ordinances regarding exterior storage, maintenance and visual standards. 

The Zoning Administrator is charged with writing several letters a year to property owners requiring them to mow their lawn, clean up refuse and debris from their yards, etc.  However, the City does not go out on “violation patrol”.  Every potential violation or enforcement action is the result of a complaint received at City Hall.  The person making the complaint remains anonymous.  Every complaint is investigated.

So while you are outside enjoying the sunshine and watching things turn green take the time to look at your yard and your buildings from a different view.  Does a shutter need to be repaired?  Is there any debris to be hauled away?  Store the broken lawn chair in the garage until it is repaired.

It may not be just your next door neighbors or those across the street who appreciate the things you do.  Some people may drive past your house every day on their way to work and admire your neat, well kept yard.  And it says a lot about a community when people passing through can notice the pride individuals have in their homes.  Be a good neighbor. 

Property Self-Inspection Checklist

Have you ever wondered how your property would rate according to neighborhood expectations and city oridnances?  The following checklist is intended to help  you evaluate the condition of your own home and property.