FAQs

Following is a list of frequently asked questions of the Planning & Zoning Department.  Answers to these FAQs follow the list.  Click on any question below to “jump to” the answer.

1.  How can I find out how my property is zoned, what uses may be established on the property, and what the applicable setback and yard area requirements are for my property?

2.  Do I need a permit?

3.  If my building is on skids, do I need a permit (Zoning Certificate)?

4.  Do I need a permit (Zoning Certificate) for a swimming pool?

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

6.   Do I need a permit to erect or install a sign?

7.  Do I need a permit to erect or construct a fence?

8.  Are there any limitations on how many dwelling units can be build on a lot or parcel of land, or on how many people may occupy a dwelling unit?

9.  If I come to the Planning & Zoning Department and file an application for a Zoning Certificate, will I  be able to leave with a Zoning Certificate?  If not, how long does it take to receive a Zoning Certificate once an application is filed?

10.  Are any inspections required?

11.  What should I do to prepare for a site inspection?

12.  Do I have to be present during the site inspection?

13.  Can I operate a business from my home?

14.  Are there building codes in Ogle County?

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

16.  My neighbor hasn’t mowed his lawn in weeks.  Is there a County ordinance prohibiting grass from growing over a certain height?

17.  Is it possible to obtain a plat of my property from the county?

18.  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?

19.  How do I report a possible violation of the zoning ordinance or floodplain development regulations?

 

FAQs With Answers:

 

  1. How can I find out how my property is zoned, what uses may be established on the property, and what the applicable setback and yard area requirements are for my property?

The uses that are allowed on a particular parcel of land are governed by the regulations for the zoning district in which the land is located and other general regulations.  The minimum setback and yard area requirements, along with other location regulations, restrict the location of structures on a parcel of land.  The setback and yard area requirements vary by zoning district, availability of public services (i.e. public sewer and/or water supply), road/highway jurisdiction and other factors.  Please contact the Planning & Zoning Department to discuss specific building location restrictions on your property.  Note:  The Ogle County Planning & Zoning Department jurisdiction is the unincorporated area of Ogle County, and does not include areas that are within the boundaries of incorporated cities and villages.

  1. Do I need a permit?

What people generally refer to as a “building permit” is called a Zoning Certificate in unincorporated Ogle County.  Ogle County enforces zoning regulations to regulate land use and construction activities, but has not adopted a uniform building code.  Under a building code, a permit is called a “building permit”, but under the zoning ordinance in Ogle County, a construction or land use authorization is referred to as a “Zoning Certificate”.  Terminology may vary by jurisdiction.

Generally, any new construction requires a Zoning Certificate to be obtained prior to beginning construction, including:

  • Decks, patios, sheds (whether on a permanent foundation or not), gazebos, garages, storage buildings, and other types of accessory structures;
  • Dwellings;
  • Commercial and industrial buildings and accessory buildings;
  • Additions to any building or structure (i.e. addition to a deck, garage, storage building, dwelling, commercial or industrial building, etc.).

The Ogle County Planning & Zoning Department has jurisdiction over the unincorporated areas of Ogle County.  If your project is located within an incorporated city or village in Ogle County, you must contact that city or village for permit requirements.

  1. If my building is on skids, do I need a permit (Zoning Certificate)?

Yes.  Even though the building is not on a permanent foundation it is an erected building/structure and therefore requires a permit (Zoning Certificate).

  1. Do I need a permit (Zoning Certificate) for a swimming pool?

Yes, a permit (Zoning Certificate) is required for any swimming pool with a design capacity of 5,000 gallons or more.  Please see the informational sheet “Requirements for Residential Swimming Pools” or the form “Application for a Zoning Certificate to Construct a Swimming Pool” for additional requirements.

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

Generally, a permit is not required for a re-roof, window replacement, siding replacement, or similar maintenance projects.  If in doubt, please contact the Planning & Zoning Department.

  1. Do I need a permit to erect or install a sign?

Yes, most signs on private property require the issuance of a sign permit (Zoning Certificate) before the sign is installed.  Division 8 of the Ogle County Amendatory Zoning Ordinance sets forth separate sign regulations for signs related to agricultural, residential, commercial or industrial uses.

  1. Do I need a permit to erect or construct a fence?

No, the Ogle County Amendatory Zoning Ordinance does not provide for regulations regarding fences (unless it is located within a floodplain or at a road/street intersection), so a permit (Zoning Certificate) is not required.  However, the Ogle County Planning & Zoning Department advocates a “good neighbor” fence policy.

If a proposed fence will be located within a designated “floodway” portion of a floodplain or in an unmarked “A” zone as indicated on the Ogle County Flood Insurance Rate Maps, a Floodplain Development Permit is required to be obtained before the fence is erected.  If a proposed fence will be located at a road or street intersection, sight distance must be maintained pursuant to Section 6.02 Paragraph E. Sight Distance Triangle of the Ogle County Amendatory Zoning Ordinance which requires that nothing shall be erected, placed, planted or allowed to grow in such a manner as to materially impede vision between a height of two (2) feet and eight (8) feet above the grades at the back of the curb of the intersecting streets, within the triangular area formed by the right-of way lines and a line connecting them at points forty (40) feet from their point of intersection or at equivalent points on private streets.

  1. Are there any limitations on how many dwelling units can be build on a lot or parcel of land, or on how many people may occupy a dwelling unit?

Generally, the Ogle County Amendatory Zoning Ordinance limits you to no more than one (1) dwelling unit per lot or parcel of land, regardless of the size of the lot or parcel of land, with some limited exceptions.  By Zoning Ordinance definition, a dwelling unit is one (1) or more rooms in a residential building which are arranged, designed, used or intended for use by one family, for living or sleeping purposes and which includes complete kitchen facilities permanently installed.  Accordingly, the creation of a small apartment in the basement of a house or in an accessory building would constitute the establishment of a second dwelling unit on the lot and would be a violation of the Zoning Ordinance.  By Zoning Ordinance definition, “family” means one (1) or more persons related by blood, marriage or adoption, or a group of not more than five (5) persons not so related maintaining a common household in a dwelling unit. 

  1. If I come to the Planning & Zoning Department and file and application for a Zoning Certificate, will I  be able to leave with a Zoning Certificate?  If not, how long does it take to receive a Zoning Certificate once an application is filed?

 Please allow a day or two for processing of your application for a Zoning Certificate.

  1. Are any inspections required?

Typically, three zoning compliance inspections are conducted during the course of construction – an initial 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 (required for all projects with the exception of agricultural buildings).  These inspections are not building inspections.  They are conducted to determine that the project is in compliance with the zoning ordinance and/or the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance if the project is located within a floodplain.

  1. What should I do to prepare for a site inspection?

Place stakes or other visible markings (such as paint) where your building or structure will be located, and have all lot/property lines clearly marked.  In addition, your septic system components should be located and marked.

  1. Do I have to be present during the site inspection?

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.

  1. Can I operate a business from my home?

Under the Ogle County Amendatory Zoning Ordinance provisions, certain types of businesses may be conducted from a residence either as a Home Occupation (Division 6, Section 6.16 Home Occupations), which is subject to approval by the Zoning Administrator in accordance with specified limitations, or as a Special Use subject to the applicable zoning district regulations.  A Special Use may be granted by the County Board only after a public hearing by the Zoning Board of Appeals. To determine if your propose use will qualify as a Home Occupation or a Special Use under the provisions of the Ogle County Amendatory Zoning Ordinance, please contact the Planning & Zoning Department at 815-732-1190.

  1. Are there building codes in Ogle County?

Ogle County has not adopted a building code (many cities and village within Ogle County have adopted building codes – please contact the applicable city or village for building code information).  However, 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 has 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 certification 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:

(A) The 2006 or later editions of the following codes developed by the International Code Council:

(i) International Building Code;

(ii) International Existing Building Code; and

(iii) International Property Maintenance Code.

(B) 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.

For more information, please contact the Ogle County Planning & Zoning Department.

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

Many of the subdivision in Ogle 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 Ogle County.  Therefore, before you add a shed or fence to your property or initiate any other significant 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.

  1. My neighbor hasn’t mowed his lawn in weeks.  Is there a County ordinance prohibiting grass from growing over a certain height?

The County has no ordinance requiring grass or lawns to be mowed.

  1. Is it possible to obtain a plat of my property from the county?

The Planning & Zoning Department maintains files for subdivisions located in unincorporated Ogle County, which you may request a copy of.  However, the Planning & Zoning Department does not have the capability to re-produce large-format sheets on a single page (11”x17” maximum).

The Ogle County Recorder also maintains subdivision plats and plats of survey that you may request a copy of.  Please be advised that often, plats of survey are completed but not recorded.

  1. 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?

The presence of a floodplain or flood zone on your property can affect its use or development.  Please contact the Planning & Zoning Department for information regarding floodplain or flood zones.

  1. How do I report a possible violation of the zoning ordinance or floodplain development regulations?

Alleged violations of the Ogle County Amendatory Zoning Ordinance or Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance may be reported directly to the Planning & Zoning Department by filing a completed “Statement by Complainant” form.  You may also telephone the Planning & Zoning Department at 815-732-1190 to file a complaint, providing the following information:

    • Address of the property where the alleged violation is located;
    • Nature of complaint, with as many details as possible;
    • Name, address and contact phone number of the complainant (all information regarding the complainant is kept strictly confidential pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act).