The Building Site 

WHAT ARE THE BASIC STEPS IN THE HOME CONSTRUCTION PERMIT PROCESS?

1. Planning Clearance Approval
2. Application for Septic Site Evaluation.
3. Application for Building, Plumbing, Mechanical, Electrical and Septic Permits


WHAT IS PLANNING CLEARANCE?

Planning clearance is the evaluation of your property to determine whether your proposed development is in compliance with the comprehensive plan and land development ordinances. If there are no conflicts, planning clearance approval will be issued. This is necessary before a septic or building permit application can be accepted for review or approval.

The Planning Program administers the land use regulations for rural Lane County as prescribed by State Statute, Administrative Rule and Local Code.  They are responsible for providing their customers (the public, consultants, decision makers, and government) with accurate, useful and timely information regarding the preservation, utilization and development of Lane County's natural resources.  This is accomplished not only by adhering to, but also by refining Oregon's land use related policies.  Citizen participation in the planning process is paramount.



WHERE DO I START?

The answer to this question varies, depending on your particular situation:

  1. If you are ready to begin development on your property, and have cleared planning, start by speaking to a Sanitarian. Even though you may not need to install a septic system, verification of certain factors is usually required. You will then be referred back to Planner on Duty to begin the application process.
  2. If you want to know the zoning status of your property, without necessarily filing applications for development permits, request to speak to the Planner on Duty during their counter hours. Simple requests for information can usually be accommodated on the spot. More complex situations may require a fee and time for research and preparation of a written response.

Prior to or concurrent with this step, you should also be discussing your site utility requirements with all the utility companies serving your area.


WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO BEGIN?

You can save time by obtaining the township, range, section and taxlot (parcel) number from your property tax statement. If you do not yet own the property, or are otherwise acting in the owner's behalf, you must have a written statement from the owner authorizing you to act as his or her agent.  



WHAT IF I PLAN TO MOVE A MANUFACTURED DWELLING ON TO MY PROPERTY?

The procedure is the same as for home construction in most instances. If you plan to place your manufactured dwelling on a single taxlot that already has one dwelling on it, you may need to apply for land division approval or a conditional use permit. In cases of medical hardship, you may be able to apply for temporary manufactured dwelling placement on the same lot. Additional information for permit requirements is available at the Land Management Division lobby. The planning program can assist you with these procedures.


MAY I CHOOSE TO HAVE A SEPTIC SITE EVALUATION BEFORE RECEIVING PLANNING CLEARANCE APPROVAL?

Yes. If serious septic problems are found to exist, you may choose not to go through a lengthy planning procedure. On the other hand, if there are serious planning problems, you may prefer not to go ahead with the site evaluation step. Either way, it will be necessary to have planning clearance approval before the septic construction permit is granted. If an application is filed, but later withdrawn before significant processing has occurred, a fee refund may be arranged.


WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SITE EVALUATION APPROVAL AND A SEPTIC PERMIT?

A site evaluation approval is an official statement issued by the Subsurface Sanitation Program stating that a designated area on your property is suitable for the installation of a septic system. This approval goes with the land and is transferable from one owner to the next. It is valid indefinitely, so long as the site remains in its original undisturbed state. Future technical rule changes will not affect your approval.

A septic permit allows the installation of a septic system on a particular site. This site must have received a site evaluation approval from the Subsurface Sanitation Program. Also, there must be no conflicts with the comprehensive plan or land development ordinances. Your permit is valid for one year and is renewable provided it is not allowed to expire. It is NOT transferable to a new property owner.


HOW IS A SEPTIC SITE EVALUATION CONDUCTED?

You will be asked to have at least two holes dug on the property for each site you wish to have evaluated. The holes are usually dug by a backhoe to a depth of five feet, and should be about two feet wide and four feet long. After you have advised the Subsurface Sewage Program that the holes have been dug, staff sanitarians will examine them to determine soil suitability for subsurface disposal purposes. A detailed report of their findings will be provided to you.


WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVE SEPTIC SYSTEMS?

Alternative septic systems are designed to be installed where standard systems will not function satisfactorily. They include the sand filter system, the evapotranspiration absorption (ETA), the capping fill and the holding tank. All except the holding tank may be used with single family dwellings.