Some Preliminary Advice 


Make sure sewage disposal approval can be obtained for your property if you wish to build a home. Standard subsurface sewage disposal approval (septic tank and drainfield) is difficult to obtain for some areas of Lane County due to poor soil conditions and high water tables. Approvable alternative systems are expensive and require higher levels of maintenance. Land Management's Subsurface Sanitation Program will advise you concerning the possibilities of sewage disposal approval. Remember that if much time has elapsed since the purchase of your land, new code amendments may affect your present plans.

You will also want to know about public services such as sewer, water, streets, schools, police and fire protection. This knowledge can usually best be gained from the agency supplying the service. Natural hazards related to flooding, high groundwater, erosion, wildfires and expansive soils are other points to consider. Information regarding these conditions may be available at our office.


Begin the permit process well ahead of the date construction is to begin. Four months is not too far in advance if planning or sewage disposal problems are likely to occur. Building construction is seasonal, and site evaluations for sewage disposal systems take time. The Subsurface Sanitation Program's workload is heaviest during the summer, so your evaluation request can be met more quickly in the winter months. Processing time for site evaluation applications can range from two to three weeks during the winter and up to five weeks during the summer.


Obviously this section cannot cover all the areas you will need to consider in your development plans. When questions arise, call or come to our office to discuss them. Qualified staff will usually be available; however, it is advisable to make an appointment with an individual who must frequently be out of the office to conduct inspections. Other agencies in the area will be able to provide useful information.


When it comes to property lines, be especially cautious if the land adjacent to yours is owned by the federal government. Many government tracts have never been accurately surveyed and property lines may be only approximate.