Planning to Purchase Property in Rural Richland County?
Certain County Zoning regulations should be understood when you are buying
rural acreage on which you plan to build. Knowledge of how a parcel of land
is zoned prior to buying property may save you a considerable amount of time
- Check to see how the property you plan to purchase is zoned.
- Will it need to be rezoned? If so, will a land survey be required? (This process may take up to three months)
When You Need To Rezone
- Has a soil test been done to verify the location and type of septic system?
- Check to see if there is any floodplain, shoreland or wetland on the property you are planning on purchasing.
Planning to Build?
The following information is pertinent for anyone who is planning
to build in rural Richland County.
Building can be a confusing process, especially when it is a new home. The
following information is to help the homeowner understand the permitting
process required in Richland County. Often times the builder will be the
person acquiring the necessary permits. However, the more you, the owner,
understand about this process, the smoother the operation should be.
Obtaining the necessary permits takes time and planning; allow for this
when you are considering a construction starting date as all necessary
permits must be obtained prior to the start of construction. Many of the
permits can be obtained well in advance.
Items to be Obtained Prior to Construction of a New Dwelling:
- Soil Test Filing ($100.00)
- Sanitary Permit ($450.00) (May require state plan.)
a. Submitted by Plumber
b. Approved by County
c. Maintenance Agreement, register on deed
- Land Use Permit ($0.15 per square foot –determined from largest floor of living space, minimum fee $200.00)
- Driveway Permit, if applicable. If
proposed driveway is off of a:
State road contact: Department of Transportation - (888) 368-5463
County road contact: County Highway Department - (608) 647-4707
Town road contact: Town Chairman (Click Here For town information)
Your property may require two driveway permits depending on which road your access is on. Driveway
permits must be obtained before land use permit can be issued.
- County Address Sign ($75.00 plus $30.00 if an additional trip is necessary)
- Uniform Dwelling Code
Building permits are required for all new one and two family dwellings and, in certain townships, additions to dwellings.
(Click Here For contact information of the inspector for your municipality) To avoid delays in the building process, contact your inspector as soon as possible. For more information, go to the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, Safety and Buildings Division, UDC website at
Uniform Dwelling Code.
Items to be Obtained Prior to Construction of Something Other Than a New Dwelling:
- Land Use Permit – Richland County issues land use permits for Akan, Buena Vista, Dayton, Eagle, Forest, Henrietta, Marshall, Orion, Richland, Richwood, Westford, and Willow Townships.(Ithaca Township Contact: Virginia Wiedenfeld (608) 585-3855) and (Rockbridge Township Contact: Scott Banker (608) 647-6298)
- County Address Sign (Not required on something other than a new dwelling, but encouraged)
- Driveway Permit (if applicable)
Want to Build a Cabin?
All cabins are considered dwellings. They must have at least 600 square feet of floor area when in an Agriculture/Forestry zoning district. Floor area is defined as:
"The sum of the gross horizontal areas of the several floors of the building, measured
from the outer lines of the exterior walls of the building; provided that the floor
area of a dwelling shall not include space not useable for living quarters, such as
attics, unfinished basement rooms, garages, breezeways, and unenclosed porches or terraces."
If your cabin will have interior plumbing please refer back to the
section “Items to be Obtained Prior to Construction of a New Dwelling” and
follow those instructions for obtaining the appropriate permits.
If your cabin will not have interior plumbing a non-plumbing sanitation system
will be required and a sanitary permit application must be completed and filed
with the Zoning Department. A non-plumbing sanitation system is defined as: "Sanitation systems
and devices within the scope of Wisconsin Administrative Code, Chapter COMM91, which are alternatives
to water carried waste plumbing fixture and drain systems; including, but not limited to,
privies, composting toilets and incinerating toilets." A notarized Maintenance Agreement must be recorded
on the property deed and submitted with the sanitary permit application.
Any non-plumbing sanitation system must be National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)
approved. The NSF web site is NSF Certified Products -
Wastewater Treatment Units. After approval of the sanitary permit a land use
permit can be obtained. The fee for the land use permit is $.15/ square foot or a minimum of $200.00.
A county address sign is required.
Click here for county address sign information.
When a land use permit is not needed
A land use permit is not needed for maintenance, including reroofing,
residing, window replacement, painting, new furnace, plumbing update,
electrical update and wallpapering. Also, a land use permit is not needed
for a structure under 120 square feet without a foundation.
If you are unsure if a permit is needed, call the Richland County Zoning Department.
Richland County Mutual Aid Fire
Districts Driveway Minimum Standards
Contact your local fire district for standards.
All townships have floodplain, shoreland, and wetland zoning administered through the
Richland County Zoning Office.
All townships are covered under the following ordinances:
Click here for more township information