Building, Construction & Demolition Permits

Office Jurisdiction
Building Permits are required for all new construction and most remodeling, alteration and repair work in Chisago County. Demolition permits are also required. This office enforces the building code in all townships of Chisago County, except Lent, as well as the cities of:  Center City, Chisago City, Harris, Lindstrom, and Rush City.
 
A map showing areas in which Chisago County has jurisdiction for building permits and inspections is available for your reference. For all other areas, please call that city or township.

Application Requirements
Most projects require two sets of building plans, and fee payment. The Building Department requires a number of specific items to be submitted with an application for building permit. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. See the New Home Building Permit Checklist page for additional information.
 
How to Apply
Building permits are not available online. Permits may be secured from the Environmental Services Offices in Center City. Some permits may be applied for through the mail. Rush City and Chisago City residents may apply at their local city office. Due to the fact that applications are in triplicate they will not be faxed. We are open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except on weekends and holidays. For questions regarding a permit please call 651-213-8372.
 
Building Specifications within Townships
The minimum square footage for a single family dwelling is 960 square feet on the ground floor. The minimum width for a dwelling is 20 feet. Manufactured housing (mobile homes) are allowed in Chisago County provided they meet all the same criteria as any single family dwelling. All dwellings shall be constructed on-site or prefabricated to meet these dimensional criteria. Additions to manufactured houses shall not be allowed in consideration of those dimensional criteria. Residents within city limits should check with their city office. 
 
Electrical Work
The county does not issue electrical permits, or inspect and regulate electrical work. The Minnesota State Board of Electricity should be contacted at 651-284-5064 if you are doing your own wiring. The State Electrical Inspector, Gene Boyle, may be contacted for electrical inspections at 763-389-0397.

Foundation Requirements
All residential structures must be placed on a permanent foundation at least 42” below grade, forming a complete enclosure under the exterior walls. Manufacturer’s specifications regarding how to set specific prefabricated homes on a permanent perimeter foundation will be required.
 
Wells
The county does not issue permits for, nor regulate wells except for the minimum required separation from a septic system. Further information regarding water and wells may be obtained from the Minnesota Department of Health, Wells and Water Division at 651-201-4600.

Setbacks within Townships
Building setbacks vary between zoning districts except for setbacks on public roads, which are as follows:
 
  • Township Roads – 73 feet from the centerline of the road.
  • County and State Aid Roads – 135 feet from the centerline of the road, except Highway 8 which requires 150 feet from the right-of-way.
Please call this department at 651-213-8372 with a location of your building site, the number or name of the road, the legal description (i.e. Section, Township and Range numbers, or plat name) if you desire more complete information on specific zoning districts, such as side or rear yard setbacks, or see the Zoning Ordinance.

When property is located within a city, contact that city office for setback and zoning information.
 
Shoreland
Shoreland areas in Chisago County are classified into different categories, and have differing setbacks, minimum lot sizes, frontage requirements. Call this department for more detailed information or see the Shoreland Ordinance.

Contractors
General contractors performing work in one of the townships of Chisago Coutny are required to have a State License from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. You may contact them at 651-284-5034 with questions, or visit their website. Check with individual cities to determine if a city license is required.