Building Location Permit Changes 2016

Date: December 2015, June 2016

Primary Source Link/s:

Bonner County Code, See Title 11, Chapter 1

What Has Changed: Bonner County adopted several separate ordinance changes making three major changes to the code.

  1. Expanding the maximum size of structures exempted from requiring a BLP.
    • Shop buildings, detached agricultural structures, and other detached structures devoid of septic service expanded 400 square feet to 1,000 square feet.
    • The exemption for decks was increased from 400 square feet to 600 square feet
    • Allowance of an open, non-inhabitable addition of up to 800 square feet to an agricultural structure.
  2. Eliminating a regulation that prevented utility companies and co-ops from delivering power to a site prior to the issuance of a building location permit.
  3. Eliminating the Panhandle Health District (PHD) or applicable sewer district sign-off on all BLPs.
Pros Cons
Can build bigger non-habitable structures without a permit. Without a permit, no one will verify setbacks from property lines and waterbodies.  There will likely be violations and this may increase the number of appeals to the County Commissioners.
Removes the Panhandle Health District fee of $75 for septic review, as well as, the time needed for the review. With fewer notifications about building projects being reviewed by the Panhandle Health District, the likelihood of property owners building over their septic system or the space reserved for a replacement septic system increases. In addition to making the septic system difficult to service, building over a septic system or drainfield comes with potentially serious impacts on public and environmental health.  When these issues reveal themselves, the cost of moving a building off of the system will fall on the land owner and will likely be very expensive.

To learn more about septic systems please link to our fact sheet “What is a Septic System?”