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Area Planning Zoning

Area Planning oversees planning and zoning for Randolph County. Area Planning issues Improvement Location Permits which are required prior to the issuance of a Building Permit.

  • If you are building a "portable" pre-built shed you DO need an ILP and a Building Permit
  • If you are putting in a pool you DO need an ILP and a Building Permit
  • All outbuildings including pole barns DO require an ILP and a Building Permit


Please call us or come in if you have questions, we're happy to talk to you about your project! (765) 584-8610


  • Do I need any permits for a storage shed?

    An ILP (Improvement Location Permit) is required ANY time you add square footage to your property in the form of a new home, manufactured home, home addition, any detached structure, pool, patio, pond or deck.

    An ILP is required for all storage sheds and appropriate setbacks for must be met. No matter what kind of foundation your shed has, or if it is built on-site or pre-built, you will need a location permit to determine the setbacks on your property. If your shed is movable, unless it is moving from your location within 6 months, you still must have an ILP. If you have any doubts or questions, please contact the office at 765-584-8610 before you purchase a shed.

  • What does the new Sign Code Amendment say?

    Please go to "Forms" to read the new Sign Code Amendment.

  • Where do I begin if I'd like to build a Wedding/Party Venue in the county?

    Wedding and Party Venues (barns) are very popular right now, especially in a private, picturesque setting out in the country. A business you can run--and see--from your home is the ideal way to make extra money on your terms. However, they are a great deal of work and expense to get started. These are considered commercial buildings, and there are very strict guidelines.

    If you are planning on over 100 guests in your building, Indiana Code says that you must have a Fire Protection System. (Sprinkler) If you are not on city water that system is very expensive. You must have a commercial well with enough PSI to power the pumper tank.

    If you are not on city sewage, you will need to put in a commercial septic system, and the plans must be drawn up by a professional and approved by the Indiana Department of Health.

    Regardless of the capacity of your building, all buildings for public use must have detailed plans, drawn by an architect, and submitted to the state for inspection and approval. The approval is called a State Release.

    You will be covering a lot of ground between your building, your lane and your parking lot, and if it is over 20,000 square feet you will need a storm water drainage plan. This plan must be drawn up by a professional and submitted to the County Surveyor for approval by the Drainage Board.

    All these approvals must be secured before you can obtain your local building permit.

    In the event of a power outage, a commercial generator might be in order to make sure that the weather doesn't spoil the day.

    We'd be happy to meet with you and explain how to apply for a Conditional Use which is definitely the first step in most cases, but we would also like to make sure that you understand the process you must go through when building a commercial building.

  • Do I need a permit for an above ground, (or temporary swimming pool)?

    You must obtain an ILP for an above ground swimming pool if the width is 18 feet or larger and the depth is at least 3 feet.*

    Your pool shall not be located closer than 5' to any property line, are not permitted in required front yards, and if located in any R-Zone must be fenced.

    *Reference: Article II section 2.13 as well as article XIII definitions of the Unified Zoning Ordinance.

  • Do I need a permit for an in-ground swimming pool?

    Yes - an in-ground pool requires a permit from Area Planning.

  • Do I need a permit for a driveway?

    You do not need a permit for a driveway on your property.

  • Do I need a permit for a fence?

    It is not necessary to obtain an ILP to build a fence. However, you are required to abide by regulations stated in the Unified Zoning Ordinance.

    Fences may be built on the property line. The county GIS map will give you a good indication of the location of your property lines. A survey should be done to get a precise location of property lines.

    Reference: Article II of the Unified Zoning Ordinance section 2.02.

  • Do I need a permit for a mobile home?

    It is necessary to file for an Improvement Location Permit to set a mobile home on a property. Also if placing a Mobile Home on a residentially zoned piece of property, that is not in a licensed Mobile Home Park, you are required to receive Special Exception approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

  • What's the application procedure for a new parcel split?

    Exempt Subdivision (Parcel Split) Application Procedure
    Area Planning Department


    Bring the Parcel Spit Information Form (one per split) filled out with a survey to the Area Planning Office.

    The following materials must be included on surveys for split approval:

    1. Legal description
    2. Names and addresses of the owner, subdivider, and consulting engineer, land surveyor, or planning firm who prepared the plan.
    3. Legend and notes, including the scale, north arrow and date.
    4. County parcel tax identification number(s).
    5. Tract boundary lines showing dimensions, bearings, angles, and references to section, township and range lines or corners closing with a tolerance as given in “Rule 12” of the Indiana Administrative Code.
    6. Layouts of lots showing dimensions and numbers and square footage or acreage of each lot excluding areas within right-of-ways, easements and floodplains.
    7. Showing the closest building to the newly created line with setback dimensions unless setback is greater than fifty (50) feet.
    8. Existing streets and right-of-ways on and adjoining the site of the proposed subdivision showing the names, roadway widths, types and widths of pavements.
    9. Existing and proposed easements, including the location, width and purpose of such easements must be shown on plat.
    10. Location of all other natural features.
    11. Boundary lines or elevations for approximate limits of floodway fringe areas on each lot as scaled from the floodplain district maps and regulations of the Zoning Ordinance.
    12. Location, type, material and size of all monuments and markers.
    13. The surveyor’s certificate must be located on the plat (survey).

    Note: Subdivision Administrator approval must be recorded with all deeds, contracts and surveys. Complete Applications will be reviewed within 2 business days and can then be picked up at the office or returned to the applicant by mail if return postage and packaging is provided. The reviewed survey will be stamped and have a Split Approval sheet attached. (see New Parcel Split Procedure for more information)

  • How do I change the zoning of a property?

    Refer to the Zoning Change Requests page of this site for information on this topic.

  • How are the different zoning classifications defined?

    Article I Table 1.01.1 of the Unified Zoning Ordinance

    Zoning District Classifications and Symbols

    • A-I Agricultural, Intensive
    • A-L Agricultural, Limited
    • A-R Residential, Low Density
    • R-1 Residential, Medium Density
    • R-2 Residential, High Density, Urban
    • R-3 Residential, High Density
    • C-1 Commercial, Neighborhood
    • C-2 Commercial, Community
    • C-3 Commercial, Regional
    • M-1 Industrial, Light
    • M-2 Industrial, General
    • FW Floodway
    • FF Floodway Fringe
    • PD1 Planned Development
  • How many acres are needed to build a new home?

    For each zoning area, please refer to the Unified Zoning Ordinance and the Subdivision Control Ordinance.

    In Agricultural Limited and Agricultural Intensive, it is required you have at least two buildable acres for a new home or a mobile home.

    Other buildable lot sizes apply within city or town limits depending on the zoning district.

    The new Subdivision Control Ordinance defines buildable lot as the area outside of right-of-ways, easements and the flood plain. If there is a city sewer available then the flood plain can be included in the buildable acres.

  • How many acres are required to have livestock on my property?

    The answer to this question varies according to the zoning of the property. Please consult either a representative of the Area Planning Department or carefully read the new requirements in the Unified Zoning Ordinance as things have changed.

    In the Agricultural Intensive District you still must have 40 acres for livestock, however areas for much smaller amounts of animals have changed. More about this will follow soon.

  • How do I determine if it is necessary to obtain an ILP?

    You are required to obtain an ILP if adding square footage to your property, when building a new structure, adding on to an existing structure, changing the location of a structure on a property, or adding a pond or swimming pool.

    Please feel free to call the Area Planning Office if you have any there is a questions.

    Reference: Unified Zoning Ordinance Article II.

  • What is an ILP?

    An Improvement Location Permit (ILP) is written authorization from the Area Planning Commission approving the location of construction on a property*.

    When you come in for your building permit, you must first fill out an application for an ILP. It will be determined by your zoning what the setbacks will be, that the land you wish to build on is yours and suitable for building. Before this permit may be issued the Surveyor will look over the building site and determine if there are any drainage issues with the property.

    Some of the things that the Area Planning Commission will be checking for are:

    • Ownership
    • Zoning
    • Front, side and rear setbacks
    • Flood plain
    • Easements
    • Right of way

    It is much easier an far cheaper to get this worked out before you build, and it usually only takes a few minutes to know that you are building in a suitable location.

    *Reference: Unified Zoning Ordinance Article XIII, Definitions.

  • What is the minimum square footage required for a new home?

    A minimum ground floor living area of 950 square feet shall be provided for each one-story residence and 600 square feet for each residence of two or more stories constructed within an Agricultural Limited and Agricultural Intensive District. In the case of residences with two or more stories, the total finished living area of all floors shall equal no less than 950 square feet.

    For All "R" refer to 4.06, Table 4.06.1 in the Unified Zoning Ordinance.

    All single family homes in Randolph County must be at least 950 square feet in size.

  • What is the cost of an ILP?

    The cost of an ILP is based on the improvement as well as the zoning district of the property. Check with Area Planning for the current fee involved.

    Reference: Article X, section 10.06.6 of the Unified Zoning Ordinance.

  • What information do I need to apply for an ILP?

    In order to apply for an ILP, it is necessary to know the dimensions of the structure being placed, added on or moved on a property. You need to know the cost of the project and who is performing the work if it is not the homeowner. You will need to know the exact location of your structure from all sides of your property.

    Area Planning will provide an Aerial photograph of your property to use as your site plan, and have you draw where the new building is going.

    For a new home on a septic system, you must provide your septic approval when applying for an ILP. For a new home on City Sewage and Water, you must provide your sewer and water tap.

    Before an ILP will be issued all contractors working at your home must be registered with the county. Forms and directions for this are located in the Building Commission Department on this website. The homeowner may perform any work on his own home without being registered.

  • What happens if I choose not to obtain an ILP?

    If you choose not to apply for an ILP you may be found guilty of maintaining a common nuisance, and fined no less than $10 per day and no more than $300 per day as long as a violation occurs.

    Area Planning Commission may also initiate a suit for mandatory injunction directing the removal of any building or structure erected in violation of the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.

    Reference: Article X section 10.06.3 and 10.06.4 of the Unified Zoning Ordinance

  • What is the right-of-way and how do I find it?

    The right-of-way is the entire width of a street, road or an alley that goes beyond the paved or graveled areas. There is no "standard" right-of-way. The right-of -way can been seen on the county GIS map by going to the GIS web site and selecting "layers" on the top bar , then selecting "Right Of Way" in the drop down menu.

    Contact Area Planning & Zoning for assistance with this determination.

  • What are the rules and requirements for a fence?

    A fence may be placed directly on the property line.The county GIS map can give an indication of where your property lines are. A survey should be done for a precise location of a boundary fence to prevent disputes. Please be sure to keep the "clear sight triangle" on corner lots, alleys, and next to driveways. No fence is allowed to be placed on an easement of record or in the right of way. If you help with any of this please contact the Area Planning Office.

    A fence in back of the home may be as tall as 6'. A fence in front of the home may be as tall as 4'. To determine "front" and "back", draw a line perpendicular to the road at the closest point of the home to the road. Anything in front of that line is considered front, anything behind that line is considered back.

  • What is the maximum height for a fence?

    From the front line of a home to the rear property line, a fence can be no higher than six feet without applying for a variance before the Board of Zoning Appeals.

    From the front line of the home to the street right of way a fence may be no higher than four feet.

  • What are the set back requirements for a new home?

    Set back requirements vary according to location and zoning districts. Please refer to the Unified Zoning Ordinance section that refers to the area where you have chosen to build.


Randy Abel

Executive Director
(765) 584-0275

Debra Johnting

Administrative Assistant/Recording Secretary
(765) 584-8610

Area Planning Commission

Center for Family Opportunity

(765) 584-8610

Provides planning and zoning services for the county and issues Improvement Location Permits