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Land Use Permit FAQs

  • What construction projects do I NOT need a permit for? The City of Nisswa requires permits for all structures regardless of size, however, you do not need a permit through the city for any modifications within your home (mechanical permits, remodels, wall tear downs, etc.). A permit is not required if you are not changing the volume of an existing structure (replacing deck boards, reroofing, residing, etc.). If you have questions about if you need a permit for your project, please contact our City Planner.
  • Do I need to have a septic compliance inspection if my construction project does not utilize septic (ex: shed, driveway, etc.)? Yes, if your system is older then 5 years and an inspection has not been completed within the last 3 years, with the proper documentation submitted to Nisswa, per our city code.
  • What are the setback requirements? This is specific to a number of details particular to your property. The best way to find out what the setbacks for your property are is to contact the City Planner and request your zoning classification with our Lot Requirements Chart.
  • How do I find out where the ordinary high water mark (OHW) is on my property? This is determined by the DNR and is not always the edge of the lake. To receive the location of the OHW on your property contact our local DNR hydrologist at 218-203-4367.
  • What does a permit cost? Fees are based upon the cost of your project. Please reference the fee schedule for more information.
  • Do I need to schedule inspections on my construction project? The City of Nisswa preforms inspections on septic instillation projects. All other construction projects must meet all Minnesota state codes, however, the city will not be completing inspections.
  • I’m not sure if I have a wetland on my property, what do I do? Wetlands can be hard to spot and harder to delineate without the proper training. We have many experts in our area who are ready to help you. Contact the City Planner for a list of certified wetland delineators in the area.
  • How long does it take to get a Land Use Permit? Depending on the completeness of the information provided, most Land Use Permits can be processed in 1 to 5 business days.
  • Can I build a pole barn? How big of a detached garage can I have? The City of Nisswa limits the amount of accessory* structures on a property by the square footage. Most zoning classifications** are allowed up to 2,500 total combined square feet of accessory structures, if all of the structures match in color and screening is placed. This will either require a Land Use Permit or a Conditional Use Permit depending on your zoning classification.

*Accessory structures are any structure that is not the primary structure on the parcel, usually the dwelling. For instance, in a residential zone, any building that is not the dwelling (house), is an accessory structure.

**Some zoning exclusions apply

5442 city hall street • PO box 410 • Nisswa mn 56468phone: 218.963.4444Fax: 218.963.3108