Frequently Asked Questions

Board of Adjustment

What should be submitted with a Special Use Permit application?
What is a Special Use permit?
How do I know if the use I would like to do requires a Special Use Permit?
What does the Board of Adjustment do?

Building/Zoning Permits

How much does a permit cost?
How do I know where my property line is?
Do I need a zoning permit to remove a structure?
What is a setback?
If the sidewalk or driveway is at ground-level, you do not need a zoning permit. However, for a new driveway, you will need a Driveway Permit from the County Engineer’s Office to connect to the public right-of way. You also may need a Driveway Permit for widening a driveway.
Do I need a zoning permit for temporary structures?
Can I build a house on less than 10 acres in the county?
How do I qualify for an agricultural exemption from zoning rules?
Can I build in a floodplain?
How do I know what the zoning rules are for my district?
When do I need a permit?
What is my property zoned?


Can I get more than one dock assignment?
How long does it take to get a dock assignment?
What are the costs for a dock assignment?
When do dock assignments open up?
Where are the public docks for the county?
How do I get on a public dock?


How do I know where the floodplain is on my property?
Can I build or dig in a floodplain?

P&Z Definitions

What is the 100-year floodplain?
What is a zoning administrator?
What is a survey?
What defines Special Use?
What is a setback?
What is the right-of-way?
What does quasi-judicial mean?
What is a parcel?
What counts as agricultural purposes?
What does an advisory do?

Planning and Zoning Commission

Who do I contact regarding rezonings, subdivisions, or vacating a platted street?

Rural Address Markers

Am I required to have an address marker?
How do I get a new address sign?
How much does it cost?
What if the snow plow damages my address marker?
Where should the address sign be located?


Do I need to have a sign permit for my sign?
Who do I contact regarding signs?

County Courthouse

220 N. Washington Ave.
Mason City, IA 50401
Contact · Report a Concern

Courthouse Hours

M-F 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed Holidays
Department Hours May Vary