Building Process for Vacant Land

Below is information we have compiled to help people when they are looking at building on vacant property.  Included is our building permit package which will give you the basic information we need to have when you are ready to build, along with the required inspections, so you can get an idea of the timeline necessary for the permitting process.  It takes us about 3-4 weeks to process a new home permit application so bear that in mind when you are planning.  A lot of the permitting process can happen simultaneously i.e. septic, building permit, well permit, etc., but if something needs to be changed on one, the other permits may also be affected. 

If on a County road - St. Louis County Driveway Permit – 218-625-3830

If on a Rice Lake City road - Carley Hungerford, Building Administrator 218-249-0947.

St. Louis County Environmental Health – Septic – 218-725-5200 - This process takes a while, especially if they are processing a lot of permits, so the sooner you can get them the info the better.  Also, it is good to follow up with the office staff to make sure your permit is moving through the process and not left on someone’s desk.

City Sewer/Water:
Robin Murphy, City Utilities Clerk – 218-249-0917

Electrical Permits: State of Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry - - Easiest to apply online. If you are doing the wiring yourself just make sure you enter your address under City of Rice Lake and not Duluth, otherwise you will have to call them to get the correct city associated with your address.  If you are hiring an electrical contractor, they should pull this permit for you but it is always good to check and make sure they did pull the permit so inspections can be done in a timely manner. 

Wells: Minnesota Dept. of Health handles wells - - Your well driller should pull this for you but it is a good place to look for a licensed driller.

Zoning Process:
Carley Hungerford, Interim Zoning Administrator 218-249-0947
Included is the dimensional standards chart for your reference.  The setback requirements would be the ones listed in the chart for “Prin” which would be your principal structure, i.e. seasonal dwelling or single family dwelling.  The “Acc” setbacks are for accessory structures i.e. garage, shed, etc. Feel free to contact City Hall if you have questions. 

Rice Lake permits and zoning ordinance are on our website under Building Permits and Zoning.