Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do I need to know about substandard size contiguous lots?

    When adjacent substandrd parcels are in the same ownership, they shall be joined into one parcel and shall no longer be allowed as individual building sites.

    If two or more contiguous lots are under the same ownership, any individual lot that is not a buildable lot shall not be considered as a separate parcel of land for the purposes of sale or development, the lot shall be combined with the one or more contiguous lots so they equal one or more parcels of land, each meeting the requirements for building.

  • Can I construct a guesthouse or second dwelling on my lot?

    The Becker County Zoning Ordinance states that only one dwelling may be placed on a lot or parcel of land, regardless of the size of the property.

  • What can I do to a structure without having to obtain a permit?

    No permit is required for repairs and maintenance, which is defined as work performed on the interior of a structure; work performed on the exterior of the structure to include: normal maintenance such as painting, replacement of siding, windows, doors, soffit, facia, shingles, additional doors or windows, new floorboards to decks and other similar improvements which do not involve exterior structural changes to the structure.

  • How much vegetation can I clear on my lakeshore property?

    Limited clearing is allowed in the shore impact zone (1/2 of the required building setback). Dead, dying or diseased vegetation may be removed. An access path may be cleared to the lake to allow walking access. Outside the shore impact zone, vegetation may be removed to create lawn area or recreation areas. Clear cutting is not allowed.

  • What is required to apply for a site permit?

    A complete site plan to include property boundaries, location of all existing and proposed structures, setbacks from structure to road right-of-way, lake and all property boundaries; proof of ownership and either proof of a conforming septic system or a design for the installation of a new septic system.

  • Is there a limit on the number of structures or surface cover that can be on my lot?

    Lot coverage is limited to a maximum of 25% impervious lot coverage. Impervious material includes, but is not limited to, structures, sidewalks, decks, concrete, asphalt, gravel, and patio pavers.

  • Are there restrictions for constructing a garage on my property?

    The height of a detached garage shall be limited to twenty-two feet (22') at the peak when located within four hundred feet (400') of a lake or within three hundred feet (300') of a river or stream. The height of a detached garage located over four hundred feet (400') from a lake or over three hundred feet (300') from a river or stream shall be limited to the height allowed by the zoning district in which it is located. Detached garages located within two hundred feet (200') of a lake or river/stream cannot exceed one thousand two hundred (1200) square feet in size. The detached garage must be located within the setback lines and the total impervious surface area cannot exceed twenty-five (25) percent of the lot area. Detached garages located over two hundred feet (200') from a lake and less than four hundred feet (400') from a lake or over two hundred feet (200') from a river/stream and less than three hundred feet (300') from a river/stream cannot exceed two thousand four hundred (2400) square feet in size. The detached garage must be located within the setback lines and the total impervious surface area cannot exceed twenty-five (25) percent of the lot area. Detached garages located over four hundred feet (400') from a lake or three hundred feet (300') from a river/stream must be located within the setback lines and the total impervious surface area cannot exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the lot area. Detached garages located within the shoreland district may be permitted twenty feet (20') from the right-of-way of a platted or dedicated township road or fifty-three feet (53') from the centerline of a non-platted or non-dedicated township road. This setback does not apply to a County or State Highway. Detached garages may be permitted twenty (20) feet from the rear lot line. A garage attached to the main building is part of the main building and shall comply in all respects with the requirements for the main building. A detached garage shall not be used as a guest cabin capable of providing independent human habitation.

  • Can I have a walkout basement on my lake lot?

    Walkout basements may be allowed if the natural topography allows.

  • What should I do before I begin planning a project or start a project on a lakeshore lot?

    CALL! The Planning & Zoning Staff is always available to answer your questions and/or visit your site. We have many fact sheets on ordinance regulations and other valuable information.

  • Can I split (subdivide) my land?

    Whether or not a property is eligible for subdivision requires the analysis of several factors, including road frontage and access, soil suitability, total acreage, as well as a number of other items. The Zoning Office staff would be happy to provide you with more information on the subdivision process. Please contact the Zoning Office to obtain additional information.

  • Where can I get a septic certification?

    Becker County issues septic certifications upon installation of a new septic system. For any property that is over 5 years old, you will need to hire a state licensed septic compliance inspector. A list of inspectors is available at the Zoning Office or on page 6 of the septic permit found on our website.