Building & Zoning Inspections

Apply for building permits, zoning permits, HVAC permits, and plumbing permits at Chisago City Hall using the Building Permit Application found on our Permits & Forms webpage.  Please note that the State of Minnesota issues electrical permits and performs electrical inspections.  All building, HVAC, plumbing, and septic inspections are performed by Chisago County.  Zoning reviews are performed by Chisago city staff.  Allow at least 5-7 business days from the date the permit and all required information is received by city staff for approval on residential and commercial permits. 

 As the homeowner, can I do my own work?

Homeowners can do their own work.  However, if a contractor is performing the work, they must be State licensed or supply the City with a certificate of insurance.  No city license is required. 

 How do I apply for a permit or license, and what is needed?

For the convenience of our customers, our Permit & License Forms are available on this website.  Print a copy, complete, and mail or drop off at Chisago City Hall with payment. 

Building permits for new construction require two sets of plans, a certificate of survey, and energy calculations.  For remodeling, decks, or other work, two sets of plans are required.  The City has adopted the Chisago County's building permit fees.  Fees are based on valuation of the project.  Contact us for permit costs.

 How often must I service my septic tank?

According to State Statutes, septic system maintenance must be done at least once every three years.  Chisago City also requires a compliance inspection every three years and city policy requires a compliance inspection when applying for a building permit.  A compliance inspection is also required prior to the sale of any property with an on-site septic system.  Minimum requirements for septic system maintenance:

  • assess whether the septic tank leaks below the outlet pipe (visual check through maintenance hole with probing);
  • assess whether tank tops, riser joints, and riser connections leak (visual check for seepage);
  • measure scum and sludge depths; and
  • remove all tank contents (scum, sludge, and liquids) when necessary.

Periodic removal of solids in septic tanks will ensure long-term and cost-effective service.  If proper maintenance is not done on a septic tank, floating scum or sludge can enter the soil treatment system (e.g. drainfield).  This may cause a sewage backup into the home or sewage discharge into the yard.  Repair of a failing soil treatment system can be costly. 

 What type of work requires a permit?

Building permits are required for new construction and most remodeling projects. Some of the most commonly obtained permits are for roofing, siding, decks, windows, patio doors, and pools.  Zoning permits are required for driveways, sheds and fences.  Separate permits are also required for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical work.  The State of Minnesota issues the electrical permits and handles all electrical inspections.