CAN I BUILD STRUCTURES?
Yes, with assistance. You need a permit.
Permits are needed to build most structures (e.g., house, storage facility, septic tanks) and can be issued through the County Planning and Zoning Department. If a building is constructed, your water rights below the development are still maintained, but where structures can be placed may depend on certain zoning and easement restrictions. On active farms, building permit requirements may be minimal. To determine where easements are located or if permits are required, contact your county or city Planning and Zoning or Community Development Department.
For more information on zoning and easements, see sections on “County Zoning” and “Do I have an Easement on my Property?”
Rezoning your property? Some zoning districts allow higher residential densities or other land uses, but the rezoning process can take several months and require a public hearing before your local planning commission and/or city council. For more information or to initiate the rezoning process, contact your County Planning and Zoning or Community Development Department.
Installing a septic system? Design, capacity, and soil type must first be approved by the county health department. Septic leach fields must be more than 100 feet from wells, canals, or the river channel, and should be placed downslope of drinking water wells.
Want to know more? Read Home Siting for New Rural Residents:
Possible hindrances to construction:
- Zoning restrictions;
- Property access road restrictions; Arizona Dept. of Transportation and county rights-of-way may prevent building within a certain distance from each side of the right-of-way;
- Setbacks requiring a minimum distance between the new construction and your property’s legal boundaries, adjacent roads, and other buildings;
- If in the floodplain, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) permitting is required, and insurance and financing may be limited;
- Aquifer protection ordinances;
- Grazing restriction covenants;
- To build a structure, a minimum 1-acre lot is needed;
- If interested in developing more than five lots, additional permits are required from the Arizona Department of Water Resources to meet water supply and infrastructure needs.
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