Linn County has made temporary service changes in its Planning & Development Department to assist residents with recovery from the August 10 derecho.
Building Permits Required, Fees Waived
Linn County is urging residents to contact their local building departments and make sure contractors are obtaining the required permits for building repairs following the August derecho. Linn County inspectors have seen a few examples of sub-standard work performed without permits.
Linn County has waived the fees for storm damage related permits for the unincorporated areas in Linn County and the cities it contracts with (Alburnett, Bertram, Center Point, Lisbon, and Mount Vernon) through December 31, 2020; however, permits are still required. Having the permit helps to ensure that contractors are registered with the state and the inspections verify repairs are done in compliance with minimum safety standards. Permits are also required when homeowners are completing their own repair work.
Linn County Planning & Development staff can help property owners verify that contractors are registered, licensed, and/or insured to perform the work. For more information, including tips for finding a licensed contractor and avoiding fraud, visit the Linn County website or call the Linn County Building Division at 319-892-5130.
Recreational Vehicles and Mobile Homes as Temporary Housing
The Board of Supervisors signed a resolution on August 21 allowing residents of unincorporated Linn County who are unable to occupy their home due to storm damage to establish temporary housing on the same site as the storm-damaged home, or on a vacant parcel intended for construction of a new residence under these conditions:
- Temporary housing must be a self-contained recreational vehicle or camper or a mobile or manufactured home.
- Home must have been placarded as “unable to occupy” (e.g. a yellow or red placard as used in the Linn County damage assessments, or similar placard as used by another government agency as part of the damage assessment process).
- The parcel must be owned (deed or contract) by the occupants of the temporary housing unit.
- All permits must be obtained prior to placement of the temporary housing.
- All permits for the repair of the storm-damaged home, or for construction of a new residence, must be obtained within 60 days of placement of the temporary housing unit.
Temporary housing units must be removed and all utility hookups must be properly disconnected no later than 240 calendar days from August 21, 2020. A resident may request, and the Linn County Planning & Development Department may approve, a single extension not to exceed an additional 125 calendar days (for a maximum of 365 calendar days), should circumstances prevent the timely completion and occupancy of the storm-damaged home.
More storm response information is available at LinnCounty.org/Storm.