The City of Bowman Planning and Zoning Corner

Hello citizens of the City of Bowman! Welcome to the first installment of my monthly publication of the “Planning and Zoning Corner”. My name is Cheryl, and I am the Planning and Zoning Director for the City of Bowman.

By Cheryl Ryan AICP, Planning and Zoning Director

This column will attempt to clarify the City’s permit process so that when you find yourself in need of zoning services, your experience will be positive and efficient. Discussion will primarily include recurring topics that come up in dialogue when people visit my office, along with a “definitions” section that will help define professional “planning and zoning dialect”. Let’s get started with the basic permit process:
The majority of folks who visit my office are residents in need of a permit for an “accessory structure” such as a shed, deck, garage, shop, patio cover, gazebo, and/or they are expanding the footprint of their home. The bulk of accessory structure permits that are granted in the City are issued “over the counter” and on the same day they are requested. A simple 2 page application (which is available on the City’s web site or at my office) must be filled out, submitted and then reviewed. The application requires your name, address, “lot coverage”, “building setbacks”, and a description and sketch of your proposal. If your request is compliant with code standards, a permit will be issued the same day. If not, I will work with you to find an alternative solution, which could mean a short delay of a day or two. In rare cases, a variance may be required causing a delay of 45 days due to the state’s required public notification process.
Next month will include a discussion of the zoning code requirements for placement, size and appearance of accessory structures, so stay tuned!

Accessory Structure – A building or use on the same lot that is customarily incidental and subordinate to the primary building or use. In residential zones, the house is the primary building and must be constructed first.
Lot Coverage – “Lot coverage” is the total square footage of all the footprints of all the structures on a lot divided by the gross lot area which results in a percentage. Open projections such as patios, decks, balconies, and eaves are excluded. Lot coverage in single family zones in Bowman not exceed 65%.
Setback – The required distance for which a building must be setback from the property lines, streets, floodplain or some other specified feature.
I am at City Hall on Monday and Tuesday of each week from 8:30 to 4:30, and I am at my home office on Thursdays from 8:00 until 12:00 noon. Please call me at the following numbers: 701-523-7627 (office), 701-523-3309 (city hall) or 775-813-0306 (cell phone).

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