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A permit shall be required for beginning construction on any building or structure or for the restoration or repair of any building or structure if the cost of the construction, repair, or restoration exceeds $1,000.00. A fence, pool, deck, roof, and sheds are the exception. No matter what; they need a permit.
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Complete an application for a Building/Improvement Location permit. You can use the links below to either the PDF fillable or printable application. You can also visit the Building Department office to fill out the application. The Building Commissioner would then review the permit and then once it is released it would be ready to pick up.
Building/Improvement Location Permit PDF Fillable
Building/Improvement Location Permit Printable Form
The application needs to be accompanied by a site plan or sketch of the proposed location showing lot boundaries, and by plans and specifications showing the work to be done. A description of work needs to be added as well as stating who is performing the work. Anyone who does work in Burns Harbor must have a Contractor’s License with the Town of Burns Harbor.
You may pick one up at our office or
Temporary Use Permits are needed for pennants, banners, portable signs, and inflatables for businesses. If more than one portable device is on the parcel, it must be a minimum of 60 feet apart. Banners and signs cannot exceed thirty-two (32) square feet. Another Temporary Use is a temporary tent. Tents used for commercial sales are allowed as a temporary fixture for the period of not more than thirty (30) days no more than twice per year.
Yes, Demolition Permit is needed. Whoever is doing the demolition is required to have a Contractor’s License with the Town of Burns Harbor.
Yes, a permit shall be required for beginning construction and for the alteration or repair of any residential swimming pool. Any in-ground, partially in-ground pool, above-ground pool, permanently installed, or an above-ground, temporarily installed pool with a deck, requires a building/improvement location permit. For pools less than twenty-four inches (24”) in height, no permit is required. Homeowner accepts responsibility for all liability.
An electrical inspection is also required in accordance with Burns Harbor Town Code Chapter 15-13-8 Swimming Pools and Chapter 15 Table 15-1, 4, 5 Fees. The Town of Burns Harbor adheres to the current edition of the requirements found in Section 675, Article 20 of the Indiana Administrative Code, as well as Appendix, G, Section AG 105.2 of the International Residential Code as published by the International Code Council, Inc. Swimming pools shall be securely fenced or covered as required by state statute.
Yes, you will need to fill out a Temporary Pool Permit. All temporary, non-permanent pools with a depth exceeding twenty-four inches (24”) shall be registered with the Building Commissioner. A temporary installed above-ground pool must be removed by the temporary pool permit expiration date.
No swimming pool shall be located in any recorded easement. Swimming pools shall observe the same side and rear setbacks as primary Buildings in their District. No swimming pool shall be located closer to the Front Lot Line than the Front Line of the Building. Pools must be a minimum of seven (7) feet from any property and a minimum of seven (7) feet from any other structure. No swimming pool shall be located above or below any utility lines including electric, gas, or water.
A minimum 5’ barrier surrounding pool is required, either fenced yard or pool fence with locking gate or ladder if pool or pool access is less than 5’ above ground. If the top of the pool has a surrounding deck or patio 30” or more above grade, there shall be a railing or barrier placed at the outside edge of the surrounding deck or patio that is a minimum of 36” tall and shall have intermediate rails or closures which do not allow passage of an object 4 inches or more in diameter. For in-ground pools, an automatic locking pool cover may be installed in lieu of a barrier, as provided for in 675 IAC CH 20.
Construction authorized in a Building/Improvement Location Permit shall begin within three (3) months or 90 days after the permit is issued. Exterior alterations shall be completed within twelve (12) months after the start. New construction shall be completed within eighteen (18) months after the start of construction.
Any individual accessory buildings or accessory use shall have no greater lot coverage than up to 90% of the footprint at the ground level of the primary structure, unless specified by ordinance for that zoning district. Accessory Buildings or Accessory Uses, shall be subordinate Building(s) or Use(s) located on the same lot with an existing Primary or Main Building or Use, which are incidental to the Primary or Main Building or to the Principal Use of the land. An attached garage shall not be included in the size of the primary residential building. If the accessory building exceeds over 200 square feet in area, it will then need to be on a structurally sufficient concrete slab and/or pad per Indiana Code. The Accessory Building shall be located on the same lot and within close proximity to the Principal Building. No Accessory Buildings or accessory uses shall be allowed in any recorded easement. Unless specifically governed by ordinance, Accessory Buildings or Accessory Uses shall be allowed to encroach up to seven (7) feet from the side lot line and up to seven (7) feet from the rear lot line unless the recorded side and rear setbacks are less than seven (7) feet, in which case the encroachment shall be no more than the minimum setback for that lot type in that zoning district.
To obtain a Contractor’s License you must fill out and return the application. You will need to submit either a bond payable to the Town of Burns Harbor in the amount of $10,000.00 or a copy of the recorded Porter County Bond in the amount of $5000.00. Each applicant shall submit evidence of public liability insurance in limits not less than $100,000.00/$300,000.00; property damage insurance in limits not less than $50,000.00; as well as workers compensation insurance. The certificate must list the Town of Burns Harbor as the certificate holder. The insurance required shall be kept and maintained in force during the term of the business. The applicant shall pay a fee of $75.00 for the license. To obtain a License To Do Business, each business must fill out an application and pay a fee of $50.00.
Letter of Explanation for obtaining Contractor or Business License
To file a complaint, you can click on one of the two links below. There are two types of forms, a PDF fillable form or a form that you can print and fill out. Once the form is filled out you can email the form to the Building commissioner at firstname.lastname@example.org. or the Building and Street Department Clerk at email@example.com.
Complaint Form - PDF Fill in
Complaint Form - Printable PDF
15–13–6.1 SHIPPING CONTAINERS
1. A Shipping Container shall conform to the standards found within each corresponding zoning district. However, nothing in this Ordinance shall restrict the placement of a Shipping Container utilized as a temporary moving pod on any parcel when said shipping container is placed on a parcel for no more than ten (10) consecutive days when the occupant(s) of the residential or business parcel are moving in or out of the residence or building located on that parcel, provided that no Shipping Container shall be located in a circulation aisle/lane, fire access, public utility easement or public rightof-way, including streets, alleys, sidewalks, park strips and/or otherwise impede traffic or pedestrians.
2. No Shipping Container shall be located in a circulation aisle/lane, fire access, public utility easement or public right-of-way, including streets, alleys, sidewalks, park strips, and/or otherwise impede traffic or pedestrians.
3. Except for the use stated above, the use of any Shipping Container requires permit approval from the Burns Harbor Building Commissioner.
4. A Shipping Container may be used for shipping and receiving merchandise and goods in a commercial use, provided that the Shipping Container does not remain on a parcel for more than ten (10) days, and provided that the Shipping Container is not kept in the front setback area or landscaped area, designated parking area, fire access, public right-ofway, in an area visible from the property’s primary street.
5. A single Shipping Container may be used in all residential zoning districts when a building permit has been issued for construction of a residential unit on that parcel. The Shipping Container shall be allowed on the residential parcel during construction only. The Shipping Container shall be removed within ten (10) days after the final building inspection upon completion of the residential unit or ten (10) days after the end of construction period defined within the building permit issued for the parcel, whichever comes first.
6. Each Shipping Container used for construction purposes must be approved by the Burns Harbor Building Commissioner prior to placement when used during construction for less than twelve (12) months.
7. No Shipping Container shall be permitted on a vacant parcel unless the vacant parcel is adjacent to the parcel where a construction or a remodeling project has been approved by the Burns Harbor Building Commissioner.
8. No Shipping Container shall otherwise be allowed when any portion of the property contains a residential dwelling unit.
9. A Shipping Container may not be used as a dwelling or living quarters, nor for camping, cooking or recreation purposes for any amount of time in any district. Updated June 2021 Chapter 15 – Zoning Ordinance 85
10. The number of shipping containers allowed per business is limited to one (1).
11. In all districts, any Shipping Container must be kept in good repair, be secured against unauthorized entry, and comply with health regulations. A. A Shipping Container is not in a state of good repair when it is incapable of being moved intact, holes in the container exist due to damage or rust, or it has been infested with vermin or other pests. B. Any Shipping Container that has deteriorated and is not in a state of good repair must be removed immediately.
12. Vertical Stacking of Shipping Containers and stacking of any other materials on top of or around any Shipping Container shall be prohibited in all districts.
13. Any Shipping Container existing on any property in the Town of Burns Harbor on the date of final passage of this ordinance shall either be removed from such property or be brought into compliance with the provisions of this section within ninety (90) days of final passage of this ordinance.
14. Districts: Except as noted above in 15–13–6.1 -
15. Permit Fees: No application for any permit shall be considered unless it is accompanied by payment for fees pursuant to the fee schedule.
16. Penalties for Violations: