Office of Planning and Zoning
and the Office of Building Commision
Department Head: Steve Higibotham
Building Commissioner, Coordinator of Economic Development
Located on the middle of the north wing
on the second floor of the Wayne County Annex Building
Open Monday through Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
(765) 973-9249 (Planning)
(765) 973-9297 (Building Commission)
FAX: (765) 973-9321
The Function of the Wayne County Building Commission
Wayne County originally adopted a building ordinance on February 16,
1976. The current one in use, Chapter 58: Wayne County Building Code was
adopted April 1, 1998.
The Building Commission consists of a Director of Development, two Code
Officials and an Administrative Assistant. This office works closely with
the Planning & Zoning Department in assisting the public with their
residential and commercial building projects.
Our number one goal is to ensure that construction within the unincorporated
areas of Wayne County meets the Building Codes that Wayne County adopted,
which in turn the State of Indiana has adopted, thus providing at least
minimum standards for the protection of life, limb, health,
environment, pubic safety and welfare, and for the conservation of energy
in the design and construction of buildings and structures." - from
Section 58.02 PURPOSE of Chapter 58: Wayne County Building Code.
In 2002, the Building Commission handled an average of 62 building code
related inquires a month, performed an average of 243 building inspections
a month and issued an average of 80 permits a month. An average of $5,889
in fees were collected on those permits each month, with an estimated
cost of construction for 2002 of $21,254,730.91.
Under Section 58.05 ADOPTION OF RULES BY REFERENCE, the Wayne County
Building Commission is empowered to enforce the building rules of the
Indiana Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission as set out in the
following articles of Title 675 of the Indiana Administrative Code with
any amendments thereto:
(1) Article 13 - Building Code
(a) Fire and Building Safety Standards
(b) Indiana Building Code
(c) Indiana Handicapped Accessibility Code
(2) Article 14 - One & Two Family Dwelling Codes
(a) Indiana One and Two Family Dwelling Code
(3) Article 16 - Plumbing Codes
(a) Indiana Plumbing Code
(4) Article 17 - Electrical Codes
(a) Indiana Electrical Code
(b) Safety Code for Health Care Facilities
(5) Article 18 - Mechanical Codes
(a) Indiana Mechanical Code
(6) Article 19 - Energy Conservation Codes
(a) Indiana Energy Conservation Code
(b) Modifications to the Model Energy Code
(7) Article 20 - Swimming Pool Codes
(a) Indiana Swimming Pool Code
The Building Code requires those in the unincorporated areas of Wayne
County to obtain a Building Permit prior to the construction of all new
detached structures; any alteration, addition or repair to a structure
that exceed $1,000.00 in cost; the moving of any building or structure;
the construction of a swimming pool and the installation of a modular,
manufactured or mobile home.
The exceptions would be any agriculture use structure on five acres or
more in the A-1 Agricultural District or the A-2 Agricultural Big-Lot
District; fences; industrialized building systems or mobile structures
and any private home, residential room addition or accessory structure
that is built or altered by the homeowner for their own occupancy or use,
in which case other permits may be required and a notice of intent to
build must be approved prior to construction.
Electrical Permits must be obtained prior to any electrical wiring work
being performed and Plumbing Permits must be obtained prior to any plumbing
work being performed when the cost of the work exceeds $1,000.00 or if
it is part of a larger building project such as a new home or room addition.
A licensed plumber working under a Plumbing Permit must perform all plumbing
work. However, a homeowner may perform plumbing work on their residence
or accessory structure as long as they have obtained a plumbing permit
and inspections as required by the ordinance.
All permit fees are set forth in a Fee Schedule. The one currently in
use was adopted May 1, 2002 and supercedes those set forth in the April
1, 1998 Chapter 58 Wayne County Building Code and the March 10, 1993 Chapter
58 Wayne County Zoning Ordinance.
All permits are valid for one year from issue date with an opportunity
to extend, renew or replace the permit at a reduced cost.
Specific inspections are required for most building projects. They must
be performed in the order listed and the work must be approved before
commencing to the next inspection:
(A) Footing Inspection: Performed prior to the placement of concrete.
All forms, bulkheads and grade stakes must be in place at the time of
(B) Foundation Inspection: Performed prior to any backfilling. Foundation
drain systems and sump pits must be completed. Grade beam/bond beams:
when used must be inspected prior to placing concrete.
(C) Under slab Inspection: Performed prior to covering the installation
of all underground and under slab electrical, heating and air conditioning,
and plumbing systems.
(D) Framing Inspection: Performed prior to applying insulation, drywall
or any other covering. All mechanical, plumbing, and electrical work must
be roughed-in prior to inspection.
(E) Final Inspection: Performed at the time of project completion, prior
to using or occupying the structure.
Failure to comply with the requirements of the ordinance may result in
a Stop Work Order being issued by one of our Code Officials also known
as a Building Inspector. During a stop work order only the portion of
the structure in violation of the law may be corrected. Once the structure
is brought into compliance with the code and verified by the Code Official,
the construction may continue on the project. Failure to comply may also
result in a fine, but that is an absolute last resort.
It is the Building Commission's desire to work with customers to affect
a positive outcome in their building project and to educate the public
as to the requirements of the code as well as the reasoning behind it
- which is primarily the public's safety.
The Function of the Wayne County Planning & Zoning Department
According to the Wayne County Zoning Ordinance under Section 54.10 Purpose
and Scope: "This ordinance is enacted for the purpose of promoting
public health, safety, comfort, morals, convenience, and general public
welfare by classifying, regulating and restricting that location, bulk,
and height of buildings and structures and of premises to be used for
trade, industry, residence or other specified uses, all in accordance
with a comprehensive plan for the desirable future development of the
county and to provide a method of administration and to prescribe penalties
for the violations of provisions hereafter described."
Wayne County adopted it's first zoning ordinance and subdivision ordinance
on October 30th, 1967 and later adopted a new zoning ordinance on March
10th 1993 and a new subdivision ordinance on April 21, 1993. The first
comprehensive master plan was also adopted in 1967 and the one currently
in use was adopted in 1992. And, as with any set of regulations, there
have been amendments over the years as the needs of the county changed.
The function of the Wayne County Planning & Zoning Office is to assist
the public with the application of these regulations. The Planning Office
administers, interprets and enforces the zoning and subdivision regulations
of the county. We also keep property records in regards to zoning issues,
Board of Zoning Appeals and Advisory Plan Commission petition files and
Currently the office has two full-time employees and one part-time employee.
When fully staffed, there is a Director of Development, an Assistant Planning
Administrator, a Secretary and a part-time Secretary.
In 2002, on average, we issued 24 Improvement Location Permits, processed
six petitions to the Board of Zoning Appeals and 1.5 petitions to the
Advisory Plan Commission per month. We sold a total of 22 Zoning Ordinance
Books, 5 Subdivision Ordinance books and three Comprehensive Master Plan
Books for the year. We collected $5,750.00 for Improvement Location Permits
and fines, $2,775.00 for Board of Zoning Appeals petitions and $1,420.00
for Primary Subdivision Plat petitions for 2002. We also handled, on average,
45 inquires/investigations each month concerning zoning issues and researched
an average of four proposed plats a month. Currently, we are pursing 48
on-going zoning violations. In 2002, 68 zoning violation orders were issued
and 17 violations were abated.
The office performs several duties: determining flood plain location,
zoning districts, and setback requirements for landowner's building projects,
providing information regarding the zoning and subdivision ordinances,
issuing Improvement Location Permits, mailing violation letters, processing
driveway applications, Board of Zoning Appeals and Advisory Plan Commission
petitions and performing research, documentation and correspondence regarding
all of these issues.
The office also educates the public, through the performance of these
duties, concerning the proper use of their property and their rights and
responsibilities as property owners.
The Planning & Zoning Office also works closely with the Building
Commission, Surveyor's Office, Health Department, Plat Room and Recorder's
Office as some of the information required to make informed decisions
in administering the zoning and subdivision ordinances is shared between
In closing, the alternative to planning is "Management by Crisis"
which makes a complex job even more difficult and does not serve the public.
It is our goal to serve the public by correctly and fairly, administering,
interpreting and enforcing the zoning and subdivision ordinances Wayne
County has adopted.
January 21, 2003