Planning Department

Q. What zone is my parcel in?
A. To determine the zoning of your parcel, please contact the Planning Department. The Assessor's page includes the zone with property information, but the zone designation may be for assessment purposes only, and may not reflect the correct zoning of the property.

Q. Is my parcel "buildable"?
A. There are many factors that help Planning Department staff determine the buildability of a parcel. Zoning, type of use requested and existing structures are only a few of the important factors considered when making the "buildability" determination. Other considerations are septic availability, road and driveway access, setbacks, floodplains, wetlands, and wildlife overlays. Determinations are made on a case-by-case basis, and often require a significant amount of research. Please contact the Baker County Planning Department for further information.

Q. What are the setback requirements for Baker County?
A. Setback requirements are found in the Baker County Zoning Ordinance, Section 360.

Q. When am I required to obtain a permit?
A. Property owners are required to obtain a permit for new construction and for alterations and additions to existing buildings, including structural, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical work - both agricultural and domestic. Property owners that wish to conduct a Home Occupation or other activities on their parcel may also need a permit from the County. If you are located within the city limits of an incorporated city, please contact your local city government for further information. If you are located outside of the city limits in the "county" or in an "unincorporated city", the Baker County Planning Department will be your contact agency for Zoning Clearance or a Conditional Use Permit to proceed with your project.

Q. Why do I have to have a permit for my own property?
A. Oregon law requires you to obtain permits - even if you are building on your own property - to ensure that minimum building standards are met for your own safety and for the safety of future property owners and/or occupants.

Q. My request has been approved, now what do I do?
A. If you have been issued a final report for your land use request, you will be required to complete the Conditions of Approval as listed in our final report prior to the Baker County Planning Department issuing Zoning Clearance. At the time you are ready to apply for a building permit, you will need to bring a site plan, Zoning Clearance Application and the required fee to the Baker County Planning Department. Planning staff will verify all required conditions have been met, and then can complete the form stating that you are cleared to apply for your building permit through the Baker City Building Department.

Q. What steps, in addition to a land use approval, are typically needed to build a dwelling?
A. Depending on your zone and type of approval, specific requirements will apply—see your Conditions of Approval. All dwellings in the County will need to complete the following:

  • Septic Approval
  • Well
  • Address
  • Road Approach Permit
  • Building Permit
  • Driveway/private road inspection and approval

We are located in the basement of the Courthouse
1995 Third St
Baker City, OR 97814

Contact Information
Phone: (541) 541-523-8219
Fax: (541) 541-523-5925
General E-mail:

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm