Office of Planning and Zoning
and the Office of Building Commission

401 East Main Street
Richmond, IN 47374

Located on the second floor in the north end of the north wing of the Wayne County Administration Building
Open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., except for holidays

Building Commission Head: Steve Sorah
Phone: (765) 973-9297
FAX: (765) 973-9321

Planning and Zoning Head: Laura Miller
Phone: (765) 973-9249
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 inspection.
(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 zoning maps.

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 these offices.

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