Q. Do I need to apply for a building permit with Linn County, the City of Mount Vernon or both?
Linn County provides building and zoning services for the City of Mount Vernon, with a few exceptions.
- A Linn County building permit application should be completed for all projects involving*:
- New construction
- Expansion, remodel and/or replacement of existing structures
Check with the Linn County Zoning Division regarding any applicable zoning and site plan review requirements.
Permits are available online at:
or your can apply in person at:
935 2nd St. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
- A City of Mount Vernon building permit application should be completed for the following projects*:
- Detached garages and other one-story accessory structures (sheds, playhouses and similar uses) where the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet.
- Retaining walls – under 6 feet, measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
- Sidewalks & Driveways
- Window, Door & Awning replacement with no change to structural framing
- Decks and Patios
- Signs without a concrete foundation, footings or illumination
*Exemption from permit requirements does not grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of the building and zoning codes, or any other laws or ordinances of Linn County or the City of Mount Vernon.
Q. Why does my project require additional review by a board or commission?
(Note: the following does not represent an exhaustive list of situations which may require additional review by boards and commissions.)
- Historic Properties: Properties within a historic district must obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) from the Mount Vernon Historic Preservation Commission. Applications are available at City Hall or digitally via email from: email@example.com. Commission meetings are held the first Saturday of each month and one Wednesday mid-month at the Mount Vernon Visitors Center.
- Conditional Use Permit: A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is required for certain uses, as outlined for each zoning district in City Code CH165 (ex. Alternative Energy Production – Solar). Applications must be approved by the Board of Adjustment, which meets on an as-needed basis. Applications for a CUP are available at City Hall or via email from: firstname.lastname@example.org.