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Planning & Zoning

County zoning is authorized under Iowa Code Chapter 335. Article 335.3 states, "...the board of supervisors may by ordinance regulate and restrict the height, number of structures, and size of buildings and other structures, the percentage of lot that may be occupied, the size of yards, courts, and other open spaces, the density of population, and the location and use of buildings, structures, and land for trade, industry, residence, or other purposes, and may regulate, restrict and prohibit the use for residential purposes of tents, trailers, and portable or potentially portable structures. However, such powers shall be exercised only within the county but lying outside the corporate limits of any city."

Shelby County Ordinance Index - Title VI - Property & Land Use

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the minimum size of the lot I must own to have a house?

Q2. Can I start a business in my home?

Q3. How far from the lot line can I build?

Q4. Are any structures exempt from County Zoning?

Q5. Are there permits required before I can build, and is there a fee?

Q6. If my request is denied, what is my next step?

Q7. Do I have to appear at this hearing?

Q8. How long does this appeal process take?

Q9. How do I get my zoning district changed?



Construction Approval Application (PDF) Shelby County Comprehensive Plan (PDF) 



7 members - 4-year staggered terms - Appointed by Board of Supervisors


Roger Schmitz



Gene Gettys



Karen Goans



Jon Noon



Marvin Kenkel



Duane Errett



Carolyn Blum




Planning & Zoning's office staff includes:

Tony J. Buman - Zoning Administrator

Last updated on Dec 10th, 2021.

Contact Information

Tony J. Buman

Shelby County Planning & Zoning

Zoning Administrator

612 Court Street

Harlan, Iowa 51537

Phone: 712.755.5718 Opt. 5

Email: tbuman@shco.org

Shelby County Courthouse
612 Court Street
Harlan, Iowa 51537