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Frequently Asked Questions

Planning and Development FAQs

Below are some of the most common questions the Planning and Development Department receives from residents. If you cannot find the answer or information you are looking for, please contact the Planning and Development Department at (701) 241-1474.

Accessory Structures

  • What are the requirements if I want to build a shed on my property? 

Building Permits

  • When would I need to obtain a building permit?


  • What are covenants? Where would I be able to find these for my property?

Downtown Parking 

  • I want to live Downtown. Where would I be able to park?


  • What is an easement? Can I build within the easement?


  • How do I know if my property is in a floodplain?

Historic Preservation

  • Are there any historical overlays in Fargo? What regulations are included with these?


  • What are the hours in which construction activity can take place?
  • Who should I contact about an abandoned property?

Planning Commission

  • What is the role of the Planning Commission?

Backyards (decks, porches, pools, hot tubs, etc.)

  • I want to construct a deck in my backyard, will this count towards the maximum building coverage allowed in my property's zoning district?
  • What are the setback requirements for decks and porches?
  • Where in my backyard can I construct a swimming pool, deck, or other structure? What permits will I need?

Detached Garages

  • Am I allowed to build a detached garage on my residential property?


  • How wide can I build my driveway?


  • I want to put a fence around my yard. What restrictions are in place?

Home Occupations

  • What conditions do I have to comply with in order to conduct a home occupation?
  • Would I be able to open a day care in my house?
  • What uses are prohibited for a home occupation?


  • Can I plant/remove/trim a tree in the public right-of-way?
  • My neighbor's trees are crossing over the property line- can I go ahead and prune the branches?


  • Where are setbacks measured from/to?


  • Can I install a billboard on my property?
  • How large can my business's on-site sign be?
  • For how long are temporary signs allowed to be displayed?


  • What types of variances are granted?
  • How do I apply for a variance?
  • What are the criteria for approval?
  • Can I appeal a decision made by the Board of Adjustment?


  • What is zoning?
  • How do I find the zoning for my property?
  • What is allowed within each zoning category?
  • How do I apply for a zoning change?
  • Can I request a formal zoning determination for my property?

Extraterritorial Zoning

  • What is extraterritorial zoning? What is the City allowed to do within its ET area?
  • I live in the Extraterritorial Area, but the GIS does not show the zoning for my property. Where would I be able to find it?