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City of Harlan


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Helpful Links:

Building, Sewer & Curb Breaking Permits (see list of what requires permit below)

Building Permit Fee Schedule

"811 Call Before You Dig" Underground Locating Service

Electrical Permits (handled by the IA Dept. of Public Safety)


     Situations Requiring a Building Permit:

  • New Construction: houses, garages, commercial buildings (including modular, mobile homes, or moving a home or commercial building to a lot.)
  • New accessory structures: sheds, detached garages, swim pools, decks (including moving a shed or garage on to a lot)
  • New or replacement foundations
  • New fencing
  • New or replacement signs
  • New sidewalks and sidewalk additions
  • Structural additions to an existing house or building
  • Alterations to structure involving load-bearing walls, new window and/or door openings or expansions
  • Changing Roof Line (Ex.: Pitched to hip roof )
  • New driveways, driveway additions, and parking pads (whether paved, blacktopped or rock)
  • Electrical - see below
  • Plumbing:
    • New plumbing
    • Alterations to plumbing system
    • Alterations to drainage system
  • Mechanical:
    • New Heating, Air Conditioning or Ventilation
    • Conversions from one type HVAC to another (ex.: Gas to electric or vice versa)


     Situations Requiring an Electrical Permit:

The State of Iowa handles ALL Electrical permits for the City of Harlan. 

  • New wiring
  • Re-wiring
  • New service entrance
  • Changing electrical panel or fuse box to panel
  • Addition of new lighting, outlets, etc.


     Situations NOT Requiring a Building Permit:

  • Siding, roofing, painting, carpeting, dry wall, insulation
  • Repairs and replacement of existing doors, windows, driveways, sidewalks, fences
  • Plumbing: Replacement or repair of worn valves, faucets, broken pipes and drains, lavatories, tubs and toilets
  • Electrical: Replacement of switches, receptacles, light fixtures, fans, etc.
  • Repairs and/or replacements of furnaces, water heaters, and central air conditioning, (like to like).  


     "811" Call Before You Dig - Underground Locating Service:

Click on Logo to visit www.Call811.comEffective May 1, 2007, Iowa and the rest of the nation are a part of the new, national “811” call-before-you-dig underground locating system.

“811” is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-designated national number for homeowners and professional excavators to call before digging. A national awareness campaign for the new system has been implemented by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), a coalition of businesses, services and agencies, including: excavators; locators; road builders; electric, telecommunication, oil and gas utilities; railroads; one call centers; public works departments; equipment manufacturers and suppliers; state regulators; insurance & engineering/design officials; and emergency services.

811 will not replace the state and local offices that have been in place – calls to 811 will still be directed to local One Call centers – but represents a national effort to simplify the process of calling to locate underground infrastructure. Currently, there are 62 separate and distinct one-call centers in the United States – which equates to 62 different “800” phone numbers. In Iowa, Iowa One Call will retain its toll-free number (800/292-8989) and this number can still be used for locating purposes, as before. Iowa One Call will still include the original number in materials promoting 811.