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Beltrami County Environmental Services

Building and Construction

Building Permits are required in Beltrami County for the construction of any structure within 1,000 feet of a lake or 300 feet of a river.  The Mississippi Headwaters Board (MHB) Comprehensive Plan expands this shoreland management zone for construction on the Mississippi River to 500 feet and 1000 feet.

Several townships administer their own zoning and permitting programs.  Please see the list below for specific contact information.

Building Permits are required for the construction of any structure within a designated Shoreland Zone. No owner, contractor, subcontractor, builder or other person shall begin a project without the necessary permits.  Permits are required for the placement of structures or structure additions, including such activities as construction of residences, garages, decks, signs, second story additions, basements, and grading and filling activities. 

Violations – work without the required permit – are charged the regular fee plus a minimum administrative fee of two hours. See the County Fee Schedule for rates. 

The Beltrami County Environmental Services Department administers the building permit program within all designated Shoreland Management Zones (Zone Map) with the following exceptions:


Zone Area



Beltrami County Shoreland Management Zones

Beltrami County Environmental Services Department

701 Minnesota Ave NW Suite 113
Bemidji, MN 56601-3177

Phone: 218-333-4158


Beltrami County NON-Shoreland Management Zones

Please check with your Township - no County zoning in Non-Shoreland areas

See below for specific township contacts

City of Bemidji 

City of Bemidji

Building Permits & Rental Inspections

317 4th St NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

Phone: 218-759-3579

Northern Township

Northern Township Zoning

Northern Township Planning & Zoning

Chris Lahn

445 Town Hall Rd NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

Phone: 218-751-4989

City of Wilton

City of Wilton

195 Melby Ln SW
Wilton, MN 56601

Phone: 218-444-9110

Frohn, Sugar Bush, Ten Lake Townships

Township Zoning Administrator 

Jim Baruth

Phone: 218-335-0172

Turtle Lake Township (Non-Shoreland Areas)

Turtle Lake Township Zoning

Kelly Booge

Phone: 218-308-1171

Turtle River Township (Non-Shoreland Areas)

Turtle River Township Zoning

David Kloha

Phone: 218-766-8647

Bemidji Township (Non-Shoreland Areas)

Bemidji Township Zoning

Brittney Sletter

Phone: 218-333-3617

If you think your project may be within a setback from a property line, a body of water, a bluff, or a road, please contact your Environmental Services Resource Specialist for assistance.  If you intend to use your property for anything other than a single-family residence, you may want to contact your Resource Specialist.  Your Resource Specialist can also tell you the specific setbacks for your address, and if a Variance or Conditional Use Permit is required before starting any work or applying for a Building Permit.  


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