There are many issues that can affect your property. It
is important to research these items before purchasing land.
Permits and Approvals
3.1 - Construction
of dwellings and most buildings in Franklin County require
county-issued building permits and inspections prior to use
or occupancy. The permitting process not only helps assure
you that your proposed project is in conformance with applicable
state construction codes, but also that it is consistent
with other requirements regulating property divisions and
uses such as setbacks, minimum frontage, potable water supply,
and sewage disposal systems. Before commencing construction,
be sure you have obtained the appropriate permits for grading,
flood plain development, and other activities that may require
3.2 - Not all lots are buildable. The Franklin County Assessor
has many parcels that are separate for the purpose of taxation
but are not legal lots in the sense that a building permit
can be issued. You must check with the Franklin County Building
and Planning Departments to verify that a piece of land can
be built on.
3.3 - Easements may require you to allow
construction of roads, power lines, water lines, sewer lines,
etc., across your land. Check these issues carefully.
3.4 - Many property owners do not own the mineral rights
under their property. Owners of mineral rights have the ability
to change the surface characteristics in order to extract
their minerals. It is very important to know what minerals
may be located under the land and who owns them. Much of
the rural land in Franklin County can be used for mining,
subject to current land use zoning standards. Be aware that
adjacent mining uses can expand and cause negative impacts.
3.5 - You may be provided with a plat of your property,
but unless the land has been surveyed and pins placed by
a licensed surveyor, you cannot assume that the plat is accurate.
3.6 - Fences that separate properties can be mis-aligned
with the property lines. A survey of the land is the only
way to confirm the location of your property lines. Franklin
County does not verify the location of property lines or
become involved in property line disputes.
3.7 - Many subdivisions and planned
unit developments have covenants that limit the use of the
property. It is important to obtain a copy of the covenants
(or confirm that there are none) and make sure that you can
live with those rules. Also, a lack of covenants can cause
problems between neighbors. Franklin County does not become
involved in the enforcement of covenants.
3.8 - Homeowner associations are often formed to take care
of common elements such as roads, open spaces, etc. A dysfunctional
homeowners association or poor covenants can cause problems
for you and even involve you in expensive litigation.
3.9 - Dues are almost always a requirement of a homeowners
association. The by-laws of the homeowners association will
tell you how the organization operates and how the dues are
3.10 - Stormwater flows through most low
areas at some time or another. If you build in these low
areas, you may be flooded. If you fill in the low areas,
you may be unintentionally relocating the flood waters that
could cause problems for others. This type of action could
lead to private civil actions in court.
3.11 - If undeveloped, surrounding properties will probably
not remain as they are today. You can check with the Franklin
County Planning Department to find out what the comprehensive
plan designation for the area is, how neighboring properties
are currently zoned, and what future developments may be
in the planning stages.
3.12 - Water rights that are sold with the property may
not give you the right to use the water from any streams
or other sources crossing your land without coordinating
with the water district, a neighbor who also uses the water,
or DOH and WSDOE. Other users may have senior rights to the
water that may limit your use or require you to pay for the
oversizing or other improvements to the source.
3.13 - It is important to make sure that any water rights
you purchase with the land will provide enough water to maintain
fruit trees, pastures, gardens or livestock.
3.14 - The water flowing in creeks or streams may belong
to someone else. You cannot assume that because the water
flows across your property, you can use it.
3.15 - Flowing and standing water can be a hazard, especially
to young children. Before you decide to locate your home
near water, consider the possible danger to your family.
3.16 - Many creeks, streams, rivers, and wetlands are regulated
by either the Franklin County Shoreline Master Program and/or
the Franklin County Critical Areas Ordinance. These regulations
establish setbacks and buffer zones adjacent to these various
bodies of water. Natural vegetation cannot be disturbed in
these areas. If you are contemplating development on property
near water, marsh, or other wet areas, be sure to check with
the Franklin County Planning Department before commencing