Development Services

 Click on a category to the left to filter the list of FAQs below.

What is the first step to permitting a septic?

First you will need to have a site investigation completed for your property. You can hire an outside registered sanitarian to complete or apply through the County. If you choose to have the County complete your site investigation, you must have three test holes dug (See Site Investigation Packet – Soil Characterization form for details) before applying on our permitting portal, CitizenServe .

What are the setbacks for a septic?

  • 10 feet from any structure
  • 100 feet from any well
  • 5 feet from your property line if the property next to you is developed
  • 50 feet from your property line if the property next to you is undeveloped

All setbacks include the septic tank and leach fields.

Do I need a permit to repair my septic?

If you are increasing or decreasing the size of your system or changing the footprint of your current system, you will need to acquire a permit.

Can I reuse grey water?

You can! At the property of your single-family home you can use grey water for surface irrigation as long as you have a connection to community sewer or an onsite wastewater (septic) system. You can discharge up to 400 gallons per day as long as you do not allow it to leave your property, pond or create an environmental nuisance. Grey water comes from the clothes washer, bathroom sink, tub or shower. It does not come from the kitchen sink, dish washer, or toilets. You are out of luck if you live in a duplex or other multi-family building, mobile home or RV park. Grey water reuse at multi-family facilities requires a permit from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality .

Are composting toilets allowed?

Composting toilets are allowed as a part of an onsite wastewater system but not by themselves. The size of the wastewater system will be a lot smaller because of the composting toilet. There will still need to be a Site Investigation conducted to determine soil types and limiting conditions; a tank; a soil treatment and disposal area. The composting toilet must be listed on the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality List of Proprietary Products  and has to be a manufacture toilet per the adopted Building Code.

What codes do you use and where can I get them?

Yavapai County has adopted the 2018 I-Codes as amended by our ordinances. You can purchase the 2018 IRC at Yavapai College or order them online at . You may also review the 2018 IRC at your local library in the reference section.

What is the file size limit for CitizenServe?


Why don’t I see my permit when I sign on to CitizenServe?

You may not be listed as a contact or may not have an email attached to the permit.  Please call the office and ask to speak to a permit tech.

How do I attach new documentation to a permit?

You will need to log into CitizenServe . Go to “View my Permits”. Click on permit in question. On the left you, should see “Edit my Permit”.  If you don’t, you will need to contact your permit tech to open up the permit for you.

What is the County’s weed ordinance?

All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds in excess of 6 inches. All noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than live trees or shrubs or native plants; this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens. This term also includes dry vegetation, constituting a fire hazard as determined by the Zoning Inspector. All dry weeds greater than 6 inches, shall be cleared within 30 feet of any structure, property line, roadway, easement or right-of-way.

How do I register a complaint with the County?

You can call our Land Use Complaint Line at (928) 442-5458 or go onto our CitizenServe  online permitting portal and enter in the complaint.

How do I look up a permit for a property in Yavapai County?

Click on our CitizenServe  Portal’s Search feature. You will need to have an address or parcel number.

Can I apply at either office for a permit?

All permits must be applied for through our CitizenServe  Online Permitting Portal. Both the Cottonwood and Prescott Offices have a computer and scanner for the public to use if needed. We will not accept paper applications.

How do I pay for my permit?

Once your permit is approved, you will receive an email from your permit tech with the amount owed. You can pay for your permit by logging on to the CitizenServe  portal, phoning your permit tech or sending in a check. Please remember to notify your permit tech once payment has been made so that the appropriate approval documents can be issued.

Can I make changes to my permit application once I’ve submitted it?

You can make changes to an application once it has been submitted. You will need to contact a permit tech to open up the permit for you first.

Do I need a permit to lay concrete?

Yes, if you are pouring 199 sq. ft. or more.

Where do I go to get an over the counter permit?

Just like any other permit, you will need to apply for over the counter permits through our CitizenServe  portal.

Do I need a fence permit?

If your residential fence is under 50 cumulative LF and under 6 ft. tall, you will not need to apply for a permit, the exception to this is any kind of masonry fence. Masonry fences that are longer than 50 LF or 4 ft. tall will require a permit.

What is a Preliminary Code Review and how do I schedule one?

A Preliminary Code Review provides feedback and direction to commercial applicants from various county departments and other applicable jurisdictions regarding their project before detailed design drawings are submitted. You apply for a Preliminary Code Review using the CitizenServe  online permitting portal. Once the application is complete we will begin the scheduling process.

Can I build in a flood plain?

Please contact Flood Control for any restrictions with building or improving property located in the flood plain or flood way.

Where do I apply for a culvert for my driveway?

Culvert permits are issued through our Public Works Department along with Right-of-Way permits and Access permits.

Can I camp on my vacant parcel?

Only if your parcel is more than 2 acres and not for more than 10 consecutive days and no more than 3 times a year with at least 30 days between instances. You must also have a self-contained wastewater system or an approved onsite wastewater system. Please contact the Planning Unit for more information.

What is a variance?

A variance is a request for a modification or adjustment to certain requirements of the zoning regulation such as setbacks, height, lot size, etc. Variances are granted when there are special conditions or circumstances applicable to a property, an adjacent property, or to a neighborhood, where the requirements of the zoning ordinance would cause an unnecessary hardship and that the granting of the variance is necessary for the preservation of the enjoyment of substantial property rights. Some examples of “special conditions or circumstances” could be slopes, washes, floodways, etc. Please contact the Planning Unit prior to submitting an application.

What is required to split a parcel?

As of December 1, 2006, the Board of Supervisors adopted a Minor Land Division Ordinance, which requires a staff review and approval of land divisions of five (5) or fewer lots, parcels or fractional interests, any of which is ten (10) acres or smaller in size for the unincorporated areas of Yavapai County. If you have already completed the Minor Land Division process with Development Services; we suggest you consult with the Yavapai County Assessor's Office – Parcel Maintenance Division to ascertain what steps to take in officially splitting the land. Please visit our Planning Division for more information.

Can I have a business in my home?

Yavapai County does allow home occupations with a Home Occupation Permit provided that the use is within a primary dwelling or in an attached or detached structure, is merely incidental to the residential use and does not change the character of the neighborhood. Please contact the Planning Unit prior to submitting an application.

How many large animals can I have on my property?

Farm animals are allowed with a minimum parcel size of 70,000 sq. ft. in the R1L and RMM zoning districts and a minimum parcel size of 35,000 sq. ft. in the R1 and RCU zoning districts.

Allowed Animal Chart

Please contact the Planning Unit for more information.

Can I use my home for a vacation rental?

As of January 1, 2017, Yavapai County allows the short-term rental of permitted habitable structures. This means that ONLY structures PERMITTED as habitable space for overnight occupancy can be used as short-term rentals. This includes single-family residences, guest houses, apartments and condominiums. This does NOT include travel trailers, recreational vehicles, tents, yurts, gazebos, teepees, sheds, garages, barns, caves, offices or any other structure not permitted for overnight occupancy. Short-term rentals do NOT allow events such as weddings, parties, specialized retreats or any commercial activities. Bed and Breakfasts do allow individual rooms to be rented as short-term rentals provided the home is owner occupied. Please contact the Planning Unit for more information on Bed and Breakfast requirements and short-term rentals.

What are my setback requirements?

To find the required setbacks look up the parcel using the GIS Interactive Map Tool.

The Results tab will provide parcel information including the zoning district and density district. This will be shown as (zoning district)-(density district). For example, R1L-70 means the parcel is located in the R1L zoning district with a density district of 70. Then refer to the Density Regulations Chart below to determine the required setbacks. Density Districts are listed in the left column.

Requirements of the Density Regulations

Please contact the Planning Unit for more information.

Are tiny houses legal in the County?

Small site-built homes are allowed provided the structure meets all required code and building permits are obtained. Tiny houses on wheel do not meet the required codes and are considered recreational vehicles.

Please contact the Planning Unit prior to submitting an application.

What is a use permit and how do I get one?

Use permits are provided for instances where a use (or uses) normally prohibited by a zoning district are allowed due to the unique characteristics of the property and of the surrounding area, but rezoning to a less restrictive zoning district is not appropriate. Use permits are granted through the public hearing process by the Board of Supervisors. More information on Use Permits and the public hearing process can be found on the Use Permit/Zoning Map Change application.

Please contact the Planning Unit for more information.

Can I have a cargo container on my property?

Yavapai County does allow steel storage containers to used solely for the storage of personal items owned by the property owner, occupant or business in the RMM or less restrictive zoning districts. (Section 564 A. 13., page 109, Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Ordinance) A permit is required.

Container Allowance

Please contact the Planning Unit for more information application

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