Agricultural Exemptions

What is an agricultural exemption?

ORS 455.315 created an exemption from structural permits and structural code requirements for buildings constructed on a farm and used in the operation of the farm and for equine facilities. (see page 31 & 32 of the attached document).

Specifically, what is and is not exempt?

  • The building is exempt from a structural permit and the Structural Specialty Code requirements.
  • Plumbing, electrical, mechanical permits are NOT exempt. Permits and inspections are required the same as any other building.

What types of uses are permissible in an agricultural building?

  • Storage, maintenance or repair of farm machinery and equipment.
  • The raising, harvesting and selling of crops.
  • The feeding, breeding, management and selling of crops.
  • The feeding, breeding, management and sale of, or the produce of, livestock, poultry, fur-bearing animals or honeybees.
  • Dairying and the sale of dairy products.
  • Any other agricultural or horticultural use or animal husbandry, or any combination thereof, including the preparation and storage of the produce raised on the farm for human use and animal use and disposal by marketing or otherwise.
  • Equine facilities, used for stabling or training equines; or riding lessons and training clinics.

What types of uses are NOT permissible in an agricultural building?

  • A dwelling or any residential use.
  • A structure used for a purpose other than growing plants in which 10 or more persons are present at any one time.
  • A structure regulated by the state fire marshal.
  • A structure used by the public (except equine facilities – may have up to 10 persons, including the public, at any one time).
  • A structure located within a flood plain.

How do I get the farm exemption?

  • The farm agricultural exemption form is available on this site. It is also available at all planning offices within the counties in our jurisdiction.
  • Complete the form, including page 4, and take to the appropriate County or City Planning office for approval.
  • If the building contains a bathroom, sanitation approval will be required
  • After local approval, bring the form to this office for our approval.
  • The MCBCS Building Official will review the form and approve if appropriate. If the form contains information or errors precluding approval, you will be notified as promptly as possible.

What are the fees for a farm exemption?

This office charges a fee of $50.00 processing fee.  Additionally, the planning office will charge their appropriate fees.

Are inspections required?

Inspections are not required.  However, our office may inspect, either during construction or after completion to assure the building is being used for appropriate farm purposes.  We do NOT inspect the actual construction or review the building plans.

What happens if the use is changed to a non-farm use?

  • You will be required to obtain a building permit, with zoning & sanitation approvals, plans and fees as if it was a new building.
  • Typically, an Oregon engineer’s structural analysis will be required showing the building complies with minimum structural code.
  • Complete plans are required, the same as if a new building.  However, the structural analysis may substitute for structural plans, depending on the findings of the engineer.
  • Appropriate inspections are required, verifying the building complies with all code provisions for the new use.