Elsah Ordinances of Special Importance to Homeowners

The Village of Elsah has a Zoning Ordinance (Ordinance 181) and a Historic Preservation Ordinance (Ordinance 190) which are administered through a Zoning Board. These two ordinances work together to provide a structure for the Zoning Board to be good stewards of the wealth of historic homes and buildings within Historic Elsah.

Zoning Ordinance 181 as Amended

The Village of Elsah has its own regulations governing Zoning which was established by Ordinance 181 as amended. Additionally, Jersey County administers a building code for the Village.

The Jersey County Code Administrator’s Office is located on 200 N. Lafayette St., Suite 6, Jerseyville, IL 62052 (618-498-5571 ext 146.)
Construction permits are required for the following: New Residential & Commercial Construction, Pole Barns, Exterior Enlargement, Sheds (portable or permanent), Garages, Mobile Homes, Signs or Billboards (new or replaced), Demolition of Buildings, & Floodplain Development Permits.
In addition to septic permits, blueprints, and plot plans, a 2012 IECC REScheck must be submitted before a building permit will be issued. For more information, go to www.illinoisenergy.org.

All contractors and homeowners must follow the 2006 editions of the ICC Codes, the 2012 IL Energy Code, the 2005 edition of the National Electrical Code (FPA 70) the 2004 edition of the Illinois Plumbing Code, and the Radon Resistant Construction Act when building. A 6-point inspection is required.

Failure to obtain a permit before starting construction shall result in a fine from $250 to $500 plus court costs for each of the property owner, construction contractor, and sub-contractors. A 24hour notice for inspections is required.

Permits can be obtained at the Jersey County Code Administrator’s Office 200 N. Lafayette St. Jerseyville, IL 62052 (618) 498-5571 ext. 146. www.jerseycountyillinois.us.

PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF A BUILDING PERMIT, the applicant will be required to provide the County with a Certificate of Appropriateness issued by the Village’s Zoning Board showing approval of any construction with respect to property located within “Historic Elsah” which is subject to the provisions of Ordinance 190, as amended.

The 1st step in the process is printing the Application for Certificate of Appropriateness. Complete the application, attach any supporting documents, make the copies as instructed on the form, and give them to the Village Clerk or Zoning Board Chair. The information must be received 7 days in advance of the regularly scheduled meeting in order to be reviewed at the next regularly scheduled Zoning Board Meeting. (Note: the Zoning Board meets the 1st Thursday of the month when applications have been submitted or when there is another business on the agenda.) Complete information on the meeting process is in the compilation of Ordinance 190 and can be viewed by clicking the above link on Ordinance 190 Section 6.

Remember, the Zoning Board must approve your application and issue you a Certificate of Appropriateness (Special Use first requires the issuance of a Certificate of Compliance (which states that the new use and/or occupancy complies with all provisions of Ordinance 181) and once approval is gained* you can apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness) ONLY THEN can you apply for the Building Permit through Jersey County. Note: Your attendance (or a designated representative) at Zoning Board Meetings is necessary in order to answer any questions that may occur. (*The appeals process is outlined in Ordinance 181.)

The majority of residential properties in Elsah are R1 with the permitted uses of Single-family or household dwellings, Churches (but only when off-street parking is provided), public schools, public park, home occupations- as defined & limited in Article II of Ordinance 181, and Garage or Yard Sales as defined & limited in Article II of Ordinance 181).

In addition, permitted use in the R1 district there are numerous Special Uses that may be allowed in specific situations in accordance with the procedures and criteria of Article X and XII of Ordinance 181. See Article IV Section 2 Special Uses of Ordinance 181 for a listing of these Special Uses.

Although the majority of homes in Elsah are zoned R1 there are some exceptions! Prior to making any decision about the purchase of a property or potential change in use, you may want to make arrangements to view the larger version of the attachment to Ordinance 181 showing the zoning classification of each property in the village. Contact the Village Clerk, Zoning Board Chair, or the Mayor to make arrangements to see this poster-sized document.

PLEASE NOTE: Any change in use requires a Certificate of Compliance issued by the Zoning Board Chair. Every Certificate of Compliance shall state that the new use and/or occupancy complies with all the provisions of Ordinance 181. Applications for Special Uses (Application for Certification of Compliance) are Considered and Acted on by the Zoning Board. Detailed information is available by reviewing the compilation of Ordinance 181 – available by clicking the above link to view/print.

Historic Preservation Ordinance 190 as amended

This Ordinance regulates the outside appearance of buildings. All buildings in the historic district whether new or old must meet the requirements of this ordinance. In the words of the Ordinance, the purpose of this requirement is “to balance and improve the interest of residents, homeowners, and businesses by assuring that alterations or any improvements are performed in a manner that is consistent with the Village’s historic and architectural character…”. Any change or alteration (Not Repair) to any structure on your property requires an approved Certificate of Appropriateness.

PLEASE NOTE: ANY addition, modification, change, or alteration to an Approved Certificate Requires a NEW Application for Certification of Appropriateness, and the entire application process will be repeated. Please review the compilation of Ordinance 190 (click the link above to view/print) for detailed information.

Flood Control Ordinance #249

The Village is required by federal law to conform with the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program Most buildings in the valley must consider the impact of the flood as indicated on the subsequent map. The flood ordinance requires that the lowest floor and all electrical, heating, ventilating, plumbing, and air conditioning equipment and utility meters be located one foot above the protection elevation listed on the map. The provision regarding service location is very important even if your building is not located in the actual flood plain. If flooding does occur, basements will be impacted by hydrostatic pressures. Also, when installing a new private sewer, the Jersey County Health Department assures the Village that the new system is waterproof and will not contaminate floodwaters.

• Flood development permits are required for any building or structural activity below the flood protection elevation.

• Applications for flood development permits are considered and acted on by the Zoning Board.