Land Disturbance Permit & Process

In order to help preserve the natural beauty of the county, we follow a straightforward permitting process.

Submission Details

Permit applications for common developments and commercial projects should be submitted to Plan Review.

See the LDP table for the required documents.

Complete permit applications for new home construction, pools, additions, etc. can either be submitted to Building Standards or emailed to Stormwater Compliance Department.

Only complete packages will be accepted.

Additional Permit Requirements

Land Disturbance Inspection

Our Erosion and Sediment Control (E&S) Inspection Team is responsible for land disturbance inspection associated with subdivisions, commercial, and residential sites ranging from new houses to decks.

Sites are inspected for compliance with applicable site-specific plans, County Ordinance, and the 2016 Edition for Erosion and Sediment Control in Georgia (Green Book).

If you have a building permit and need an initial E&S inspection please call or email the Inspection Department by 4:30 pm the business day before you need the inspection. You must provide the permit number, physical address, and your contact information.

For all other E&S inspection requests call 706-447-7645 or email the Stormwater Compliance Department. You must provide the permit number, physical address, and your contact information.

View the current Here's the Dirt Newsletter (PDF).

View the Here's the Dirt Newsletter archive.

Elevation Certificates

Columbia County's Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance requires that all construction, additions, conversions and/or development located in areas of special flood hazard comply with certain minimum standards intended to minimize damage from floods. For example, there are restrictions on the placement of fill material in areas of special flood hazard and houses and other structures are required to be built three feet above the 100-year base flood elevation (BFE).

Columbia County also requires building permits be obtained from the Columbia County Building Standards Department prior to construction. All building permits are reviewed to determine if a property is encroached upon by the Special Flood Hazard Area. If a property is determined to be within the Special Flood Hazard Area, an elevation certificate will be required for the structure, regardless of whether the structure is located within the Special Flood Hazard Area. Columbia County must receive an elevation certificate for final construction prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. Columbia County retains paper copies of all elevation certificates that have been submitted. To obtain a copy of any elevation certificate on the list contact the Stormwater Department at (706) 447-7645

Substantial Improvement Requirements

Columbia County requires that if the cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building's market value, then the building must meet the same construction and floodplain management requirements as a new building. Substantially damaged buildings must also be brought up to the same standards (i.e. a residence damaged so the cost of repairs equals or exceeds 50% of the building's value before it was damaged must be elevated above the base flood elevation).