Planning and Zoning

Zoning is a tool that allows a local jurisdiction to regulate the use of land in a manner that protects the general health, safety, and welfare of the community. The zoning ordinance represents a portion of the local government's regulatory authority and in North Dakota is granted to the county by Section 11-33-01 of the North Dakota Century Code.

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Divide County Zoning Ordinance is to promote the sound and desirable location and use of buildings and other structures and the sound and desirable occupancy, use or condition of use of land and other natural resources found within the County which is consistent with the comprehensive plan. The intent is to promote the health, safety, moral and general welfare of the county residents and the orderly development of land within the county by:

Preserving and maintaining agricultural lands for farm use;

Encouraging non-farm growth to locate within existing communities or community served districts;

Promoting a healthy and visually attractive environment;

Promoting the development of utility corridors which utilize the least productive agricultural land;

Regulating development in flood plain areas so as to reduce flood damages and protect stream flows;

Discourage development which places an excessive financial burden on county government.

Comprehensive Plan

The Divide County Comprehensive Plan establishes the goals, objectives, and strategies to guide future development in Divide County. It is meant to guide County elected and appointed officials in decisions affecting land use, transportation, and public infrastructure development. Nothing in this plan shall be construed to prohibit or restrict the use of land or buildings for agricultural purposes.

Building Code

The Divide County Board of County Commissioners have adopted the North Dakota State Building Code ( the standard for Divide County. All buildings and structures erected, constructed, converted, altered, enlarged, placed, or reconstructed within Divide County must meet the standards and requirements established in the North Dakota State Building Code. The Board of County Commissioners is responsible for enforcement of the building code and may incorporate additional requirements based on local needs.

Zoning Application Forms

This section has links to all applications forms required by the Divide County Zoning Ordinance.

All applications that come before the Planning and Zoning Commission require two weeks public notice per the North Dakota Century Code. All applications must be submitted to the Planning and Zoning office by the first business day of the month in order to be placed on the Planning and Zoning Commission agenda that same month. Applications received after the first business day will be scheduled for the following month.

Divide County Zoning Ordinance

The Divide County Zoning Ordinance was first adopted in in 1996 and was last updated in March 2024. The Planning and Zoning Commission periodically reviews and updates the Zoning Ordinance to reflect changes in the community and economy.


Links to North Dakota Century Code and North Dakota Administrative Code.

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