Property Purchase & Construction Information

Recommended steps prior to buying or building in the City of Houston, Alaska

The City of Houston has zoning laws. To view the City of Houston official zoning map, click here. To view zoning rules and regulations in Title 10 of Houston Municipal Code, click here.

Before you buy or build in the City of Houston (COH), the City recommends the following:

 • Contact the City of Houston Public Works Department at the City of Houston website, or call (907) 892-6869.

 • Check for existing or planned uses nearby that could impact your site such as noise, heavy traffic, vibration, smoke, lighting/glare, odor, safety, etc. Remember that residential and commercial uses are allowed in many areas of the City of Houston.

 • Obtain Driveway Permits from the City of Houston to access public roads and streets.


 • Obtain Construction Permits for anything over 480 square ft. from the City of Houston.

    • To fill out or view Construction Permit click here.

 Additional Property Rules and Regulations

 • When constructing or placement of any building in a Special Flood Hazard Area a Flood Hazard Development Permit is required. Please check with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough for a flood plan permit. No building is allowed within 75' of a watercourse or a waterbody.

 •Check for problems in the area with flooding, erosion, road problems, etc. Contact the Code Compliance office at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and request a “Flood Hazard Determination”. Development permits are required in Designated Flood Hazard Areas through the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

 • If in doubt, hire a professional Engineer or Surveyor to determine if your proposed development affects wetlands, and obtain required authorization from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (907) 753-2712

 • Check with Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) before working along shores and in water, including creeks, rivers, lakes, etc. Permits may be required prior to installing docks on lakes.

 • Find out if covenants, deed restrictions, easements, plat notes, or other special rules affect you. You may obtain this information from the borough's Platting Division. Contact the Platting Office at 861-7874. Some of the information can be located online, click here.

  • Please keep in mind the City and Borough do not enforce private covenants. Contact the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Recorders Office for a copy of recorded covenants.

 • Have the lot surveyed. Monument all corners with permanent, self-identifying markers. Make sure you know where all easements, section lines, and lot lines are located. A “mortgage drawing” is not a lot stake survey.

 • Remember that Setbacks are minimum, plan to allow more separation between structures, lot lines, shore lines, easements, etc. if possible.

 • Make sure the well driller and septic system installers are certified, and ensure that the proper paperwork, such as well log and information about septic system design and installation, are filed with Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC).

 • For information regarding water and/or waste water disposal systems, please contact the State of Alaska, Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC). Address: 1700 E. Bogard Road, Bldg. B, Suite 202, Wasilla, AK, 99654, Telephone: (907) 376-1850.

 • Public sewer and water systems are not available at this time in the City of Houston.

 • If you are using an onsite well, apply for a water use appropriation certificate from Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR) (907) 269-2033. This protects your rights to use the water.

 • Check with the Fire Code Office about Alaska building codes or fire and life safety issues at (907) 861-8030.

 • It is recommended to hire a certified building inspector to inspect the construction from design to completion. This verifies that the house is properly constructed and may facilitate refinancing and obtaining insurance.