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Rural Living

Living in Rural Douglas County - Protecting rural values through good design, resource conservation, and future planning.

Douglas County provides unique opportunities for residents to enjoy elements of a rural lifestyle while remaining in proximity to jobs, shopping, and a variety of activities found in urban and suburban communities. There can be several challenges associated with the rural lifestyle.  The information provided below serves as a helpful resource for rural residents and those interested in moving to a rural community.

What is “Rural”? – Learn about the characteristics and values of the County’s rural communities and the Comprehensive Master Plan.

What to Consider Before You Purchase or Build – Overview for prospective rural property owners is provided, such as what to consider when purchasing a property and building a home in rural Douglas County.

Roads and Access – A summary of access considerations for rural property owners, including the need to ensure legal and physical access to a property, driveway permitting requirements through Douglas County, and possible limitations for emergency service vehicles and school buses, are provided.

Water, Sewer and Other Services in the Rural Areas – Water is a high priority for all of Douglas County, but can be particularly critical for rural homes served by individual groundwater wells.

Living with Nature: Wildfire, Slopes and Soils, Flooding and Wildlife – Living in forested areas and other environmental settings can pose challenges of which a rural homeowner should be aware. Living with Nature focuses on issues relative to wildfire and flooding hazards, living with wildlife, and weather considerations.

Land Management: Animals, Overgrazing, Manure, Weeds and Grading –  Information on the Importance of managing rural property with livestock, regulations pertaining to the number and type of animals allowed, devegetation and more.

Rural Lifestyle Expectations and Land Use: Rights, Responsibilities, and Potential Conflicts – Understanding the planning and zoning context can be helpful in assessing possible land-use changes, uses allowed in the different rural zone districts. Limits on motorsports vehicle use on private property are also discussed.

Site Planning and Design – Homes and other improvements on rural land should be compatible with the rural context and natural environment including design, architecture, building placement, driveway location, and more.

Rural Property Owners Checklist – Checklist of important land use and property management items, phone numbers of key regulatory and advisory agencies.