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Don Lehman

Location: City Hall

Hours: 8:00 AM
to 5:00 PM weekdays

Phone: (574) 773-2112

Planning and zoning
Building permits
Solar Resources

Rental registration
Code enforcement
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Board of Zoning Appeals

Email the planning department

Police Department, City of Nappanee, IN
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  Planning services
If you have any questions the following sections do not answer, or if you have a specific issue to bring to the attention of city officials, please contact zoning administrator Don Lehman at (574) 773-2112 or by email..

Planning and zoning
Nappanee's latest rules on land use date back to the 1998 Unified Zoning and Subdivision Control Ordinance. This detailed document governs the decisions made regarding placement of residential, commercial and industrial districts and all related matters.

It is highly recommended all real-estate agents and prospective property owners work with the planning department on new developments, so all issues can be addressed early in the process and as efficiently as possible.

To see Nappanee's current zoning map, click here.

At times when a zoning map change is requested to permit a use outside of the established districts, the Nappanee Plan Commission will conduct a hearing and give its recommendation to the city council in a public meeting. Or, if only a small variance is needed from the adopted standards, the city's Board of Zoning Appeals will consider the matter, also in a public meeting. Both of these applications can be initiated by contacting Don Lehman in the zoning department.

For the current fee schedule, click here.


Building permits
At this time, all building permit paperwork must be completed and filed at City Hall. No online services are available. Staff members will assist contractors and property owners in the process, so all work is completed according to local ordinance, particularly for electrical installation, and the Indiana building codes.

Solar Resources - “Solar in Nappanee”
The City of Nappanee is working to make it easier, faster, and cost effective for residents, businesses and other to go solar through the SolSmart program, funded by the Department of Energy. Click here for SolSmart Logo

Solar Statement – Mayor Jenkins
“SolSmart builds upon our community’s interest in leveraging alternative energy to reduce utility bills and potentially provide backup power. …We believe that the SolSmart program will ultimately make solar more affordable and accessible while strengthening local economic development and attracting solar developers to the region. Designation will reduce uncertainty for residents and businesses and signal to the solar market that Nappanee is ‘open for business.' Read the entire Solar Statement: Mayor’s Statement

Solar Map
The number of solar systems in the area has increased rapidly over the last five years. The map below shows solar photovoltaic (PV) systems near Nappanee as of April 2017. Visit the SIREN Solar Indiana interactive map (click here). Filter by year to see how solar has grown! https://www.sirensolar.org/solar-map/

Solar by the Numbers
In March 2017, The Solar Foundation released the National Solar Jobs Census. In 2016, there were 2,700 solar jobs in Indiana. Installation jobs comprises 64% of all solar jobs, increasing 29% from 2015 to 2016. As of April 2017, there were approximately 39 solar systems near Nappanee (zipcode 46550) including 31 off-grid systems.

Solar Metrics for Nappanee, April 2017

Type of System

Number of Installations

Total Solar Capacity (kW)



129.1 kW



22.3 kW

Institutional: Schools, Non-profits, Religious organizations


0 kW

Local Government


0 kW

Who Installs Solar?        
The City of Nappanee does not endorse or represent specific products or companies. But we have tried to make it easier for you to find residential solar contractors who actively work in the area. View the Solar Energy Contractor List.

How Do I Know I’m Getting a Fair Quote?
Review the consumer protection resources to make sure you understand any quote or contractor you are provided. These resources provide important questions to ask and describe the pros and cons of different ownership models.
Consumer Checklist, IREC
Residential Consumer Guide, SEIA
Guide to Land Leases, SEIA

How Do I Apply for a Solar Permit?
Solar PV systems require a permit from the City of Nappanee Building Department. See the Flow Chart below to understand how to obtain a permit. If your system will be grid-tried, be sure to contact the electric utility NIPSCO before beginning the process with the City.
Solar PV Permit Process
General Permit Process

What Information Is Required to Apply for a Permit?
The Building Department is currently reviewing the permitting process to improve communication and distinguish between systems requiring simplified or standard review. This section will be updated by July 2017. Contact the Zoning Administrator for details: (574) 773-2112.
Permit Application

How much does a solar permit cost?
The fee schedule is currently being updated. An updated version will be added to this webpage when it becomes available. Contact the Zoning Administrator for details: (574) 773-2112.

How do I pass the Inspection from the Building Department?
Review the inspection checklist to understand the requirements that a rooftop solar PV system must comply with to pass the inspection from the Building Department.
Inspection Checklist

How do I receive approval to interconnect the system with the grid?
Before a solar PV system can be connected to the utility grid, you must submit and Interconnection Application and NIPSCO must approve the project. For details, visit the NIPSCO Renewable Energy Projects webpage at: https://www.nipsco.com/our-services/renewable-energy-projects. It is recommended that you contact NIPSCO before designing your system and prior to submitting plans to the Building Department to determine if the system meets all criteria and technical requirements to be interconnected.
Interconnection Process

Rental registration
Nappanee endorses minimum housing standards for rental properties. Landlords must register their properties at city hall and be willing to comply with any necessary housing inspections prior to offering the apartment or house for lease. For more information, contact the zoning office at (574) 773-2112.


Code enforcement
Nappanee is governed by three particular ordinances in regard to code enforcement. All three local rules are critical to maintaining an outstanding quality of life for city residents, and all three carry stiff penalties for violators.

The weed control ordinance allows city officials to step in and take necessary action if a property owner has failed to maintain the unimproved portion of a property. A junk and abandoned vehicle ordinance prevents inoperable cars and trucks from becoming neigborhood eyesores and targets for vandalism and other crimes. The minimum housing standards sets the rules for rental properties.