Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the following links for informtion regarding:
•Administration •Public Works •Police •Building and Zoning
1. Do I need a permit for a garage/yard sale? Garage/yard sales in residential areas are allowed and Village permits are not required. However you are required to let the Police Department (815-455-3918) know prior to the sale. Two garage/yard sale signs are allowed on public streets at the frontage, signs may only be displayed, no longer than 3 days.
2. Does the Village spray for mosquitoes? The Village Board has decided to discontinue the spraying for mosquitoes. The Village Saff will continue to treat standing water on public lands including storm sewers. One of the best ways to reduce the mosquito population from breeding is to eliminate all standing water (i.e. bird baths, kiddie pools, etc).
3. I just moved to the Village of Prairie Grove. Who do I contact for the following services?
Illinois American Water
4. How do I find out about important Village Board Meetings? Please visit the Village website at www.prairiegrove.org click on Village Meetings and follow the links or please sign up for the meeting notifications via the Village listserv at www.prairiegrove.org.
5. How can I view the minutes from the Village Board Meetings? Please visit the Village website at www.prairiegrove.org click on Village Meetings and follow the links.
6. I have questions about my tax bill. Who do I contact? Please contact the Nunda Township Assessors Office at 3510 Bay Road, Crystal Lake, IL 60012, 815.459.619
1. My mailbox was hit by a snow plow. Who do I contact? If your mailbox is damaged by a Village plow truck during a snow storm, please call or email our Village Hall (815-455-1411). The Public Works Department will assess the damage and replace the mailbox accordingly.
2. My lawn has been damaged by your plow truck. If your lawn was damaged by a Village plow truck during a snow storm please call or email our Village Hall (815-455-1411). The Public Works Department will assess the damage and repair the lawn accordingly. (Please note that most of these repairs take place in the Spring)
3. My street hasn't been plowed. Who do I contact? Please be patient, the Village Public Works Department is very diligent in plowing all major roads first, followed by subdivision roads.
4. Do you have a brush pick up? The Village does offer free brush pick up from time to time. We notify Village residents via the Village listserv. Please sign up for notifications on our Village website at www.prairiegrove.org on the left side of our Village Home page.
5. Is open burning allowed in the Village? The Village continues to enforce the County Ordinance regarding open burning within the Village limits. You may view a copy of the County Ordinance at www.mcdh.info. Residents are advised not to burn brush or leaves in any galvanized pipe located under your driveway.
These are prohibited at all times:
- Burning of manure, garbage, litter, etc. on any property in McHenry County
- Burning of landscape waste within 100' of a habitable structure (i.e. residence, school, etc.)
- Burning of landscape waste within 50' of a non-habitable structure (detached garbage, barn, etc.)
6. How can I adopt a road? The Village does sponsor an "Adopt A Road Program"? Help keep Prairie Grove roadscapes beautiful by becoming a participant in the Adopt A Road Program. For more information and to ownload an application form, please visit the Village website at www.prairiegrove.org.
1. What are curfew hours?
A. Youth 16 years of age and under without a parent present:
Friday & Saturday - 12:01 am - 6:00 am
Sunday - Thursday - 11:00 pm - 6:00 am
B. Youth under age 18 and driving a vehicle:
Please note: (The driver's license of a person under the age of 18 at these curfew times will be considered
Friday & Saturday - 11:00 pm - 6:00 am
Sunday - Thursday - 10:00 pm - 6:00 am
2. Illinois Bicycle Laws: All traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles. Bicycle helmets are an essential element of bicycle safety. It is safest to ride single file. Never ride more than two next to each other. Avoid riding at night if possible. If you ride at night, the law requires your bike to have a front light that is visible from a distance or at least 500 feet and a rear red reflector that can be seen from up to 600 feet. Always wear white or reflective clothing.
3. Can I pay my ticket on line? Prairie Grove ordinance violation citations are payable on-line at the www. prairiegrove.org homepage by clicking on E-PAY icon - or by walk-in at the Police Department. Ordinance Violation citations may be paid in person at the Police Department by cash/check/credit or on-line at E-PAY.
4. What is Nixle? The Prairie Grove Police Department participates in a community alert system named Nixle. Village Residents can review community notifications via emails and text messages. The Prairie Grove Police Department has partnered with Nixle to deliver free public safety alerts and event notifications to residents who sign up for the program. These interested can register and learn more by visiting www.prairiegrove.org click on "Police" and then sign up at www.Nixle.com.
5. Vacation Watch Program! The Prairie Grove Police Department offers a free vacation watch program for residents while you're away. Download a vacation watch request form by visiting our website at www.prairiegrove.org click on "Police". Either mail, email, fax or walk in your form to the Police Department.
6. Residential Alarm Questions? The Police Department encourages all homeowners that leave home for extended stays to install an alarm system. This allows Police personnel to respond quickly in an emergency situation. All residents with existing alarms should visit our website at www.prairiegrove.org click on the "Police" link, download "Police alarm permit form" and return it to the Police Department (No fee required - this will ensure that the Police Department has all of your emergency contact information.)
7. Parking on Village Streets? Parking is Not allowed on any Village street. Special arrangements may be made for overnight, block parties, etc. Please call the Police Department (815-455-3918) to make arrangements. If permission is granted parking is permitted on one side of the street only. This will ensure that Emergency response vehicles can get through.
8. Neighborhood Watch? In May 2009 the Police Department met with residents from various subdivisions in the Village who were interested forming their own neighborhood watch! The Village provided start up packs and signs for each subdivision that participated. This is regulated by the Residents - as always report all suspicious activity to 911.
Building & Zoning
1. When is a building permit required? A building permit is required for all new construction and remodeling with the following exceptions:
- Any window or door replacement where the opening size does not exceed that of the existing opening.
- Minor repair or replacement of decking, siding or roofing (100 s.f. in area or less)
2. For what length of time is a building permit good?
- Single and Multi-family dwelling, commercial and industrial construction: 18 months
- Residential remodeling and additions, commercial build-outs: 12 months
- Garages and other minor permits: 6 months
3. What is the regulation regarding cutting grass and/or weeds in Prairie Grove? The maximum permitted height of grass or weeds on any property within Prairie Grove is eight (8) inches. Residents and Business owners alike are required to maintain their lawns on a regular basis for health and safety reasons.
4. At what height does a fence surrounding a swimming pool need to be? Any fence installed for the purpose of protecting a swimming pool must be a minimum of fifty four (54) inches above grade with a self latching gate.
5. What height, size and setback can a storage shed be in Prairie Grove? A shed, which is considered to be an accessory structure by the Zoning Ordinance, must be located at least seven (7) feet from a lot line in interior side yard or rear yard. The maximum height varies with each zoning district, and in no case can the shed take up more than ten (10) percent of the rear yard area.
6. What is the proper method of discharging a sump pump? Sump pump drains should be directed onto grade in the direction of the closest swale or storm water drain. In no case should a sump pump drain be directed toward a neighboring property.
7. What are the permitted construction hours in Prairie Grove? 7:00 am to 8:00 pm on weekdays and Saturdays and 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sundays and holidays.
8. Does a construction project need approval from other agencies aside from the Building Department? Yes, typically any new construction that occurs outdoors such as a new house or an addition would need Appearance Review Commission approval, which involves a review of the aesthetic features of the structure review. The Appearance Commission typically meets once a month on a Saturday morning, although they will meet more frequently based on the caseload.
9. Are contractors licenses required in Prairie Grove? Although Prairie Grove does not currently issue contractors licenses, certain trades are required to provide proof of a State license or Registration. For instance, Roofing contractors and Plumbers are required to have a State license, and Electricians should provide proof that they are registered.
10. Can a homeowner act as their own contractor? Yes, homeowners have the right to do any work on their own house. Permits are still required to ensure that the work is being done in a safe, code compliant manner.
11. Does a homeowner need to get approval from their homeowners association prior to starting a construction project? Most established subdivisions in Prairie Grove have homeowners associations and as such, there may be covenants in place which need to be followed. A homeowner should always check with their homeowner association prior to applying for a Village building permit.
12. Can a local business advertise by using temporary signs or banners? There are instances where temporary signs or banners are permitted, such as a "grand opening." However, such events are intended to be short lived and the signs or banners are granted for set amounts of time. Check with the Building Department for further details.
13. How do I reach the Building Department? The Building Inspector or the Administrative Clerk can be reached between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday at (815) 455-0920, or by email: building @prairiegrove.org any time.
14. How do I prevent ice damming and water damage related to ice damming? Please click here for an informative handout on the topic of ice damming.
As always, do not hesitate to phone the Village at (815) 455-1411 with any additional questions you may have.