A Zoning Permit is required before erecting, moving, adding to, or structurally altering any Residential or Commercial building or structure in the City of Columbia. Zoning Permits are generally issued along with a Building Permit. Please see our Development and Inspections pages for more information regarding Building Permits.
Zoning permits are required for the following items, even if no Building Permit is issued:
Zoning permits are NOT required for minor landscaping features such as ornamental pools, planting boxes, birdbaths, paved surfaces, walkways, driveways, recreational equipment, flagpoles and mailboxes. Please note that driveways are subject to design review in certain historic and design districts, and generally require a curb cut permit issued by our Development Center.
A Certificate of Zoning Compliance is also sometimes casually referred to as a Zoning Permit. When a Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the Building Official for a newly constructed building, this is also a Certificate of Zoning Compliance. Also, prior to the issuance of a Business License, Zoning staff must review the proposed location for compliance with the Zoning Ordinance; an issued Business License is also a Certificate of Zoning Compliance.
A Nonconforming Use or Structure may be issued a Certificate of Zoning Compliance if it can be shown that it was lawfully established and not abandoned.
You may not need anything more than a completed application.
For specifics of what to include with your permit application, please visit either the Residential or Commercial development pages. Depending on the specifics of your proposed site or use, Zoning staff may ask for additional supporting materials.
1136 Washington Street, 1st Floor
Columbia, SC 29201
P.O. Box 147
Columbia, SC 29217