about Zoning Permits

What is a zoning permit?

Zoning permits grant permission to construct, move, build onto, or structurally alter any residential or commercial structure in the City. Zoning permits are generally issued with building permits. Refer to Development & Inspections for more information regarding Building Permits.

** Please note that, beginning March 2, 2020, contractors applying for any of the zoning permits below can submit via the online portal. To register for the portal, please visit access.columbiasc.gov. **

However, there are some circumstances in which zoning permits are required when building permits are not. A building permit is not required for the following zoning permits:

What is required for a zoning permit?

Staff asks that applicants bring in a completed application with associated fees and a conceptual site plan for most zoning permit applications.

  • For constructions or additions, Zoning requires a site plan with addition denoted.
  • For exterior alterations within a Design Overlay District, a Certificate of Design Approval (CDA) is required. A CDA can be obtained from planning staff upon approval from the Design/Development Review Commission (D/DRC), if necessary.

Certificate of Zoning Compliance

When the Building Official issues a Certificate of Occupancy for new constructions, the Zoning Division also issues a Certificate of Zoning Compliance. 

Prior to the issuance of a Business License, zoning staff reviews 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 must also be issued a Certificate of Zoning Compliance, or Certificate of Nonconformity, if proof of lawful establishment for the last 6 consecutive years can be provided per §17-84 of the Zoning Ordinance.