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Department of Buildings

Fireworks stands require permits from DOB; we will be processing applications through July 3, 2024. New applicants should view this form and follow the outlined steps, while returning applicants should follow the instructions laid out in this form. For any questions, please Contact DOB.

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Welcome to the Department of Buildings

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Zoning Services

The Office of Zoning Administration reviews various applications for conformance with the District of Columbia Zoning Regulations, DCMR Title 11, including:

  • Building Permits submitted to DOB
  • Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) for allowable uses, occupancy load, verification of address, lot and square, and to determine whether inspections and building plans are required for C of O approval
  • Subdivision to ensure that minimum lot size, lot width and other requirements are met; and
  • Home Occupation Permits (HOP) for allowable uses, employee and customer visit limits, and verification of the type of dwelling to be used.

The Office of Zoning Administration also represents DOB in appeals made to the Board of Zoning Adjustment. 

Other entities involved in the zoning process include the Zoning Commission, the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA), the Office of Planning (OP), and the Office of Zoning (DCOZ).


2,500+

This is the sub-title
Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) issued since October 2021. A C of O ensures a building, structure, or land conforms to DC Zoning Regulations. 
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1,500+

This is the sub-title
Home Occupation Permits (HOP) issued. An HOP is required to run a business out of your home.
More Information

3 days

This is the sub-title
is the time it takes, on average, for DOB to issue an HOP.
More Information

 

 

Preliminary Design Review

Do you have a large-scale project, such as construction of a new residential or office building?  Let us help you with a Preliminary Design Review Meeting (PDRM). At a PDRM, we provide a first review of your building plans prior to you filing them. Schedule a PDRM, upload plans and related documents prior to the meeting, and make filing faster and simpler.

 

New building in DC

Get a Certificate of Occupancy

Ensure your building, structure, or land conforms to District of Columbia Zoning Regulations. View requirements and submit an application online. 

 

Businesses with residential spaces above them, H Street DC

Get a Home Occupation Permit

Do you want to run a business, profession, or other economic activity out of your home? You need a Home Occupation Permit. Find information about permits and licensing and apply online.

 

File a Zoning Complaint

To report a potential zoning violation use the online complaint form. DOB will respond within 24 hours and will begin reviewing the complaint for validity within five business days.

Request a Zoning Compliance Letter

Have questions about your property's zoning district, zoning violations, or certificate of occupancy? Request, pay, and receive Zoning Compliance Letter online within three business days using Access DC.

 

View from rooftop of DC, different zoning regulations and codes likely apply

Zoning Resources

View resources like sample zoning plans, Zoning Administrator Interpretations, and guidance to help your permitting and plan review process go smoothly. Still have questions? Check out our frequently asked questions.

Looking for a Zoning Determination Letter?

The Zoning Administrator issues determination letters resulting from requests by property owners, developers, architects, and land use attorneys inquiring about the applicable zoning regulations applicable to specific development proposals. These letters offer guidance to requesting parties as to whether a proposed project, such as a new building, an addition to an existing building, or a use change, conform to the District’s Zoning regulations as set forth in DCMR Title 11.
 

 

For Zoning Determination Letters issued on September 30, 2022 or prior, please submit a Freedom of Information Act request.

Zoning Certification

A Zoning Certification is issued by the Office of the Zoning Administrator (OZA) to certify the zoning district and that the current or proposed use of a specified property is in compliance with the DC Zoning Regulations. Please note that the purpose of a Zoning Certification is solely to certify the zone, and the proposed use would comply with D.C. Zoning Regulations. The Certificate of the proposed use upon the indicated date DOES NOT imply future approval of building plans and/or certificates of occupancy.
Request a Zoning Certification

 

 

 

 

Older building that has been restored next to a new construction building, Southwest DC

Surveyor Services

Do you need a Subdivision Plat or Wall Check? The Office of the Surveyor initiates these services, in addition to Building Plat and Alley/Street Closure, with support from Zoning Services. Click to view requirements and learn how to order.