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Frequently Asked Questions
Planning and Zoning

  • What are the zoning setbacks for my property?
  • What is the zoning for my property?
  • When is Site Plan approval from the P&Z Commission required to build?
  • How does one report suspected zoning violations?
  • What are the regulations governing home offices and home occupations?
  • How do I obtain a house number and where must the number be displayed?
  • How large a house can I build?
  • Am I in the Coastal Overlay Zone?
  • What flood zone is my property in?
  • Where can I find more information about Building Zone and Subdivision Regulations?
  • What regulations govern the installation and relocation of signs?
  • What are the Coastal Area Management regulations?
  • What is FAR and what is included?
  • What is the role of the Architectural Review Committee in reviewing plans for exterior alterations and the installation of signs and awnings?
  • What are the regulations regarding having animals on my property?
  • Can I subdivide my property?
  • Where can I find additional guidance?
  • Is it permissible to add an apartment in a single-family home, or a guest cottage on a property?
  • What regulations govern the installation of fences and walls


  • Q. What are the zoning setbacks for my property?
    A.
    Setbacks, Floor Area Ratios and other height and bulk restrictions can be found in charts from Section 6-205 (a) (residential zones) and Section 6-205 (b) (business zones) of the Building Zone Regulations.


    Q. What is the zoning for my property?
    A.
    Currently the Town Zoning Map and the Coastal Overlay Map are unavailable on-line. Please visit the Land Use office at Town Hall to view these maps.


    Q. When is Site Plan approval from the P&Z Commission required to build?
    A.
    Site Plan Approval is required by Planning and Zoning Commission in accordance with Section 6-13 of the Building Zone Regulations.


    Q. How does one report suspected zoning violations?
    A.
    Zoning Violations should be reported to the Zoning Enforcement Officer (ZEO) at 622-7753.

    The Zoning Enforcement Officer is located within the Building Division of the Department of Public Works. The Building Division is located on the Second Floor of Town Hall. Please contact the Building Division at (203) 622-7754 for office hours.


    Q. What are the regulations governing home offices and home occupations?
    A.
    Home Occupations are defined in Section 6-5 (28) and Home Offices are defined in Section 6-5 (28.1) of the Building Zone Regulations. The use regulations pertaining to Home Offices are specified in Section 6-95 (b) and Section 6-97 (b)(2).


    Q. How do I obtain a house number and where must the number be displayed?
    A.
    For information on the assignment and display of street numbers, click here.


    Q. How large a house can I build?
    A.
    If you want to know how the maximum floor area on your property use the following simple formula:

    (Lot Area of Your Property in Square Feet) X (Floor Area Ratio) = Maximum Floor Area

    To convert from acres to Square Feet multiple the lot area in acres by 43,560.


    Q. Am I in the Coastal Overlay Zone?
    A.
    Currently the Town Zoning Map and the Coastal Overlay Map are unavailable on-line. Please visit the Land Use office at Town Hall to view these maps.


    Q. What flood zone is my property in?
    A.
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) determines flood zone boundaries. The flood zone maps produced by FEMA are the only document that can legally determine which properties are within a designated flood zone.

    The FEMA Flood Zone Maps are available on the FEMA web site. Use the selection boxes to choose state, county and town.

    If you wish to review the Town of Greenwich Regulations regarding development in the Flood Hazard Overlay Zone please refer to Section 6-139.1 of the Building Zone Regulations.


    Q. Where can I find more information about Building Zone and Subdivision Regulations?
    A.
    Browse the Building Zone and Subdivision Regulations here.


    Q. What regulations govern the installation and relocation of signs?
    A.
    Division 16 of the Building Zone Regulations governs the installation and relocation of signs. The Architectural Review Committee (ARC) reviews all signage and awnings in residential zones that pertain to legally non-conforming uses, permitted institutional uses, and other uses authorized by the Board of Appeals as special exceptions or by the Planning and Zoning Commission by special permit. The ARC also reviews all signage and awnings in any business zone. In addition to review by the ARC, a building permit shall be required for the erection, relocation or alteration of a sign as listed in Sections 6-163 and 6-164 of the Building Zone Regulations. A completed application from the Sign and Awning Approval packet should be submitted to the Planning and Zoning Department at least two weeks prior to the a Architectural Review Committee meeting, listed on the meeting schedule.


    Q. What are the Coastal Area Management regulations?
    A.
    The Coastal Overlay Zone is established in accordance with the authorization of Sections 22a-90 to 22a-96 of the General Statutes as amended by Public Act 79-535, The Connecticut Coastal Management Act. If you wish to review the Town of Greenwich Regulations regarding development in the Coastal Overlay Zone please refer to Section 6-111 of the Building Zone Regulations.

    Currently the Coastal Overlay Map is not available on-line. Please visit the Land Use office at Town Hall to view these maps.


    Q. What is FAR and what is included?
    A.
    The Town of Greenwich Building Zone Regulations currently define Floor Area, Gross for residential zones in Section 6-5 (22.1). The floor area ratios and other height and bulk restrictions can be found on the chart in Section 6-205 (a).

    Floor Area Worksheets are required for site plan applications and subdivision applications when applicable for the purpose of demonstrating the "gross floor area." Scaled worksheets are to be prepared based upon floor plans, which represent existing or proposed conditions as applicable to the particular circumstances of the site plan or subdivision approval being sought. It is preferred that floor plans and worksheets be prepared by a professional architect; two sets are to be submitted.


    Q. What is the role of the Architectural Review Committee in reviewing plans for exterior alterations and the installation of signs and awnings?
    A.
    The Architectural Review Committee evaluates all design proposals in the following instances: Signs and Awnings The Architectural Review Committee (ARC) reviews all signage and awnings in residential zones that pertain to legally non-conforming uses, permitted institutional uses, and other uses authorized by the Board of Appeals as special exceptions or by the Planning and Zoning Commission by special permit. The ARC also reviews all signage and awnings in any business zone. To apply to the ARC for sign and awning approval, see the Sign and Awning Application Packet. Exterior Alterations The Architectural Review Committee (ARC) may review any exterior alterations, landscaping, and lighting changes for uses in any business zone, any legally non-conforming use in a residential zone, any use that requires site plan approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission, any use permitted by Special Permit authorized by the Planning and Zoning Commission or Special Exception authorized by the Board of Appeals, or any residential use involving the housing of three (3) or more families on one lot. Exterior alterations shall include, but are not limited to, replacement of doors or windows or signs involving a substantial change in design, material or color as well as removal or alterations of roof top mechanical structures and other integral parts of the structure. To apply to the ARC exterior alteration, see the Application for Exterior Alteration. For criteria used by Architectural Review Committee to evaluate all design proposals, click here.


    Q. What are the regulations regarding having animals on my property?
    A.
    Planning and Zoning Regulations pertaining to agricultural animals can be found in Section 6-94(a)(3) and Section 6-95(a)(7). The town health department provides further regulation of animals. Additional information pertaining to horse related activities can be found here.


    Q. Can I subdivide my property?
    A.
    The Town of Greenwich Subdivision Regulations currently define a subdivision as "Subdivision shall mean the division of a tract or parcel of land into two (2) or more parcels or lots for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of sale or building development expressly excluding development for agricultural purposes, and includes resubdivision." Subdivision applications require review at public meeting by the Planning & Zoning Commission. View Subdivision Regulations. View all Subdivision forms and informational documents. For additional guidance, the Planning and Zoning office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Professional staff assistance is available from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. each business day.


    Q. Where can I find additional guidance?
    A.
    For additional guidance the Planning and Zoning office is open from
    8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Professional staff assistance is available from 9:00am to noon, Mon., Tues., Thurs. and Fri. each business day.


    Q. Is it permissible to add an apartment in a single-family home, or a guest cottage on a property?
    A.
    Planning and Zoning Regulations pertaining to accessory apartments can be found in Section 6-99.

    The Accessory Apartment Application Information is available online.

    Planning and Zoning Regulations pertaining to accessory buildings, such as guest cottages, can be found in Section 6-5(a)(6), Section 6-95(a)(5), and Sections 6-144 thru 6-147.
    Additional information can be obtained through the Zoning Enforcement Officer and/or the Zoning Board of Appeals.


    Q. What regulations govern the installation of fences and walls
    A.
    Fences and walls are governed by Sec. 6-140.2 of the BZR

    Fences and Walls
    (a) Zoning approval shall be required for all walls, fences or combinations thereof that are solid
    or substantially obstruct light, air or ventilation and are over six feet six inches (6'6") in
    height. Height shall be determined by a measurement taken from the side having the lower
    existing grade. Existing grade shall mean the elevation of the ground adjacent to the
    proposed fence, or wall, or combination thereof prior to any regarding, fill, excavation or
    berming and concurrent with or subsequent to the erection of the fence or wall.
    (b) Fences or walls or a combination thereof when located in the required yard may not have
    additional materials attached which would together exceed six feet six inches (6'6") in
    height.
    (c) A fence post may exceed the maximum permitted fence height by up to six (6) inches.
    (d) Building permits shall be required for any type of fencing constructed as an appurtenance to
    a sports court larger than 1,000 sq. ft. or any other recreational facility.


     
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