Whether you live or work in Columbia (or are hoping to), these Zoning and Land Use pages can help you build or add on to your home or building, find a location for your business, or plan a new development.
All Building Permits require a Zoning Permit, which is applied for at the same time (and on the same form) as the Building permit. If you are looking for information specific to building permits and the permit review process as a whole, please visit our Development Review, Permits & Inspections pages.
The City of Columbia, as many other communities, has implemented zoning regulations in order to preserve, protect, and strengthen existing residences, businesses, and properties and to provide a reasonable expectation of how areas will develop and change over time. Zoning determines the size and use of buildings, where they are located and the densities of the city's diverse neighborhoods. In short, zoning is the tool for carrying out planning policy.
The Zoning Division enforces the City of Columbia's Zoning Ordinance by reviewing permit applications and responding to complaints regarding violations. The division also maintains and updates the city's official zoning maps.
The Land Development Division of Planning and Development Services reviews group/commercial developments, group residential developments, mixed-use planned unit developments, residential/commercial subdivisions for compliance with the City of Columbia Land Development Regulations. The Land Development Division also coordinates the review of major and minor subdivisions and street naming.
The Planning and Development Services Department provides staff to several of the City of Columbia's Boards and Commissions. You may encounter one of these Boards and Commissions if you have a large scale project, are within a design district, or are seeking relief from the Zoning, Property Maintenance, or Building codes. Please visit our Boards and Commissions page for more information on the following bodies:
Zoning Public Hearings (ZPH) (held by City Council)