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Zoning Information and Verification

The City maintains zoning maps showing residential, commercial and industrial zoning districts. The Zoning Ordinance determines which land uses are permitted in each zone. The Zoning maps are kept in the Zoning offices at City Hall and may be purchased or viewed.

Zoning Enforcement

The Zoning Department regularly inspects and patrols the city to investigate suspected Zoning violations.

Zoning violations usually involve the operation of a use in an area that is not properly zoned for that activity. Suspected zoning violations may be reported to the Zoning Department.

For further information pertaining to zoning enforcement, contact a Zoning Inspector.

The Zoning Ordinance

The premise of zoning is that certain land uses may exist harmoniously in proximity to one another while others would be obnoxious if situated too close. It is also generally accepted that many uses have location requirements that make some areas better for certain types of uses than others. The City has developed a number of zoning classifications, which are defined in the adopted Zoning ordinance. Each classification or district identifies the permitted uses and conditional uses allowed therein.

The Zoning ordinance book contains information for citywide zoning rules by classification and regulations, overlay districts, setback, area, parking, sign, landscaping, tree protection and screening regulations. A copy of the Official City of North Charleston Zoning Ordinance book may be purchased ($10.00) or you can view a copy at the Department of Zoning offices, in the One Stop Shop on the 3rd floor of City Hall at 2500 City Hall Lane.  To order a requested copy of this ordinance please call: 740-2571.

Online Zoning Ordinance

Click Here to View: www.municode.com

Click Here for a List of Recently Adopted Ordinances Changes

 Zoning Classifications

  • AG, Agricultural District
  • R-1, Single-Family Residential District
  • R-1A, Low to Medium Density Residential District
  • R-2, Multi-Family Residential District
  • R-3, Mobile Home Residential District
  • ON, Neighborhood Office
  • B-1, Limited Business District
  • B-2, General Business District
  • CRD, Commercial Redevelopment District
  • M-1, Light Industrial District
  • M-2, Heavy Industrial District
  • PD, Planned Development District

Overlay Districts

  • AR-I, Ashley River Scenic District I
  • AR-II, Ashley River Scenic District II
  • AR-III, Ashley River Scenic District III
  • DRC-I, Dorchester Road Corridor I
  • DRC-II, Dorchester Road Corridor II
  • OVB, Old Village Business Overlay District
  • LR, Ladson Road Overlay District
  • UB, University Boulevard Overlay District
  • WA, West Ashley Overlay District


No building, land, structure, or premises shall be erected or used except in the conformity with the regulations for the use districts in which they are located; provided, however, that the city council may, in its discretion, locate its public facilities in any of the classifications established.

Zoning Appeals

Any person who is impacted by a decision of the Zoning Administrator or other Zoning Official may file an appeal with the ZBA if they believe that the decision was based upon a misreading or misinterpretation of the ordinance.

The appellant must identify the particular situation, the regulation involved, the decision of the official, and their argument for an alternate interpretation of the ordinance for the provision involved.

The ZBA meets on the first Monday of each month at 5:00 pm in the Buist Conference Room on the 3rd Floor in North Charleston City Hall, 2500 City Hall Lane.

Appeals may be submitted three weeks prior to the ZBA meeting in letter form to the Zoning Department by visiting the office, mailing, faxing to (843) 308-4727 or emailing at email Octavia Jefferson.

The Zoning Board of Appeals

The Zoning Regulations provide a framework for the development or improvement of land and are based on an ideal or average set of circumstances. Sometimes conditions on a particular parcel of land may be so unusual that the application of the normal zoning regulations may produce a burden on the property owner. The property owner has a right to request that the regulations be waived or varied by some degree if they qualify for a variance. Variances may not be granted that would have the effect of allowing a use not ordinarily permitted under the ordinance.

The ZBA meets to review variance requests on the 1st Monday of each month at 5:00 pm in the Buist Conference Room on the 3rd Floor in North Charleston City Hall, 2500 City Hall Lane.

ZBA Applications must be submitted at least three weeks in advance of the meeting. Applications for variances are made to the Zoning Board of Appeals and require completion of an application form and payment of a $75.00 advertisement fee.

The ZBA Application form may be obtained here or a copy from the Zoning Department by visiting the office, by mail or by fax (843) 308-4727. For further information about Zoning Board of Appeals, email Octavia Jefferson.


Zoning Board of Appeals Application


Zoning is located in the One Stop Shop on the 3rd floor of City Hall at 2500 City Hall Lane

Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (customer lobby closes at 4:30 pm)