What is zoning?

The City of Atlanta is divided into zones or districts that regulate the physical development of the land and limit the uses to which a property may be put. These zoning districts also regulate the height, overall size, and placement of buildings on a lot, the density at which buildings may be constructed, and the number of parking spaces that must accompany each new building.

Department of City Planning

The Department of City Planning is the organization that is focused on urban design, plan review and permitting, code compliance, community and economic development, and housing policies. The City of Atlanta, through the Department of City Planning (DCP), is responsible for administering the zoning and building codes within the City of Atlanta. These services are offered through three offices: Design, Zoning & Development, and Buildings.

  • The Office of Zoning & Development regulates and approves compliance within zoning districts for items related to land use. This includes the physical development of the land, and limits the uses to which a property may be utilized. These established zoning districts are regulated by ordinances pertaining land use, such as, height, size, and placement of buildings on a lot, the density at which buildings may be constructed, and the number of parking spaces that must accompany each new building.
  • The Office of Design provides guidance rooted in the values of Atlanta City Design and is responsible for regulations and compliance within the city’s historic and landmark districts.
  • The Office of Buildings authorizes activities on the land like construction, tree removal, sign placement, and technical work through the issuance of building permits. This office also conduct inspections and code enforcement.

*Some projects may interact with one or more offices depending on the specific site and scope of work.

The Department of City Planning website outlines additional information regarding the Department.

How do I find out what a property is zoned?

Interested parties can request official documentation of the zoning on a subject parcel through the following processes. If it is determined by the Office of Zoning & Development the current property is non-conforming, applicants will be directed to the non-conforming zoning verification process listed below. A Zoning Verification Letter is official documentation of a property’s current zoning classification issued by the City of Atlanta’s Department of City Planning – Office of Zoning & Development. The letter content will vary depending on the availability of zoning records for the specific property and represents the status of the subject property as of the date the letter is issued. Any subsequent changes to the property, or changes that occurred with no record contained in the city’s file, are not reflected.

  • Make all requests for a zoning verification letters online through the Accela Citizen Access portal, including non-conforming verification letters.
    • Submit requests via Access Citizens Access portal.  Applications can be found under Create – > Create Planning Application -> Select Digital Submission -> Online Planning Application radio button in Accela Citizens Access.  A PLN-ONLINE application number will be generated when submittal is complete.
  • Email: zoningverification@atlantaga.gov


Land Use and Zoning
Land use and zoning decisions are ultimately determined by the recommendations from the Department of City Planning to the City Council of Atlanta. Applicants will need to make all requests for Zoning Verification Letters online through the Accela Citizen Access portal, including non-conforming verification letters first. Prior to applying for an re-zoning or SAP application, applicants are to research the property(s) to see if it is are located in any special, historical, or overlay districts, and check all city and community plans. Many of these plans can be found under the PLANNING. All projects will follow this general process, but depending on the project type and whether it exists in any special districts, applicants may need to take extra steps to get the permit approved. To review the City of Atlanta, Department of City Planning Permitting process, https://www.atlantaga.gov/home/showdocument?id=52008&t=637630866614856405. All completed applications MUST be mailed to the NPU-Y board.

The local community, through CPNA (Chosewood Park Neighborhood Association), plays an important role in the process, as does the NPU-Y, and the NPU-Y Zoning Committee. CPNA Policy recommends all applicants meet with the CPNA Executive Board for review, prior to submitting their application. Depending on the application, when an application is submitted, the person(s) making the request will contact the CPNA Executive Board to request their application be placed on the CPNA Monthly Meeting Agenda 4 days prior to the upcoming CPNA Monthly Members Meeting. When appearing at the CPNA Monthly Members Meeting, the applicant will present a formal presentation regarding the proposal, which must include the full application, requesting the CPNA’s vote of recommendation. Applicants are encouraged to receive feedback from the community prior to requesting the CPNA’s vote of recommendation, allowing the community to submit feedback to the applicants proposal. That CPNA recommendation will then be forwarded to NPU-Y, and NPU-Y Zoning Committee for consideration.

  • NPU-Y Zoning Committee: NPU-Y has a Zoning Committee, which reviews all zoning requests.
    • The NPU-Y Zoning Committee meetings are scheduled each month, which can be found on the NPU-Y website.

The person(s) making the request will make a similar request and presentation to the NPU-Y, at the following scheduled NPU-Y Monthly Meeting. NPU-Y members will take a formal vote on the application, and forward that recommendation to the Office of City Planning. The NPU is the source of the “official” recommendation of the community as a whole. Some applications will go before a Public Hearing scheduled by the Office of City Planning.

The Office of City Planning will take the community recommendation from the NPU into consideration when making their final decision and recommendation to City Council. *Additional fees or meetings with staff may apply.

If you need assistance with permitting, please contact the Zoning, Development, and Permitting Staff.



Building codes are designed to ensure safe building techniques. These important standards help protect families from safety risks and ensure the public safety, health and general welfare. The City of Atlanta issues building permits to uphold standards of structural strength and stability, means of egress, adequate light and ventilation, safety to life and property from fire and other hazards incidental to the design, construction, alteration, repair, removal or demolition of buildings or structures.

The MuniCode contains the ordinances and regulations for all elements of the Atlanta City government.


The ordinances pertaining to Zoning are contained in the MuniCode: Part III – Code of Ordinances—Land Development Code / Part 16 – Zoning.

There are six sections of the Municipal Code which apply directly to homeowners and developers of land in the City of Atlanta:

*This document is created by CPNA Members, and is not a complete list from the City of Atlanta. For public records pertaining all zoning use the Access Citizens Access portal.

Chosewood Park