City of Burlington, Vermont City of Burlington, Vermont

Department of Planning & Zoning
City Hall,  Burlington, Vermont 05401
Phone: 802-865-7188 Fax: 802-865-7195


When is a Zoning Permit Not Needed?

So someone said your project doesn't need a zoning permit. Are you sure of that? Do you have any written confirmation?

Never assume that you don't need a zoning permit. Ask us instead!

The Department of Planning and Zoning will provide you with a free (yes FREE!) written determination that a zoning permit is not required for your specific project. The only things we need are a photograph of the area where the project will happen as it exists today and the completed 'Non-Applicability' form with the description of exactly what you plan to do.

 Examples of things that might not need a zoning permit are:

  • Normal repairs and maintenance that does not involve any change of materials, dimensions or design features;
  • Repairs required to comply with a Written Order of the Building Inspector;
  • Painting;
  • Replacement of a building feature that does not involve any change of materials, dimensions or design features;
  • Tree removal on lots smaller than 3/4 acre with a single family home;
  • Temporary signs, structures or uses (30 days or less);
  • Design changes to the face or roof of a building that is not a historic building or within the Design Review District;
  • Plus many other things. See When Do I Need to Apply for a Zoning Permit?

This confirmation (dubbed a 'Non-Applicability', confirming a zoning permit is not applicable) will make it easier for you to apply for a Construction Permit, makes it clear to your neighbors and the Code Enforcement Office that the work you are doing has been approved by the City, and will appease insurance companies and future purchasers.

It only takes about 5-10 minutes, and they can be obtained at the Dept. of Planning and Zoning Office anytime between the hours of 8am and 4pm.  Once a non-applicability has been obtained, we will give you a 'Green Z Card' to post at the property and you can go to DPW - Inspection Services to see about getting your Construction Permit.