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Answers to common questons about zoning in Maricopa County

It can be quite confusing to deal with Maricopa County zoning laws simply because the laws and regulations can apply to many different types of property. Here are some common questions about zoning regulations and requirements in the county.

— When can I operate a business from my home?

The Zoning Ordinance defines two types of home occupation. The first is a residential home occupation. Chapters five and six of the Zoning Ordinance list the conditions for this type of home occupation. Parties or garage and yard sales are not considered to be a home occupation as long there are no more than six a year. The second is a cottage industry. This type of home occupation requires a Special Use Permit. Details can be found in the Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 13.

— What is a Plan of Development?

A Plan of Development describes how a land parcel will be improved. It includes structure outlines and improvements to the site, including utility connections, property lines, driveways and more. In most cases, there are no entitlements, which means that additional approvals for things such as variances or zoning need to be obtained. It is valid for two years, and there is another possible year extension.

— Do I need a permit for fence? A permit is needed for any fencing that is over one foot high. Building and zoning clearances are required for fencing that is on a vacant property, over eight feet tall, a pool barrier, a retaining wall or is located on a property on a hillside. Any other type of fencing is D-fencing and must have a drainage clearance. More information can be found on Maricopa County’s Residential Construction page.

These are just a small sampling of the many possible questions you may have when dealing with a zoning issue. An Arizona attorney experienced in real estate law can be very helpful in determining how to proceed.

Source:, “Frequently Asked Questions,” accessed June 14, 2016


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