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Zoning FAQs
Zoning FAQ's 

How can I find out how my property is zoned, what uses may be established on the property and what the applicable setback requirements are for my property? 
  • You can call the Zoning Enforcement Officer at (860)584-6214.

I want to build an addition to my house and also add a deck. How close to the lot line can these structures be built? 
  • Depending on the zone of the property and the location of the proposed addition.

What are the restrictions on the placement of sheds in residential yards? 
  • For Sheds up to 200 square feet, 5' from the side and rear yard property lines. Sheds may not be placed in the front yard of a property.

What about sheds and garages over 200 square feet in area? 
  • Accessory structures over 200 square feet will need to be located on the property with a survey if the proposal is to maintain a 5' distance to the side and rear yards, call for additional information.

What is the maximum height of detached sheds, garages and other types of accessory structures? 
  • 14' measured to the mid point of the roof between the eaves and the ridge.

Are there any regulations regarding the location and height of fences and retaining walls? 
  • Yes, for residential properties the maximum height of a fence in the rear yard is 6'. Call the Zoning Office at 584-6214 for additional information.

Can I operate a business from my home? 
  • Yes, there are certain types of businesses and restrictions, we can fax or mail the requirements. There is a Zoning Permit required also available during permit hours in the Building Department.

What are the restrictions on the keeping of animals? 
  • The keeping of domesticated animals as pets, provided that a total of no more than four such animals over six months in age be kept.

What is considered a "domesticated pet"? 
  • Any dog, cat or animal that can be reasonably kept in the home. Horses, sheep, cattle, Llamas or any "hoofed" livestock type of animal is not considered a "pet".

Can horses be kept on residential property? 
  • Yes, provided the property is at least 5 acres in size for the first horse and 1/3 acre for each additional horse up to a maximum of five. Call for additional requirements.

Are there any restrictions on the parking of vehicles on residential property? 
  • Yes, vehicles are prohibited from parking on the front lawn in one family residential zoning districts. Only one unregistered motor vehicle may be kept in the rear portion of a lot. Recreational vehicles are limited to two, including boats, but can not be longer than 28' in length and must also be kept in the rear of the property.

Are there any limitations on how many dwelling units can be built on a lot? 
  • Yes, the City planner's Office may also provide this information at (860) 584-6225.

Is the displaying of signs regulated by the City of Bristol? 
  • All commercial signs require a permit, portable A-frame, banners and temporary sale signs have specific limitations. Call for detailed information.

I want to report a possible violation of zoning regulations. How do I go about doing that? 
  • Call (860) 584-6214 and report the potential violation giving the street address of the property.

Is it possible to obtain a copy of a plot plan survey of my property from the City? 
  • Yes, either call the provided phone numbers and ask for a faxed copy, or visit the Building Department Office during office hours.

The City does not enforce any of the covenants or deed restrictions that may be applicable to a subdivision. How can I find out how my property is zoned, what uses may be established on the property and what the applicable setback requirements are for my property? 
  • The uses that are allowed on a particular lot are governed by the regulations for the zoning district in which the lot is located and other general regulations. The minimum yard requirements, more commonly referred to as "setback requirements", along with other location regulations, restrict the location of structures on a lot. The setback requirements vary by zoning district. In order to find out the zoning of your property and how the use of the property is regulated, contact the Building Department at (860)584-6215 or the Zoning Enforcement Officer at: (860)584-6214.

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