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Development regulations top 10 questions
Planning

When do I need a building permit?

You need a building permit any time you build something permanent on your property – that applies not only to houses and garages, but also to swimming pools, fences, and other permanent structures.

You also need a building permit for structural alterations – any change that might inadvertently make a structure less safe. That can include adding rooms or changing load-bearing walls or partitions.

How is my property zoned?

The zoning of every property in Oklahoma City is depicted on the "Official Zoning Districts Map." To obtain a written zoning verification of your property, contact the Zoning Office at (405) 297-2623.

How do I verify my address?

The job of assigning addresses to buildings and lots falls to the Planning Director.

We assign and verify addresses using a formula and scale based on intersecting streets. Assigned addresses are depicted on maps used for addressing purposes in the Planning Department.

In order to assign or verify an address, a legal description of the subject property is needed.

A legal description is the official location of the property. It's much more precise and detailed than a mailing address. If you own a home or other piece of land, there's a legal description on your deed.

In developed areas, the legal description is platted, which looks something like "Lots 14 & 16, Block 14, of Smith's Subdivision Number Two."

In undeveloped areas, the legal description may be a detailed outline of the property, starting at a given point and traveling all the way around its perimeter until it returns to the starting point. That method is called metes and bounds.

Also helpful when assigning addresses is information regarding surrounding property addresses. Based on surrounding addresses, better uniformity is achieved when assigning addresses.

How do I turn in a complaint?

All complaints are handled through the Action Center. The Action Center forwards a written request to the appropriate Department for their response.

How long does it take and how much does it cost to rezone my property?

The rezoning process takes approximately 10 weeks. (Planned Unit Development rezoning applications take approximately 12 weeks.) The fee for rezoning property is based on the proposed zoning district and the size of the property to be rezoned. The Schedule of Fees is adopted by the City Council.

What is a variance?

A variance is a variation from the strict application of the Zoning Ordinance that is granted by the Board of Adjustment to relieve a property owner when the strict application of the ordinance would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties or undue hardship.

What is the deadline to file a new case?

The Schedule of Regular Meetings is adopted annually by the Planning Commission and posted in the office of the City Clerk.

How do I subdivide my property?

The City of Oklahoma City allows for two ways to subdivide property: platting and lot split/deed approval.

Platting is another word for subdividing property into two or more parcels in addition to providing for public/private streets and other public improvements such as water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer to serve each parcel. Platting requires public hearing review and approval by the Planning Commission.

A person who wishes to subdivide property by platting must involve a civil engineer or professional land surveyor to aid in the subdivision of the property. Oklahoma City has adopted specific Subdivision Regulations to aid in the subdivision of property. Unless you're a professional developer, you'll probably never deal with this process.

The other form of subdividing property involves lot split/deed approval. This process involves subdividing existing parcels into three or less lots by distance and measurement. If you have a strip of land you want to sell to your next door neighbor, for example, this is how you'd do it.

The legal description for each new parcel is placed on a deed and reviewed administratively by the Planning Department staff. Certain criteria as provided in the Oklahoma City Subdivision Regulations must be met prior to this administrative process.