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Determine Which Zoning Department to Contact for Your Zoning Matters

The DC Office of Zoning (DCOZ) and the Office of the Zoning Administrator (ZA) at the Department of Buildings (DOB) are separate agencies with different roles in the land use, permitting, and zoning processes in the District of Columbia. In an effort to route you to the correct zoning office, we have provided information below to clarify the functions and services of the DCOZ and the ZA.


DCOZ provides administrative, professional, and technical assistance to the Zoning Commission (ZC) and the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) in support of their oversight and adjudication of zoning matters in the District of Columbia. The ZC typically reviews amendments to the Zoning Regulations and the Zoning Map boundaries, while the BZA typically reviews applications for relief from the strict application of the Zoning Regulations on specific properties.

DCOZ administers the zoning application processes for the ZC and BZA. The agency reviews and accepts applications, schedules hearings to determine whether cases meet specified zoning criteria, schedules meetings to make determinations with respect to pending applications, and issues legal orders.

For more information, on these zoning matters, please call or write:

DC Office of Zoning
441 4th Street, NW, Suite 200S, Washington, DC 20001
(202) 727-6311
[email protected]



The mission of the Department of Buildings (DOB) is to protect the safety of residents, businesses, and visitors and advance the development of the built environment through permitting, inspections, and code enforcement.

Any person or organization seeking to undertake new construction in the District of Columbia or to make repairs, alterations, or additions to existing buildings should consult with DOB to determine whether the proposed project conforms to the applicable zoning requirements. DOB's Office of the Zoning Administrator (ZA) reviews applications for conformity with DC Zoning Regulations (Title 11 DCMR); including building permit applications, Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) applications for allowable uses, occupancy load, verification of address, lot and square, and to determine whether inspections and building plans are required for C of O approval, subdivision applications to ensure that they meet lot size, lot width and other requirements, and Home Occupation Permit (HOP) applications for allowable uses, employee and customer visit limits, and verification of the type of dwelling to be used. 

For any questions concerning matter-of-right construction, illegal construction, permits, certificates of occupancy or code enforcement, please call or write:

Office of the Zoning Administrator
Department of Buildings
1100 4th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024
(202) 671-3500 (Option 6 for the ZA)
[email protected]