Zoning Violations

The purpose of Zoning is to encourage the most appropriate use of land, protect property values, provide adequate open space, further public safety and health, prevent undue concentration of population, lessen congestion on streets, and provide community facilities and infrastructure such as transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public requirements.

Enforcing Stamford’s Zoning Regulations  is an important factor in protecting residents’ quality of life, health, safety and property. Violation of Stamford’s Zoning Regulations is punishable by a fee of $100 per violation per day, pursuant to Stamford Code Chapter 248 and other legal remedies.

 

How can I report a Zoning Violation?

Please visit the FixIt Stamford Website, click Housing Concerns and select “Zoning Enforcement” from the drop-down menu or click here

Alternatively, you can call Citizen’s Services at (203) 977-4140, Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm.

 

How can I contact a Zoning Enforcement?

To report a Zoning Violation please use FixIt Stamford (see above) – this will allow you to track the progress and status of your complaint.

For all other questions related to Zoning Enforcement, there are three ways to contact us:

1. By email: [email protected]

2. By phone: (203) 977 4711, Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:00pm

3. In person:

City of Stamford

Zoning Enforcement

888 Washington Blvd, 7th fl.

Stamford, CT 06901

 

Please note: the Zoning Enforcement Office only accepts walk-ins Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:00 am and 12:00 noon. There is a limit of 20 walk-ins per day on a first-come, first-serve basis.

 

How can I find out if something is a Zoning Violation?

Please check out the Zoning Quick Facts for Single Family Districts. For additional questions please contact us by clicking here, email us at [email protected] or call us at (203) 977-4711.

 

Is there a statute of limitations or similar for Zoning Violations, i.e., if I had an illegal situation for several years, does my property at some point become legal for Zoning purposes?

No. The only exception is if you got a Permit or Certificate of Occupancy from the City in error.

 

What is “Grandfathering”?

Zoning Regulations and Districts change from time to time. If a building or structure was at one point legal, but does not conform to the new regulations, the non-conforming use can continue – it’s “grandfathered in”. For example, if a two-family house was legally permitted at some point, but the current zoning only allows single family homes, the house can legally continue to be used as two-family house.

 

How can I find out if my building or use is grandfathered in?

You should contact Zoning Enforcement (see above). With the help of tax cards, certificates of occupancy, permits, etc., Zoning Enforcement can determine if a use or building was legal at one point. If you have copies of these documents you can speed up the verification process.

 

How does Zoning Enforcement work?

Once we receive a complaint about a potential zoning violation, an inspector visits the site. If a violation is confirmed the offender will receive a Notice of Violation asking them to correct the violation within 7 days. If the violation is not corrected within 7 days, the offender will receive a Citation for $100 per violation per day. For example, if someone parks two commercial vehicles on a residential property for three days, the fine would be $600. If an offender refuses to pay after a certain period of time, the City will sue the offender.

 

How long does Zoning Enforcement take?

The length of the Zoning Enforcement process depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • How quickly can an inspector gain access?
  • Does the offender fix the problem quickly?
  • Does the offender appeal and Enforcement action?
  • Timelines and deadlines set by the Code or Statute

The fee for a zoning violation keeps accruing as long as the violation has not been fixed and inspected by Zoning Enforcement.

 

I received a Notice of Zoning Violation or a Citation. What can I do?

If you have any questions regarding a zoning violation, on how to remedy the zoning violation, or for scheduling a follow up inspection to verify that the violation has been corrected please contact Zoning Enforcement (see above).

If you believe a Zoning Violation takes more than seven days to correct you should, within seven days of the date of the Notice of Violation, request a Resolution Conference by contacting Zoning Enforcement.

 

What is a Resolution Conference?

Some Zoning Violations require more than seven days to correct, if, for example, buildings or structures need to be demolished or moved, or permits are required to correct a violation. In this case, you should as soon as possible, within seven days of the date of the Notice of Violation, request a Resolution Conference from Zoning Enforcement. At a resolution conference, you meet with a Zoning Enforcement Officer and discuss a plan how to remedy the violation and establish a deadline by when the violation has to be corrected. You can only request a Resolution conference within seven days of the date of the Notice of Violation. Please note that even if you have requested a Resolution Conference, you will still receive a violation, and fines keep accruing at a rate of $100 per violation per day. Only if you correct the violation within the timeframe agreed upon at the Resolution Conference the Zoning Enforcement may waive some or all of the fines.

 

I have fixed the violation, is there anything else I need to do?

Yes. Once a Zoning Violation is fixed, schedule a follow-up inspection with Zoning Enforcement as soon as possible. Fines will only stop accruing if a Zoning Enforcement Officer has determined that a violation is fully remedied

 

Can I appeal a Zoning Citation?

Yes. You may appeal a Citation within 10 days of receipt of the date of the Citation by mail only. Complete the appeals section on the Citations form, sign, date and send to:

Stamford Government Center

ATTN: Zoning Enforcement Officer

888 Washington Boulevard, 7th floor

Stamford, CT 06901

 

Retain a copy of the Citations Form for your records.

Once your request for appeal is submitted, a hearing with the Citation Hearings Officer will be scheduled between 15 to 30 days after receipt of this appeal. Hearings are held at the Stamford Government Center, 888 Washington Boulevard.

 

How do I pay the fine for a Zoning Violation?

You may pay the fee for a Zoning Violation in person by visiting Cashiering and Permitting, Stamford Government Center, 1st floor, 888 Washington Boulevard, Stamford, CT 06901 between the hours of 8:15 am and 4:15 pm, Monday – Friday.

You can pay by cash or check.