Planning & Zoning

General Information

Planning exists to assist and encourage those who have made, are making, or want to make, a major private investment in Trenton. Planning and Zoning responsibilities include:

  • Acting as the secretary to the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals
  • Coordinating with developers, other city departments, community groups, and other organizations
  • Enforcement and Inspection of zoning code violations
  • Preparing zoning maps and issuing zoning verification letters
  • Providing information to the public about planning and zoning processes
  • Responding to complaints regarding zoning code violations
  • Reviewing and issuing approval for lot splits, consolidations, and subdivision replats
  • Reviewing permits for zoning compliance for building:
    • Accessory Structures
    • Additions
    • Certificates of Occupancy
    • Fencing
    • New Home Construction
    • Signage

What Planning & Zoning Is

  • Zoning is a term for a system of land use regulation. The word is derived from the practice of designating permitted uses of land based on mapped zones that separate one part of a community from another. Zoning regulations fall under the police power rights governments may exercise over real property. The primary purpose of zoning is to segregate incompatible uses; and in practice, zoning is used as a permitting system to keep new development from harming existing residents or businesses.
  • Zoning includes regulation of the kinds of activities which will be acceptable on particular lots (such as residential, commercial, industrial, open space or flood plain), the densities at which those activities can be performed, the height of buildings, the number of space structures may occupy, the location of a building on the lot (setbacks), and how much parking must be provided.
  • Planning is the act of taking those designated "land use zones" and designating how they will be integrated holistically across the City of Trenton.

Zoning Ordinance

Zoning Code and Subdivision Rules and Regulations books are available for view or purchase at the City Building. The Zoning Code may also be viewed online.

Zoning Certificates

Zoning Certificates (Zoning Permits) are required prior to construction (all zones) and/or establishment of a business. The Zoning Department processes applications for zoning certificates from:

  • Builders
  • Contractors
  • Developers
  • Homeowners
  • Local Businesses

The following activities require a zoning certificate:

  • Accessory structure, including:
    • Garage (attached or detached)
    • Pole barn
    • Shed or storage building
  • Building addition / Changes to the footprint of an existing building
  • Deck
  • Fence
  • Home Occupation
  • New business (in existing commercial structure)
  • New commercial construction
  • New residential construction
  • Pool (in-ground, above ground, and certain temporary)
  • Retaining wall (3 feet in height and over)
  • Sign (ground, wall, temporary)

Please contact the Planning and Zoning Department at 513-988-6307 if you are unsure if your project requires a permit or for any other zoning related questions and inquiries.

Zoning Map

The official City of Trenton Zoning Map is located in the Planning and Zoning Department or online. Give our interactive map a try. Zoom in and select the parcel to determine the zoning classification!