Dallas County offices will be closed November 23rd and 24th in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Zoning and Other Related Regulations

ZONING 

In Texas, only cities--and not counties--have the authority to adopt zoning ordinances. If you are interested in finding out what type of zoning is in place for a particular address in a city, please call that city.

Similarly, if you have questions about what can be built in a city or whether a building permit is needed for an upcoming project that will be located in a city, please call that city.

While Dallas County does not have the authority to enact zoning, it does have the authority to adopt various regulations for its unincorporated area (i.e., land that is not located within a city) which represents less than ten percent of the total land in Dallas County and which is primarily located in the County's southeastern corner.

The unincorporated area regulations that the County enforces govern:

  • all development within the floodplain;
  • the subdivision of property;
  • the installation of septic tanks;
  • the condition of unincorporated area neighborhoods ;
  • the construction and inspection of residential structures;
  • certain outdoor businesses like junkyards, recycling businesses, and those that store or display merchandise outdoors;
  • the location of communication facility structures such as cell towers; and
  • the construction of commercial buildings.

DEVELOPMENT/FLOODPLAIN PERMITS

Most of the County's unincorporated area is considered to be in the floodplain. As a result, no development is allowed within the unincorporated area without a permit which either verifies that the development is not located within the floodplain or that it will be sufficiently elevated or protected from flooding. If you are interested in building on any of the land that is not located within a city, please call the County's Director of Unincorporated Area Services at (214) 653-6565 to see how such a development permit can be obtained. Information pertaining to this permitting process is available at the bottom of this page.

SUBDIVISION REGULATIONS

If you are interested in subdividing or platting property outside of a city or constructing a subdivision within the County's unincorporated area, please call the County's Director of Unincorporated Area Services at (214) 653-6565 and review the County's subdivision regulations that are available at the bottom of this page.

SEPTIC TANK REGULATIONS

If you are interested in using a septic tank on land that is not located in a city, please call the County's Health and Human Services Department at (214) 819-2115 and review the septic tank information that is available at the bottom of this page.

NEIGHBORHOOD NUISANCE REGULATIONS

The County's nuisance code prohibits the following within an unincorporated area neighborhood: the improper accumulation or visibile outside storage of such items as rubbish, garbage, vehicles, tires, and household appliances; the presence of high weeds; and the presence of unsafe structures. For additional information about the County's nuisance code, please either call the County's Director of Unincorporated Area Services at (214) 653-6565 or review the related information at the bottom of this page.

RESIDENTIAL BUILDING CODE

If you are interested in building in the unincorporated area that is outside of a city's extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) and you will either be building a new residential housing unit or constructing an addition of at least 500 square feet to an existing residential structure, please either call the County's Director of Unincorporated Area Services at (214) 653-6565 or review the ETJ map, the County's residential building code, and the residential construction/inspection notices that are available at the bottom of this page.

OUTDOOR BUSINESS REGULATIONS

If you either presently operate an outdoor business or anticipate operating such a business in the County's unincorporated area, please call the County's Director of Unincorporated Area Services at (214) 653-6565 and review the County's outdoor business regulations that are available at the bottom of this page.

COMMUNICATION FACILITY STRUCTURES

If you are interested in constructing a communication facility structure in the unincorporated area, please call the County's Director of Unincorporated Area Services at (214) 653-6565 and review the County's communication facility structure regulations that are available at the bottom of this page.

COMMERCIAL FIRE CODE

If you would like to build a commercial structure in the area outside of a city, please call the County Fire Marshal at (214) 653-7971 and review the County's commercial fire code that is available below.

Available Downloads/County Unincorporated Area Regulations and Forms
Development Permit ApplicationResidential Construction Notice
Subdivision RegulationsResidential Inspection Notice
Septic Tank InformationOutdoor Business Regulations
ETJ MapCommunication Facility Structure Regulations
Residential Building CodeCommercial Fire Code