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The Zoning Enforcement Officer has office hours by appointment only from 9 am to 9:45 am and 1 pm to 1:45 pm on most days. Town Hall is closed on Fridays and holidays. Please call the office at 203-656-7351 to set up an appointment. You may also call other members of the staff at the same number to make an appointment.
Real estate signs are specifically regulated pursuant to Section 934.3a of the Darien Zoning Regulations. Those regulations went into effect in September 2018. The regulations allow one sign per lot; a maximum of four (4) square feet in size; and that all parts of the sign be on the subject property. We recommend that they be at least eight feet from the paved edge of the road surface. For any questions, please call the Planning and Zoning Office at 203-656-7351.
They may be purchased in the Planning and Zoning Department for $20. You may also view Zoning Regulations.
With the exception of areas within wetlands or within 50 feet of wetlands or within 100 feet of a named River or Brook, no permits are necessary. However, there are some requirements which need to be met.
First, the fence can only be a maximum of 4 (four) feet high in front yards and 6 (six) feet high in side and rear yards (see Section 362 of the Zoning Regulations). It does not matter which way the "good side" faces, but it is recommended that it be faced "good side out". There are no setbacks for fences, however, we recommend that you put the fence about six inches or a foot inside your property line. If you are on a corner lot, Section 363 of the Zoning Regulations would apply. If you are within 50 feet of wetlands, an Environmental Protection Commission application will be necessary.
Section 406 of the Zoning Regulations deals with setbacks. Once you determine what zone your property is in, the chart below will note the applicable setbacks.
The requirements listed for each zone as designated shall be deemed to be the minimum or maximum requirements in every instance of their application. Dimensions are in feet unless otherwise indicated.
If you have submitted a formal application to the Planning and Zoning Commission or the Zoning Board of Appeals, all notices shall be mailed by certified mail between 10 and 20 days prior to the public hearing. All owners of properties within 100 feet shall be notified. More specifically, Section 1040 (1041-1043) of the Darien Zoning Regulations addresses notification for the Planning and Zoning Commission, and Section 1127 addresses notification for the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Besides the basics that it must meet the setbacks for the zone (Section 406 of the Zoning Regulations, noted above), and coverage requirements, and needs Environmental Protection Commission approval if it is within 50 feet of a wetland or watercourse and/or Planning and Zoning Commission approval if it is within 100 feet of Mean High Water, Section 364 of the Zoning Regulations apply.
Overall, several permits are required (Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs and Spas Handout (PDF)):
Health Department approval of the backwash and/or filter system and the location of the pool in relation to the septic system and/or well. Contact the Health Department at 203-656-7320 for more information.
Zoning Permit application and accurate map must be submitted to demonstrate compliance with the setback, yard, and lot coverage requirements. If the pool location is near a brook, river, swamp, wetlands or coastal area, additional permits may be required.
Building Permit application with construction plans and details must be submitted to demonstrate compliance with the Connecticut Building Code (structural aspects of the pool, plumbing, electrical hook-up, etc.) Contact the Building Department at 203-656-7347.
Effective April 2, 2023, the fee for a Zoning Permit has been increased and depends on the total amount of work proposed. This is payable at the time your building permit/zoning permit application is submitted. This payment can be in the form of a check made out to the "Town of Darien" or via credit card or echeck online.
Although we try to process all of the permits in a timely manner, State law does allow us up to 30 days to do so. When submitting your Zoning Permit application, feel free to ask what the current review time is, as it varies based on the number of applications being submitted at a given time.
At the November 1, 2011 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, they had a discussion regarding at what point an ice rink in someone’s yard requires a Special Permit approval from the Commission. The discussion:
The Commission members discussed the issue of whether temporary seasonal ice rinks would require Special Permit approval, like a tennis court, or whether they would not be regulated. The consensus was that if an ice rink was as simple as no lights, no chilling machine, no boards above six inches high, and the ice rink was in the back yard, then it would not require Planning and Zoning Commission approval. If the temporary ice rink is more elaborate than those limitations, then it would require Special Permit approval from the Commission.
The Darien Flood Maps can be found on the Flood Maps page. Another way to look at those maps as they generally relate to specific parcel boundaries can be found at Darien MapGeo.
Take a look at the link to a Handout entitled, "Solar Panels Information Form and Checklist (PDF)". This gives guidance for both solar panels on a house as well as ground-mounted solar installations.