The Zoning department administers the Zoning Ordinance for the City of Erie [Ordinance Number 80-2005] as authorized under the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC). The zoning ordinance divides all land within the City of Erie into districts and creates regulations that apply generally to the municipality as a whole as well as specifically with individual zoning districts. The zoning ordinance serves a dual purpose: to coordinate and guide development and to provide certain standards for development.

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Zoning Approvals & Permitting:

The Zoning department is the first stop for obtaining most construction permits in the City of Erie. The permit approval process varies based on project type, scope of work, and location. Once zoning approval is granted, the project is reviewed by our Building Code officials prior to issuing a permit.

Examples of projects that require zoning review and approval include:

    • New building construction
    • Interior/exterior renovations to buildings
    • Decks and porches
    • Parking lots
    • Use changes to any part of a building
    • Additions/expansions to existing buildings
    • Garages, carports and sheds
    • Swimming pools
    • Sign installation or replacement
    • Subdivisions and land development


City of Erie Zoning Ordinance March 2021 Edition
City of Erie Zoning Map (2021 update)
City of Erie Zoning Map (Online)
Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance


The Zoning department investigates possible violations of the zoning regulations set forth in the ordinance. If you believe you have witnessed a violation please contact the Zoning Office at (814) 870-1265 or (814) 870-1273

Related Information:

Zoning Hearing Board
Waterfront Conditional Use Process

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

  • The zoning office is open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekdays. We recommend that if someone is coming in to file an application that they come in no later than 3:00 p.m. The front counter and cashier for Code Enforcement closes at 4:00.
  • All building permits require zoning approval, including those for interior renovations. However, only some will require a plot plan (change of use, new parking, additions, etc.). Contact the Zoning Officer to find out more.
  • Yes. All of our files are public information. Once an application has been filed, it’s public record.
  • Contact Building Inspection at 870-1471.
  • Not necessarily. The district allows a two-family dwelling but certain code requirements must be met, including side yard setbacks, lot area, and parking requirements. You should speak to one of the zoning specialists
  • You will need to speak to the Zoning Officer. Make sure your intention is to change the zoning of a property rather than simply wanting to change the use of the property. For complete sequence of the procedure, please contact the Zoning Officer at (814) 870-1265.
  • Zoning certificates shall be obtained at the request of the property owner, at the time of a change of a nonconforming use to another nonconforming use, at the time of a creation of a nonconforming use, or when changing a nonconforming use to a conforming use.
  • There isn’t anything that can be done by the City. You should contact a private surveyor, and afterwards a District Justice or an Attorney.
  • Fence Details are shown at this link. Maximum height is 6’6” in a Residential District and 8’6” in a Non-Residential District. Any enclosure may be placed up to, but Not Exceed the property line. You may also refer to the Zoning Ordinance, Article 2 section 204.19.
  • We refer to this as a home occupation. A home occupation is defined as ‘ A commercial or commercial activity administered or conducted as an accessory use which is clearly secondary to the use as a residential dwelling and which involves no customer, client or patient traffic, whether vehicular or pedestrian, pickup, deliver or removal functions to or from the premises, in excess of those normally associated with residential use.

    The commercial or commercial activity must satisfy the following requirements:

    (a) the commercial activity shall be compatible with the residential use of the property and surrounding residential uses
    (b) the commercial shall have no employees
    (c) there shall be no display or sale of retail goods and no stockpiling or inventory of a substantial nature
    (d) there shall be no outside appearance of a commercial use, including, but not limited to, parking, signs, or lights
    (e) The commercial activity may not use any equipment or process which creates noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors, or electrical or electronic interference,
    (f) The commercial activity shall be conducted only within the dwelling and may not occupy more than 25% of the habitable floor area
    (g) The business may not involve any illegal activity.

    Who do I contact about a subdivision of a property?
    You will need to speak to the Zoning Office at (814) 870-1265.

  • You, as the property owner, must prepare a “composite deed” which contains a revised metes and bounds description of the consolidated parcel. The deed must be recorded at the Erie County Recorder of Deeds office. For more information, you can visit the County website at https://eriecountypa.gov/departments/clerk-of-records/recorder-of-deeds-land-records/ or call the Recorder of Deeds office at (814) 451-6246
  • The Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Maps are available in print at the Department of Code Enforcement, (Erie City Hall, 626 State Street Room 407 in Downtown Erie) for $15 each. There are also downloadable links available on this website.

    Zoning Ordinance
    Zoning Map

    Please contact the Zoning Office at (814) 870-1265 with any questions concerning the zoning code. Also, be sure to visit the Zoning Office Fee Schedule.

  • Prior to the issuance of a new zoning certificate, the following must be completed
    Reduction in the Number of Units (per unit to be removed)
    1. Removal of all kitchen appliances
    2. Removal of the kitchen sink. Water supply and waste lines must be capped by a licensed plumber
    3. All utility meters must equal the number of dwelling units being requested
    4. Smoke Alarms must be installed and maintained at all of the following locations:
      1. On the ceiling or wall outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms
      2. In each room used for sleeping purposes
      3. In each story of the dwelling unit, including basements and cellars but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics
    5. All floors must be fully integrated on the interior of the structure

    Conversion of a Rooming House to a single or multiple family dwelling

    1. Each unit proposed must have it’s own bathroom, kitchen and a minimum of 120 square foot living area
    2. Only passage locks will be allowed on bedroom doors
    3. Each dwelling unit must have separate utilities
    4. A house meter for common areas must be installed.
    5. With the exception of an entrance vestibule, no common entrances or areas shall be shared between dwelling units.
    6. Smoke Alarms must be installed and maintained at all of the following locations:
      1. On the ceiling or wall outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms
      2. In each room used for sleeping purposes
      3. In each story of the dwelling unit, including basements and cellars but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics

  • You should contact the Zoning Officeat (814) 870-1265.
  • If you think that you have witnessed a violation, you may contact the Zoning Officer at (814) 870-1265

    When it appears that a violation has occurred, the Zoning Officer shall send an enforcement notice to the property owner stating the following:

    • Name & Location of property in violation
    • The specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met
    • The date before which the steps for compliance must be commenced and completed
    • That the recipient of the notice has the right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board

  • Contact the Engineering Department at (814) 870-1371.
  • Contact the Traffic Division of the Department of Engineering at (814) 870-1396.

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