Planning FAQ
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Start with an application for permit:

Building Permit (

You may contact 736-7010 Planning & Inspections for any questions regarding permits.

Reporting violations is important to the overall quality of life in our community and it helps our city inspectors do a better job. To expedite service and response, make sure that you have a specific address if possible before calling and any additional information that would help get the violation corrected.  You don’t have to give your name with a complaint.  (However this may restrict the City’s ability to follow up on a complaint).  We do request a phone number to call you back in case there are questions.  Call (302) 736-7010 to discuss the possible violation.

Yes.  Any owner of a rental property within the City of Dover is required to obtain a permit from the licensing division of the department of planning and inspections. The form is found here:

All land with the incorporated limits of the City of Dover is assigned a zoning district. Zoning regulations outline the types of uses such as residential, commercial, and industrial allowed for properties within each zoning district. The zoning regulations also address features such as lot size, building height, setbacks from property lines, parking, density, and many other land use elements. The regulations are found in the Zoning Ordinance. (Dover Code of Ordinances, Appendix B). There are also zoning overlay districts which include additional design regulations.

The Land Subdivision Regulations and Zoning Ordinance are part of the City of Dover Code of Ordinances as Appendix A and B. The Dover Code can be found on the City’s website by following the link Municipal Codes under the e-services section in the lower left corner of the homepage. You may also contact Planning Staff to answer questions about the zoning regulations and their application to your property.

Eight inches is the maximum height that any grass, weeds, underbrush, deleterious or unhealthy growths are allowed before it’s a violation.

No. It shall be unlawful for any person in charge or in control of any property within the city, whether as owner, tenant, occupant, lessee or otherwise, to allow any vehicle partially dismantled, stripped, non operating or in such disrepair as to render it unable to operate legally on a public street, or a wrecked, or discarded vehicle to remain on the property longer than five days or, in the case of operating unregistered or uninspected vehicles, to remain on the property for more than 90 days. You can submit complaints online at:

The Department of Planning and Inspections maintains the official zoning maps for the City of Dover. A Zoning Map Book is published on the City’s Website in a printable format. You may also contact Planning Staff to answer questions about the zoning of your property and other site-specific regulations.

Click the link to Dover Parcel and Zoning Viewer

No.  Vehicles can not be parked in the front, side or rear yards except in approved driveways, garages, carports, or parking pads.

Yes. Any property maintenance issues, such as the upkeep of appliances, will be handled through the Planning and Inspections Office.  Complaints can be made by calling 302-736-7010, or by using the online complaint application.

Yes.  Certain home-based businesses are permitted, but they are regulated by the Zoning Ordinance.  Additionally, all businesses in the City must obtain a City of Dover business license.  Before starting any business, please contact the planning office at (302)-736-7010.

No. Any issues concerning violations of the Landlord Tenant Act must be addressed through the Attorney General's Office for the State of Delaware.

Yes, but the vehicle must be stored in an enclosed building or enclosed area designed and approved for such purposes, a vehicle on the premises of a business enterprise or a vehicle in an appropriate storage place or depository maintained in a lawful place and manner by the city.

Property owners are responsible for all repairs and upkeep to their properties, even if they have tenants.

Address numbers are important for emergency services to locate a property in a timely manner should an emergency arise.  Address numbers shall be Arabic numerals or alphabet letters.  Numbers shall be a minimum of 4 inches high with a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inch and contrast with their background.

No. The Dover Parking Authority is only responsible for parking related to the 6 lots found in the downtown area. All other parking-related issues are handled by the Dover Police Dept.

You qualify based on income and family size, must purchase property in the City of Dover limits and complete a homeownership counseling program with a certified HUD counselor.

The type of signage is determined by the type of road, zoning and use of the parcel as well as adjacent parcels and consist of wall signs including canopy, marquee, window and awnings signs, freestanding signs including monument, pylon and post signs.

Must be for a special event, including inflatable signs with a surface area of less than 100 S.F. They can be displayed for a continuous period of up to 90 days in any given calendar year. For grand openings the maximum number of sign type and allowable area may be waived by the City Planner. Temporary sign permits applications are found here:

Sign area is determined by calculating the area of an imaginary rectangle, circle or triangle which fully encloses the sign face, including background and logos, but not including supports or braces. (A 3' x 5' sign is = to 15 square feet)

Assistance is up to $10,000 for first time homebuyers.