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Zoning Frequently Asked Questions

When is a building permit required?

Ordinary repairs to buildings and structures may be made without application or notice to the building official, but the repairs shall not include:

  1. The installation of any siding;
  2. The cutting away of any wall, partition or portion of the wall;
  3. The removal or cutting away of any structural beam or bearing support;
  4. The removal or change of any required means of egress;
  5. Rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the exit way requirements;
  6. Alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standard pipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping;
  7. Electric wiring;
  8. Mechanical or other work which affects public health, safety or welfare.
    All work not classified as ordinary repair shall comply with the rules and regulations or ordinances of the municipality as to the procurement of a permit for these repairs.

Where and how do I get copies of the city zoning ordinance?

You may view it online on the city website or obtain printed copies in the city clerks office for a fee of $10.00. The city website is www.pawtucketri.com.

What are my obligations as an absentee landlord?

You must file an absentee landlord registration form with the code enforcement division, if you do not live at the property that you own, whether you are out of state or in the City of Pawtucket at a different location. Filing fee is free but failure to file is a $200 fine upon conviction.

How do I report violations of code?

Call the Code Enforcement office at (401) 728-0500 and enter the following extensions:
Trash, junk vehicles, high grass, rodents ext. 265
Minimum housing code violations ext. 314
Illegal apartments, illegal businesses ext. 347
Working without permits ext. 347

How many yard sales or garage sales can I have a year?

No more than two (2) per year, no license is required. Yard sale signs cannot be placed on utility poles.

I’m thinking about opening a business in the city. What do I need to do?

Request a zoning certificate from the zoning division. It will usually be processed within 72 hours and may or may not have stipulations/conditions. It will also inform you if you need permission for the City Council for a separate license. Applications for zoning certificates may be obtained at the zoning office. The fee for filing is $50.00.

How do I know if the building that I’m purchasing is legal?

You may apply for a zoning certificate for a business or a property classification form for a residential use. The fee for either is $50.00 and process time is usually 72 hours.