Hartford, CT, Zoning Regulations

Updated June 2020


Report a broken link

Table of Contents

Accessory Dwelling Units

The city's zoning code permits one internal, attached, and detached accessory dwelling unit (ADU) by right per lot in most zoning districts that permit single-family dwellings (§3.5.1.A). Use-specific standards address zoning permits, owner occupancy, unit location, unit size, parking, unit orientation, utility connections, maximum occupancy, and short-term residential rentals.

Form-Based Zoning

The city’s zoning code is a mapped mandatory form-based code. It includes seventeen districts all with different permissible land uses, form standards, building frontage types, façade design standards, parking standards, and landscaping standards.

Tiny Houses and Micro-Apartments

The city’s zoning code defines and regulates micro-units as a distinct type of dwelling. It defines "efficienty/micro-unit" as a dwelling unit with a total floor area of 500 ft2 or less (§3.3.1.A(5)). Micro-units are permitted by right in certain districts and with a discretionary use-permit in others (§3.2.1).

Transit-Oriented Development

The city’s zoning code includes a mapped transit-oriented development (TOD) overlay for bus rapid transit (BRT) station areas (§5.3). The overlay permits all uses permitted in the city’s downtown zoning district, requires specific higher intensity building types, permits the creation of new streets, and requires a mix of residential building types for larger parcels.

Urban Agriculture

The city's zoning code addresses urban agriculture as open space uses. Community gardens are permitted subject to standards in all districts; urban farms are special uses in all districts except downtown and some manufacturing zones (Figure 3.2-A).

The code defines and provides standards for both uses. Standards for community gardens address water sources, drainage, soil suitability, tool storage, use of chemicals, composting, winter maintenance, and identification (§3.3.3.A). Other regulations address operating rules, garden administration, produce sales, and shade pavilions.  Standards for urban farms address health and safety requirements, lighting, operating hours, odors, farm stands, and equipment; in neighborhood districts, urban farms may only be located on institutional grounds, new subdivisions, or historic industrial sites (§3.3.3.F).

The code also provides standards for accessory urban agricultural structures (e.g., sheds, shade pavilions, farm stands, trellises, greenhouses, hoophouses, and coldframes), compost bins, and henhouses (§4.20.5).

Zoning Reform and Code Writing

The city adopted a new zoning code in 2016. It includes a mix of use-based and form-based zoning standards. It defines and regulates uses based on broad categories, with select specific use types, and includes use-specific standards to minimize reliance on discretionary use permits. And it establishes permissible building types for each zoning district. It is richly illustrated and uses tables to organize use permissions and dimensional standards.

Hartford, CT

2010 Population: 124,775

2010 Population Density: 7,178.82/square mile