Frequently Asked Questions

What does the process look like for a teardown/rebuild?

The teardown/rebuild process is broken down into three main phases.  Phase 1 is a review of existing conditions and demolition.  A survey of the existing site is conducted, including information regarding the existing foundation height and grading.  Phase 2 is a review of the site plan for the proposed house by the city’s building, zoning and engineering officials.  The Phase 3 is the final survey of the property to ensure substantial compliance with the approved Phase 2 for the project.  This final step allows for any final field modifications to the grading.

What about the dust from demolition?

Beginning January 1, 2020, the City of Montgomery does require builders to control dust by watering down the site during the demolition process.

What hours are the contractors permitted to work?

Construction work may be conducted between the hours of 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday thru Friday.  Hours are restricted to 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

How is the overall drainage of the site evaluated?

All new single-family homes require an updated grading plan that is reviewed by the City Engineer.  Whenever possible, downspout and sump pump lines are routed into the storm sewer in order to minimize additional water run-off.  In other instances, downspout and sump pump lines must maintain a minimum setback of 10’ from property lines.

Who do I call if there is mud on the street?

During normal business hours, please contact our Construction Compliance Inspector at 513-792-8322.  Outside of normal business hours, please contact the non-emergency line for the Police Department at 513-985-1600.

Who do I contact if I have concerns with building setbacks or foundation height?

Contact the City Planner at 513-792-8347.

Why wasn’t I contacted before this teardown occurred?

Notification of new construction to neighbors is not required.  However, properties within 300’ would be notified if a variance to the Board of Zoning Appeals is being requested in conjunction with the new build.

Who reviews the design/colors of new houses being built in Montgomery?

With the exception of the Heritage District, the City does not have restrictions on architectural style, colors, or materials of new homes.

What are the rules for port-o-lets on construction sites?

Port-o-lets must be located outside of the right-of-way, behind the sidewalk.  Please contact the Construction Compliance Inspector at 513-792-8322, should you have a question/concern about port-o-let placement.

Who do I contact about construction debris spilling over onto my property?

Please contact the Construction Compliance Inspector at 513-792-8322, regarding debris or overfilled dumpsters.

Certain home occupations and home offices are permitted by the Montgomery  Zoning Code.  There are restrictions that apply and certain businesses are prohibited as in-home occupations.  To apply for a home occupation with the City, please use the home occupation use permit.  The regulations that govern home occupations follow:

These regulations control the establishment and operation of home occupations per Section 151.1010 of the Montgomery Zoning Code.  The intent of these regulations is to control the nonresidential use of a residential dwelling unit so that the nonresidential use is limited to an accessory use and shall not in any way adversely affect the uses permitted in the residential district of which they are a part.  Compliance with these regulations should result in all home occupations being located and conducted in such a manner that their existence is not detectable in any manner from the outside of the dwelling unit.

  1. Not more than one person other than a person residing on the premises shall be employed in a home occupation.
  2. A home occupation shall occupy no more than 25% of the floor area of the dwelling and shall be clearly incidental and secondary in importance to the use of the dwelling for dwelling purposes.
  3. Any merchandise that is sold from the premises shall be produced on the premises.
  4. The business activity, including the storage of equipment, supplies or any apparatus used in the home occupation shall be conducted entirely within the dwelling unit and no use of a garage, an accessory building or an outdoor area shall be permitted.
  5. There shall not be any change in the outside appearance of the building or premises, or other visible exterior change related to the home occupation. Structural modifications such as a separate business entrance, colors, materials, or the construction of accessory structures not currently permitted are prohibited.
  6. No equipment or process shall be permitted or used in such home occupation that creates a nuisance by reason of generating any noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors, or electrical interference, or which is determined unsafe.
  7. No signs shall be permitted on the lot that designates employment or home occupations.
  8. Traffic:
    • Employee parking shall be located off the street with the applicable front, side and rear yard requirements maintained.
    • The conduct of a home occupation shall not reduce or render unusable areas provided for required off-street parking areas for the dwelling unit.
    • Traffic generated by a home occupation shall not exceed the average daily volume normally expected for a residence in a residential neighborhood, which for the purpose of this § equals up to 10 round trips per day.
    • Deliveries for the business are limited to an average of once per day. Delivery by a truck with more than two axles is prohibited.

All persons wishing to conduct a home occupation shall apply for home occupation use permit, as required in Chapter 150.12 and shall register with the City of Montgomery Tax Department.

The public-right-of-way is a strip of land dedicated for use by the City, in addition to the roadway, that is usually between the roadway edge and the sidewalk or utility poles. Generally it is land approximately 12’ from the edge of the roadway, depending on what part of the City you are located. For more information about  your right-of-way, call our construction compliance officer at 513-792-8322.

Any construction or excavation work taking place in the public right-of-way requires a right-of-way excavation permit.  This includes: Street openings, curb cuts, and driveway apron replacements as well as planting or removing trees.  Utilities are generally located within the public right-of-way and residents are not permitted to erect signs or structures or dig in the area without first obtaining review and approval by the City and by calling Ohio Utilities Protection Service (OUPS) at 800-362-2764.

For more information, visit the City Permits Page or call Montgomery City Hall at 513-891-2424.

What are setbacks?

Setbacks refer to the distance that must be maintained between any improvement project and property lines.  Setback requirements vary for different types of projects.  For new houses, or additions to an existing house, the following setbacks would apply:

Location Residence A zones Residence B zones
Front yard setback 50′ 50′
Side yard setback 15′ from each side 12′ from each side
Rear yard setback 35′ 30′

There are other zones in the City of Montgomery, but Residence A and B make up the majority of residential areas in the city.  To see what zone you live in, check the Zoning Map.

Other types of structures also have setback requirements.  Sheds must maintain a minimum setback of five feet from the rear and side property lines and may only be constructed in the side or rear yard.  Swimming pools (including the decking) have a 10 foot setback to the side and rear property line.  Doghouses, rabbit hutches, chicken coops and bee hives have a 15 foot setback from the side and rear property lines.  Driveways have a 5 foot setback from the side property line.  If you are considering any type of construction on your property, it’s a good idea to call the Community Development Department to make sure it will be in compliance with the zoning code.

The city of Montgomery does not have licensing requirements for contractors performing work in the city.

All construction activity to enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing system requires a permit.

If in doubt, please call the building department at 513-792-8309 for verification. A complete list of what requires a permit can be found on our Community Development Page.

All building permit applications should be submitted electronically, if possible, and include construction drawings and elevations, if applicable, as well as a copy of your site plan (if applicable). You will also need to complete a building/zoning permit form to include with your submission.

All building permits are submitted to the Montgomery building department, 10101 Montgomery Road or via email to

If your plans are too big to send electronically, please contact us for instructions to upload your plans. All non-residential (commercial) plans must be sealed by an Ohio Registered Design Professional; any plans submitted without a seal will be rejected without being reviewed.

All zoning permit applications should be submitted electronically, if possible, and include a site plan, construction drawings and elevations, if applicable.  You will also need to complete a building/zoning form to include with your submission.  All zoning permits are processed in the Montgomery building department, 10101 Montgomery Road.  Call the building department with any questions regarding zoning permits at 792-8309.

Zoning permits can usually be processed very quickly, sometimes in as little as two days.  Projects such as new buildings or other projects that require a building permit and/or engineering review can take up to two weeks and very large projects can take well over a month.  Most residential permits are approved in two weeks or less. If your project is non-compliant with the Zoning Code and you decide to request a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals, the permit can take considerably longer as the Board only meets once a month.

An elevation is a drawing which shows the end result of the proposed structure, including the height and materials.

A site plan is a drawing that shows the property lines and dimensions of the property as well as the locations of any existing structures on the lot.  The proposed improvements are to be shown on the site plan including the dimensions of the improvement, the distances from the property lines and from other structures.

A right of way excavation permit is needed anytime you will be doing excavation in the public right of way, which for most properties is a strip of land approximately 12 feet from the edge of the road.  The types of projects that would typically require this type of permit are new driveways and drainage lines.

For your safety, before digging on private property or within the public right-of-way, call the Ohio Utilities Protection Service at 1-800-362-2764 so it can properly identify the location of all utility service lines.  Damaging underground utility lines can result in serious injury or death as well as costly repairs.

Fences and walls up to 6.25 feet in height may be erected in the side and rear yard of any residential lot and zoning or building permits are not required.  In the front yard, fences over two feet in height are not allowed.  Fences may be of any standard fence material, including, but not limited to, chain link, wood picket, or split rail, and they may not be electrified or have barbed wire.  The smooth finished side must face out toward neighboring properties.

If you live on a corner lot, you have two front yards, and your options for the erection of a fence are limited.  Please contact the Montgomery building department for assistance if you are not sure where a fence may be placed on your property before you have the fence installed as you will be required to remove any non-compliant fencing at your own expense.

Yes, residents are permitted to keep up to six chickens (hens only, no roosters) or rabbits and kept in an enclosed structure.  Animal enclosures require a zoning permit and must be constructed no closer than 15 feet to the side and rear property lines.  The animal enclosure may not be visible from the public street and appropriately screened from abutting properties with landscaping, a fence or a wall constructed and maintained according to the Code.  The same setback requirements also apply to rabbit hutches, dog houses or other types of animal enclosures.

After discussing the project with the Montgomery Community Development Director, and deciding that you wish to proceed with a variance request, you must provide 13 copies of your site plan showing setbacks to the proposed structure and a fully completed Board of Zoning Appeals Application to the Montgomery building department.  There is also a non-refundable $300 processing fee for this application.  Submissions are due no later than the first Thursday of the month in which the BZA is meeting.  The BZA meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month.  The City will then add the item to the next applicable BZA agenda and will notify all property owners within 300 feet of your property of your request and the date and time of the meeting.  You are also required to be in attendance at this meeting.  You may be advised of the decision in your case that evening, or, in the event that more information is needed, the case may be tabled for the next meeting the following month.

More information regarding the public notice can be received by contacting the community development director at (513) 792-8312 or by reviewing the case documents which are located at Montgomery City Hall, 10101 Montgomery Road.

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