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Zoning Complaints

Have a Complaint or Question?

The DCRA Office of the Zoning Administrator (OZA) enforces the provisions of the D.C. Zoning Ordinances (“zoning regulations”), as adopted by the D.C. Zoning Commission (ZC). Enforcement of the zoning regulations within the District of Columbia is primarily complaint driven.

Filing a Zoning Complaint

Please contact the Office of the Zoning Administrator at (202) 442-4576 to speak with a zoning enforcement staff member about your concern.

What happens after I file my complaint?

When the OZA receives a complaint, the Zoning Enforcement Division will initially assess the validity of the complaint to ensure that it is zoning related. In order to make a determination about zoning compliance and additional zoning enforcement actions that are warranted, the OZA may take one, a few, or all of the following steps:

  1. Review pending or issued records (permit applications, permits, plans, ZC and Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) Orders, etc.)
  2. Request a property inspection via DCRA’s Inspection and Compliance Administration (ICA), or via the Regulatory Investigation Section (RIS)
  3. Evaluate the concerns identified in the complaint against the results of the records review and any property inspections and investigations

Where a complaint is determined by the OZA to be valid and the use of the subject property or construction project is non-compliant with the zoning regulations, approved and issued permit and plans, ZC or BZA Orders, the project may be subject to zoning and other DCRA enforcement actions including, but not limited to:

  1. Additional inspections or investigations
  2. Stop work orders
  3. Requests for submittal of revised applications and plans for permit review
  4. Fines and fees

When can I expect follow up and a resolution?

A zoning enforcement staff person will contact the complainant within 24-hours or the next business day, to acknowledge receipt of the complaint. Review of the zoning complaint will begin within five business days following the complaint submission. Interim contact with the complainant will occur every two weeks to provide updates until closure.

Timeframes for resolution are on a case by case basis as determined by the complexity of the zoning enforcement case.

How can I assist the investigation?

The OZA will accept pictures, videos, or other supporting material that will provide more detail about the alleged zoning violation. Please note that an official DCRA inspection and/or investigation must be conducted outside of receiving any public material.

If there is an immediate life safety concern regarding a structure, DCRA’s Inspections and Compliance Administration should be contacted; (202) 442-STOP (7867). Additionally, if there is an immediate life safety concern regarding the use of a structure, MPD should be contacted. The concerned party may also wish to contact the Mayor’s Call Center by dialing 311.