Frequently Asked Questions

*IMPORTANT: Please note that any summaries of ordinances, codes, or laws given on this webpage are to be used only as references. For a complete description, please refer to the applicable ordinance, code, or law in their entirety, or consult an attorney. Code Enforcement cannot answer legal questions, or offer legal advice, and the answers to the following questions are not intended as legal advice.

Yes, a Zoning Permit is required prior to placing an accessory structure on your property. Accessory structures 200 square feet and larger also require a Building Permit, this includes pre- built structures, not just structures built on-site. Additionally, you cannot place an accessory structure on your property if there is not a principal structure or principal use of the property, i.e., an accessory structure cannot be placed on undeveloped land. No building or structure may be erected, altered, or enlarged without first obtaining a zoning permit.

Signs exempt from regulation are listed in the Community Development Code:

  • Section 5.6.10(B)(4)

Signs and activities exempt from permitting requirements, but shall comply with the standards of Division 5.6 of the Community Development Code, as applicable:

  • Section 5.6.10(B)(5)
  • Yes, a Zoning Permit is required prior to erecting a fence on your property. Refer to Division 5.4 – Fences and Walls in the Community Development Code for specific requirements of fence type, location, height and building materials for each Zoning District.

  • Fences are allowed to be placed on property lines. 

  • Wherever a fence or wall is installed, if one side of the fence or wall appears more "finished" than the other (e.g., one side has visible support framing and the other does not), then the more "finished" side of the fence shall face the perimeter of the lot rather than the interior of the lot.
    See Example below:fence.png

Certain types and sizes of trees are protected. All trees that are not protected under Section 5.11.90 (Forests) or Section 5.8.90 (Perimeter Buffers) shall be protected in accordance with Section 5.11.100 of the Community Development Code. In many instances you will require a permit to remove a tree. Refer to Section 5.11.100 for trees that require tree removal permits. The County also makes a distinction between tree removal on undeveloped or developed properties and between residential or commercial/other properties. Again, refer to Section 5.11.100 for the differences or contact the Planning & Zoning Department.

No, the use of any shipping container or the like, travel trailer, or recreational vehicle (RV) as a primary or accessory structure is prohibited in all zoning districts.

No, all issues related to septic tanks / drain fields or septic permitting should be addressed with South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) to include illegal discharge of sewage and/or gray water.

Code Enforcement issues no permits and collects no fees. Beaufort County Building Inspections Department handles all issues relating to building construction and building permitting.

Code Enforcement issues no permits and collects no fees. Zoning and/or Development permits are issued by Beaufort County Planning & Zoning Department.

  • Purpose and Intent. A vegetated river buffer is established as shown in Table 5.11.60(A) of the Beaufort County Community Development Code, landward of the OCRM Critical Line, to:

  • Provide for removal or reduction of sediments, nutrients, and potentially harmful or toxic substances runoff entering waterways.

  • Minimize erosion and help stabilize stream banks.

  • Provide a natural habitat for the flora and fauna that exist in this important transition area

    between tidal waters and wetlands and upland areas; and

  • Encourage the retention of the visual character of the County’s waterways.

  • It is unlawful to disturb the River Buffer, cut vegetation, trees or place anything in the buffer without a permit from the Planning & Zoning Department.