Planning and Zoning Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I obtain an elevation certificate for my property?

    If a certificate is on file with the Planning and Zoning Office, you may obtain a copy from that office by contacting them.

  • Can I place a storage unit in my backyard?

    Storage units are allowable in residential back yards, but they must be permitted as residential accessory structures. Please note these rules do not supersede any subdivision covenants and/or restrictions that may be in place in a particular area.

    Ship-to-shore containers and other storage structures not intended for use as a residential accessory structure may only be placed if they are  rented, and for only one year.

    For more information please call the Planning and Zoning Department at (985) 783-5060.
  • What are the rules for keeping horses or other livestock (including chickens) on my property?

    For the local ordinances on keeping animals NOT considered pets and the keeping of exotic animals, click here.
  • How do I obtain a tobacco and/or alcohol license for my business in St. Charles Parish?

    Parish alcohol licenses are obtained from the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office at (985) 783-6237 (ask for the 'Tax Office'). Any businesses wishing to sell alcoholic beverages must meet zoning requirements and location restrictions for alcoholic beverages businesses. You can get more information on these requirements by calling Planning and Zoning at (985) 783-5060 and asking for a planner. A state license is also required for any business selling alcoholic beverages. More information is available at
  • How do I obtain a business license in St. Charles Parish?

    A business or occupational license is obtained from the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office. They may be reached at (985) 783-6237. The occupational licensing process requires a Certificate of Zoning Compliance for the business location from the Planning and Zoning Department, which may be reached at (985) 783-5060, and registration with the St. Charles Parish School Board’s Sales and Use Tax Office, which may be reached at (985) 785-3125.
  • Can I view a map of my lot and/or zoning information on the parish website?

    Yes. Website users can look up parcel ownership and attribute information on the St. Charles Parish interactive map in a variety of ways. 

    The first is zooming into the desired parcel and clicking the information button (i) on the tool bar, then selecting the property search tool and clicking on the parcel. A window will then open with all the ownership information.

    Website users can also find parcel information by selecting the 'Search GIS Database' tab and typing in the PI_CODE of the parcel. A box will then open at the bottom of the screen listing the attribute information. This window provides a variety of options to either export the information to an Excel file, a PDF and more.

    The St. Charles Parish Geographic Information Systems Office is constantly updating parcel attribute information. If you are searching for a parcel and it does not have the attribute information you need, please contact the Assessor's Office.

  • Can I park a boat in my front yard?

    The parish zoning code does not specifically prohibit parking boats in front residential yards. However, there are zoning regulations regarding the payload capacity of vehicles/trailers which are parked in the required front yard. Usually boats and trailers do not exceed the payload capacity. However, the boats cannot be parked over sidewalks or prohibit vehicular sight lines.

    Please be aware some subdivision covenants may address boats. Covenants are enforced by private civic associations and residents.
  • How do I obtain a contractor's license in St. Charles Parish?

    Currently, St. Charles Parish does not require licensing or registration for contractors beyond those required by the State Licensing Board for Contractors. For more information, visit
  • I am building a new home in St. Charles Parish. What do I need to know about elevation and elevation certificates?

    St. Charles Parish participates in the National Flood Insurance Program through FEMA. That is the reason Flood insurance is available.

    As part of that program, FEMA has issued and the parish has adopted Flood Insurance Rate Maps which specify building elevation requirements for all areas of St. Charles. Some areas require new and substantially altered structures to be elevated above the ground level and some do not. Some areas require that an elevation certificate be provided to document the elevation of the new structures, and some do not.

    The only safe way to make a determination as to the requirements of a proposed project is to call the Department of Planning and Zoning at (985) 783-5060 to discuss the project and its location requirements. Surveyors would provide the elevation certificate to the resident/owner for a fee.

    You will want to mention where you are planning to build so they can tell you about the elevation regulations for that particular area.
  • What are the requirements for installing a fence on my property?

    Fencing requirements can be found here in the code of ordinances. A permit is not required to erect a fence.

    Since the parish has different zoning codes for different areas, please contact the Planning and Zoning Department for any other questions. You will want to let the department know where you live and what kind of fence you want to install.

  • What do I need to do to start a home-based business?

    Home-based businesses are subject to the same business licensing laws as off-site businesses, but they are also licensed by St. Charles Parish via a Home Occupation Permit. Click here to see the rules governing home-based businesses in the code of ordinances.
  • Do I need a permit to operate a garage sale?

    You DO NOT need a permit or any other documentation to operate a garage sale. Please keep in mind that parish ordinances dictate that signage is not to be placed on public rights-of-way, telephone poles or servitudes.
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