Summit County Development Regulations

Summit County’s development regulations seek to ensure the compatibility of the various land uses, the efficient and economical use of land and the protection of our natural resources and scenic beauty.

Summit County Land Use and Development Code

Summit County’s development regulations are contained in the Land Use and Development Code. The Code categorizes the unincorporated areas of Summit County into a series of zoning districts, and it specifies the land uses that are permitted in each district. View the Summit County Land Use and Development Code.

Planned Unit Developments

Planned unit developments (PUDs) are site-specific zoning designations that provide for a coordinated mix of uses and housing types. There are many PUD zoning districts in the unincorporated areas of Summit County. Find more information on Summit County’s planned unit developments.

Accessory Units

The Land Use and Development Code allows for accessory apartments and caretaker units in certain zoning districts, with certain restrictions. Learn more about zoning regulations related to accessory units.

Setbacks and Building Heights

A setback is the minimum required fixed distance from a property line to any structure on your property, including roof appurtenances, chimneys, decks and bay windows. You must know the setback requirements for your property before submitting a site plan to the County for a permit. Learn more about setback requirements.

Building height is the distance measured vertically from any point on a roof or eave to the natural or finished grade, whichever is more restrictive. Find information on determining building height.


The Summit County Land Use & Development Code limits the type and number of animals kept by individuals on property inside Summit County Zoning Districts. The number of animals allowed depends on the zoning district in which the property is located, the size of the property and the type of animal. Figure 3-8: Number of Animals Allowed (pdf) outlines the number of animals allowed in specified zoning districts. For more information, refer to Section 3802: Animal Keeping, in Chapter 3 of the Land Use & Development Code (pdf).

Garages, Fences and Sheds

Find information on regulations pertaining to garages, fences and sheds, including limits on height and square footage.

Sign Regulations, Permits and Programs

Signs are regulated by Chapter 9 (pdf) of the Summit County Land Use and Development Code which contains information about permit requirements and design regulations. For areas of the County with unique circumstances, Summit County allows for the creation of sign programs which include site-specific guidelines for signage within a particular subdivision or larger development area. Get information on Summit County’s sign programs.

Exterior Lighting

Section 3505.07. D of the Land Use and Development Code requires that all exterior light fixtures be fully-shielded and down-lit, meaning that the light bulb may not extend below the lowest horizontal plane of the shielding element. These fixtures provide lighting for safety, but seek to limit glare and light pollution to provide minimally inhibited views of the night sky. A cut sheet of the proposed lighting fixtures must be submitted with your building permit application. See the lighting cut sheet examples form (pdf), which must be submitted if you have not yet selected your lighting fixtures. See Chapter 3 (pdf) of the Land Use and Development Code.

Home Occupations

Some types of businesses are permitted to be run out of residences in Summit County. Find information about regulations related to home occupations.

Marijuana Regulations

The Summit County Land Use and Development Code contains regulations that govern the uses and activities associated with medical marijuana and retail marijuana. Find information on land-use and zoning regulations related to marijuana.

Transferable Development Rights

The Summit County Planning Department uses transferable development rights (TDRs) as a tool to redirect growth in a way that protects valued natural resources. Through the County’s voluntary TDR program, the rights to develop in a rural or backcountry area can be transferred to an urban area that can more appropriately accommodate development. Learn more about Summit County’s TDR program.

Short Term Vacation Rentals

Summit County regulates short-term vacation rentals (STRs) to address neighborhood impacts and life safety issues. Summit County's regulations for STRs are applicable to properties within the unincorporated areas of Summit County.

If you own property within unincorporated Summit County (outside the boundary of an incorporated town) and are interested in renting it for periods of less than 30 consecutive days, you must obtain a short-term vacation rental (STR) permit and remit all applicable sales taxes. Learn more about STRs in Summit County.