What do I need to start a new business?

To place a new business in an existing structure, the property owner must undergo site plan review and obtain a certificate of compliance from the Kenosha County Department of Planning and Development. A certificate of compliance authorizes a certain business operation to be run from a parcel. Certificates are used to ensure that the intended use of the property and/or building is allowed under the zoning district for which the parcel is placed and that any negative elements of the business use are mitigated in accordance with zoning ordinance requirements. For instance, the B-2 Community Business District is intended to provide for the orderly development of business activities, such as retail stores, office buildings and services in the center of communities and settlements throughout Kenosha County. Businesses placed within this district tend to be quieter, more passive business uses that do not require outside storage or operational facilities. The B-2 Community Business District does not allow the placement of businesses such as contractor yards and freight forwarding services (these business uses are permitted in the B-5 Wholesale Trade and Warehousing District).

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1. What areas are in the County’s zoning jurisdiction?
2. How do I find out the zoning of my property?
3. How do I find out what zoning district my property is in?
4. What is a stakeout survey?
5. Why do I need a survey?
6. Why is a survey an important document?
7. Is there a survey of the property and how do I get a copy?
8. What is a foundation survey?
9. What is a foundation survey requirement?
10. What is a waiver of liability?
11. What is a waiver of liability requirement?
12. What is a release of waiver of liability document?
13. What is a variance?
14. How many animals/horses or livestock can I have on my property?
15. Can the Kenosha County Department of Planning and Development answer questions about my property if it lies within the City of Kenosha or a Village within Kenosha County?
16. What is a setback?
17. What are the setbacks on my property?
18. What is a setback distance requirement measured from?
19. What is a 100-year floodplain?
20. What is an ordinary high water mark (OHWM) elevation?
21. What is a wetland?
22. When is a zoning permit required?
23. What if I am only replacing what already exists?
24. Do I need a permit for a patio?
25. Do I need a zoning permit for a fence?
26. Do I need a zoning permit for a deck?
27. Do I need a zoning permit for a swimming pool, spa, jacuzzi or hot tub?
28. Is a fence required around my swimming pool?
29. Do I need a zoning permit for a sign?
30. Do I need a permit to cut/remove trees on my property?
31. What is the process for applying for a zoning permit?
32. How long does it take to obtain a zoning permit?
33. What is the cost of a zoning permit?
34. How long are zoning permits valid?
35. What happens if construction is not complete and the zoning permit is about to expire?
36. Will the building inspector check my setbacks?
37. Do I need an appointment to apply for a zoning permit?
38. Where can I obtain my tax key number?
39. Where can I find a legal description of my property?
40. Can I store unlicensed and/or inoperable vehicles on my property?
41. Do I need a permit to operate a home occupation from my residential property?
42. Is more than one dwelling unit allowed on a property?
43. Can I have an "in-law" unit on my property?
44. Can I place a mobile home or manufactured home on my property?
45. Is my property in the 100-year floodplain?
46. Does the County issue permits for piers and other structures placed on the bed of a body of water?
47. Can I have a boathouse on my property?
48. How many accessory buildings can I have on my property?
49. What size accessory structure can I have on my property?
50. I have a vacant piece of land. Can I place or construct an accessory building/structure without a residence on the site?
51. What if I have a substandard lot or structure?
52. What is required for a new home construction permit?
53. Do I need a zoning permit for new windows, new doors, new shingles, etc....?
54. What do I need to start a new business?