The major responsibility of the Building section is the regulation and inspection of building construction activities in unincorporated Cobb County which includes the enforcement of development regulations and building code.
Some of the common building violations found in the community include:
- Construction activity without a posted, County-issued permit.
- Incomplete or missing swimming pool barrier.
- Occupying a structure or use of an accessory structure without a Certificate of Occupancy or a letter of completion.
- Expiration of permit(s) associated with construction activities.
- Construction activities beyond the approved scope allowed in the permit.
- Drainage easements blocked by yard debris, grass clippings, or other materials not allowing water to flow freely through the easement.
Board of Adjustments and Appeals
Development & Inspections provides staff support to the Board of Adjustments and Appeals (BAA). The BAA reviews appeals concerning the interpretation and administration of the Building Code, Plumbing Code, Electrical Code, and Heating, and Air Conditioning Code. The BAA is made up of nine members appointed by the Board of Commissioners.
Review the Residential Violations Brochure to learn more about common violations that may be present in your neighborhood. Violations include, but are not limited to: parking, junk cars, yard sales, outside storage, fences, garbage, livestock, and poultry.
Common Violations found in Residential Neighborhoods
Single-Family Dwelling Unit
A dwelling unit consists of one or more rooms which are arranged, designed or used as living quarters for one family including up to one unrelated adult, or two or fewer unrelated adults and their children and/or grandchildren.
- A dwelling unit shall have an interior bathroom and complete kitchen facilities, permanently installed.
- A dwelling unit shall have at least 390 square feet of living building square footage (as determined and maintained in the records of the Cobb County Tax Assessor) per each adult occupant.
- No more than one vehicle per 390 square feet of living building square footage may be parked regularly overnight on the property upon which the dwelling unit exists. Of the total number of vehicles allowed per 390 square feet of living building square footage, there shall be a maximum of four or less (of the total) parked outside of a garage, carport or the like for properties zoned PRD, OSC, RA‐5, R‐15, R‐20, and R‐30. Of the total number of vehicles allowed per 390 square feet of living building square footage, there shall be a maximum of five or less (of the total) parked outside of a garage, carport or the like for properties zoned R‐40, R‐80, and RR. Other zoning districts used for single family dwelling units shall have no more than four vehicles parked outside. This includes vehicles parked within the right-of-way adjacent to the building. "Regularly" means a majority of days in a seven day period. Exceptions to this definition may be considered as part of a land use permit processed in accordance with section 134-36. Family means one or more persons related by blood, legal adaption, or marriage occupying a dwelling where such persons are all related to each other within the fourth degree, which means parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, brother and sisters. Adult means any person over the age of 18 years old or legally emancipated in the State of Georgia.
The county permits door-to-door solicitations only if the person has registered with the county’s business license office. A registration badge must be worn by solicitors and will include their name, address, organization and a photograph. Solicitation without a registration badge is prohibited. Police will respond to reports of unregistered solicitors.
Exterior stairways, decks, porches and balconies, and all appurtenances attached thereto, of building shall be maintained so that they are structurally sound, in good repair with proper anchorage and capable of supporting the imposed loads.
Fences / Walls
Any fence or wall adjacent to a public road right-of-way and within a residential front yard cannot be more than six feet in height. Fences or walls shall be maintained in structurally sound condition. Fences or walls at the rear of a residence cannot exceed eight feet in height. The height limitation includes posts and ornaments on top of the fence or wall.
Grass and Weeds
It shall be unlawful for the owner of any property less than 40,000 square feet or property within any platted and recorded subdivision, to allow grass/weeds over 12 inches in height. After 20 day notice, the County shall cause the condition to be remedied at the expense of the property owner.
Garbage collectors may not operate between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Garbage cans filled with garbage can only be placed at the curb the evening before collection and should be removed by 11 p.m. on the day of collection.
Dwelling can only be shared by four or less persons, excluding resident staff, who live together as a single housekeeping unit. The managing care giver must reside at the group home. Said home shall not allow use of the dwelling as a home for individuals on parole, probation or convicted or released from incarceration for crimes of child molestation, aggravated child molestation, or child sexual abuse, as defined in O.C.G.A. 16-6-4 or individuals required to register as sex offenders pursuant to O.C.G.A. 42-1-12.
Gutters and Shutters
Gutters and shutters and all appurtenances attached thereto, of buildings shall be maintained so that they are structurally sound, in good repair with proper anchorage and attachment.
Exterior building surface maintenance
All exterior building surfaces, including but not limited to, doors, door and window frames, cornices, soffits, porches, trim, balconies, roofs, and decks, shall be maintained in good condition and without rot. Exterior wood surfaces, other than decay-resistant woods, shall be protected from the elements and decay by painting or other protective covering or treatment. Peeling, flaking and chipped paint shall be eliminated, and surfaces repainted. All exterior walls shall be free from holes, breaks, and loose or rotting materials; and maintained weatherproof and properly surface coated where required to prevent deterioration.
- No signs, products or equipment are permitted around the exterior of the home.
- All business activities must occur inside home.
- No outside employees are permitted to work in the home or to gather at the home for work purposes.
- No more than 25 percent of the home may be used for the business.
- No commercial deliveries are permitted to home businesses.
- No customers or clients are permitted to visit home.
In-Home Day Care
Child care in a single-family home is limited to a maximum of six children for whom compensation is received.
- The child care cannot create a nuisance to immediate adjacent property owners.
- Parking must be provided for child pick up and drop off on the property.
- No employees are permitted.
Any automobile, vehicle, mobile home, manufactured home or trailer of any kind or type, without a valid license plate and/or valid decal attached thereto, shall not be parked or allowed to stand on any residentially zoned property or other zoned property unless it shall be in a completely enclosed building.
Livestock and Poultry
Livestock and poultry animals are only permitted on a lot of two acres or larger. All animals must be maintained at least ten feet off any residential property line. Backyard chickens (hens only) are permitted on properties under 80,000 square feet. Backyard chickens must meet requirements under code section 134-290.
Outside Storage Limitations
No outside storage is permitted, with the exception of stacked firewood and lawn furnishings.
Vehicles may not be parked in the grass or unimproved surface between the roadway and the home’s front setback. In the R-30, R-20, R-15, R-12, RD, RA-4, RA-5 zoned districts, parking allows only one vehicle, one boat, and one recreational vehicle (or any combination of such totaling three) in the rear or side yard on a hardened surface.
In the R-40, R-80, RR zoned districts, any combination of boats and recreational vehicles exceeding three must be screened from public roadways via a buffer (approved by the Cobb County Landscape Architect) or fencing. No materials, equipment or business vehicles may be stored or parked on the premises, except for one business vehicle used exclusively by the resident. A business vehicle with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight greater than 12,500 pounds is not allowed to be parked on residential property.
Personal Vehicle Sales
No more than three personal vehicle and/or equipment sales are allowed per calendar year on any one parcel of property.
The sign ordinance allows signage for events such as church or community gatherings, yard sales, moving sales, estate sales or the sale of an individual house. All signs must be located off the right-of-way and placed on private property with the property owner’s permission.
Window and Exterior Doors
Windows of buildings shall be fully supplied and maintained with glass window panes or with a substitute approved by the designated Cobb County Building Official, which are without open cracks or holes. Screens, if provided, shall be securely fastened to the window. Exterior doors of buildings shall be maintained so that they fit reasonably well within their frames so as to substantially prevent rain and wind from entering a building. Exterior door jams, stops, headers and moldings shall be securely attached to the structure and maintained in good condition without splitting or deterioration. Additionally, exterior doors shall be provided with property hardware and maintained in proper working condition.
Estate sales, yard sales, bakery sales, garage sales, bazaars and the like are limited to three weekends per year and cannot exceed three days per sale.
Animals are required to be on a leash when outside unless contained by a fence. Pet owners are responsible for collecting animal waste and disposing of it properly. Contact Cobb County Animal Services at (770) 499-4136 to report violations.