DeKalb approves rules for construction, beekeeping and growth

Covering everything from residential densities to backyard chickens, DeKalb County’s zoning code has been updated for the first time since 1999 as a way to guide development.

The DeKalb Commission this week unanimously approved the zoning code ordinance, which governs allowable land uses in unincorporated areas of the 722,000-person county.

The guidelines allow for higher densities in some areas, raise design standards and are designed to be easier to understand.

Highlights of the code include:

  • Tables that businesses and residents can use to view permitted uses in each zoning district.
  • An online map that displays what each area of the county is zoned for.
  • Incentives for increased population densities, such as construction of bus shelters, public trails and additional open spaces.
  • Rules allowing hens and beekeeping in some areas under certain conditions.
  • Implementation of the county’s 2025 comprehensive plan.

“The passage of the new zoning code paves the way for DeKalb County to reach its maximum potential for the 21st century and for generations to come,” said Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May.

Additional information about the DeKalb Zoning Code is available on the county Planning Department’s website at

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