Before applying for a building permit the category a building project falls into must be decided so the appropriate permit is applied for. The different categories are:
There are a few categories under this land use, which include:
- R1/Residencia Unifamiliar (Single Family Residential), only one housing unit per plot
- R2/ Prédio Residencial (Residential Building), more then one housing unit per plot
These may include:
- S1.9/Serviços de Âmbito Local: Serviços de Saúde (Local Service: Healthcare Services)
- S3.2/Serviços Especiais: Serviços de Depósito e Armazenagem (Special Services: Warehouse Services)
In most categories of land use for services, if the built area is smaller then 250m2, these buildings can follow the same requirements as residential buildings. The exceptions are automobile repair shops and car washes, which have to follow specific requirements regardless of the area.
There are three types of industrial uses:
- I1/Indústria Não Incomoda (Non-Inconvenient Industry), this classification has an area totaling up to 500m2 and can follow the same requirements as non-industrial buildings
- I2/Indústria Diversificada (Diversified Industry), this classification must follow specific requirements regarding the site plan within the plot, access, location, traffic, noise rates and environment pollution for example
- I3/Indústria Especial (Special Industry), this classification is for industries that may cause health, safety and welfare problems for the city and affect regional vegetation and animals
There are basically three general types of commercial uses. Further specifications exist under each general category.
- C1/Comércio Varejista de Âmbito Local (Local Retailer), where the retailer shares a development with residential uses and has a built area of up to 250m2
- C2/Comércio Varejista Diversificado (Diversified Retailer), where the retailer may or may not share a development with residential uses
- C3/Comércio Atacadista (Wholesaler), where the wholesaler may or may not share a development with residential uses
There are four types of civic uses. Further specifications exist under each general category.
- E1/Instituições de Âmbito Local (Local Civic), sharing a development with residential uses with a built area of up to 250 m2 or maximum capacity of 100 people.
- E2/Instituições Diversificadas (Diversified Civic), places with up to 2,500m2 of built area or a maximum capacity of 500 people
- E3/Instituições Especiais (Special Civic), civic places with a big concentration of people or cars, high noise levels or special standards
- E4/Usos Especiais (Special Uses), places with a need for preservation or special control, such as historic landmarks, water basins and strategic places for public safety
The Legislation for Land Use (Legislação de Parcelamento, Uso e Ocupação do Solo) has a number of building restrictions according to the kind of activity and the land use zone where the property is or will be located.
The land use zone is indicated on the property tax bill (IPTU) that the property owner or land owner receives and pays each year and will indicate the type of use allowed. It is necessary to check what building projects or renovations are allowed and identify any restrictions that should be considered during the project (setbacks, floor area ratio, building coverage factor for example).
Other restrictions to building plans may include:
Special Front Yard Setback of a property: This refers to areas in a city (usually specific blocks on certain streets or avenues) where the front setback is wider than usual for the land use as a result of future road widening plans.
Road Width: Depending on the road width, some types of activity are not allowed. This should be checked with the local authorities.
If the land plot has an area or dimensions smaller than required for that zone, the person must prove the plot’s existence prior to 1972.