Land Use & Zoning

Old Lyme has been continuously settled for more than 350 years. The use of land in Old Lyme must balance the historic nature of the town against the needs of its present residents and the challenges of a changing climate.

All permits are now online. Please use our online permitting site.


The Land Use Department encompasses three basic areas:

  1. Zoning. 
    1. For items meeting the Zoning Regulations, this is mostly handled by our online administrative permit program, which is linked to below.
    2. For items that require approval from the Zoning Commission, such as Special Permits and Site Plans, permits must be downloaded and submitted. Those forms are linked to below.
    3. For items that would not meet the Regulations, due to encroaching on setbacks or exceeding coverage or including a use not otherwise allowed in the zone, a variance may be sought from the Zoning Board of Appeals. That form is included below as well.
  2. Planning. The Planning Commission reviews the division of land in Old Lyme.
    1. For properties that have not been divided since April 1, 1958 and are being split from one piece into two pieces, please use the Original Division application attached below.
    2. For properties that have already been divided or are being divided into three or more parcels, this requires a Subdivision Application, attached below.
  3. Inland Wetlands and Watercourse.
    1. Any work to be performed within 100' of an inland wetland (natural or man-made) or a watercourse, requires permission from the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission. That application is attached below.
    2. Note: there is a distinction between inland wetlands and tidal wetlands. Activities involving tidal wetlands are regulated by the Zoning Commission. If you are uncertain if wetlands are inland or tidal, please contact this office or have a soil scientist review the site.