Legal Non-Conforming Uses
What is a legal non-conforming use?
Any use of land, building, or structure lawfully established and lawfully existing at the time the Town of Cave Creek‘s zoning ordinance became effective which would not now conform.

How do you determine if a use is legal nonconforming?
Staff researches Town files located in the planning department to verify, or find information on the use of the property. If we have no previous record of substantiation, the owner is required to provide written, notarized independent third party documentation that the use was legally established prior to the adoption of the current Town of Cave Creek zoning ordinance. Please refer to the Town of Cave Creek zoning ordinance for further clarification.

What is a subdivision?
A subdivision means improved or unimproved land or lands divided or proposed to be divided for the purpose of sale, lease, or for cemetery purposes, whether immediate or future, into four or more parcels or fractional interests.

What is a lot split?
The division of land into two or three parts based on the configuration of the original parcel as of July 8, 1986, the Town’s incorporation date, or upon the date of annexation into the Town of Cave Creek. Please refer to the Town’s subdivision ordinance.

What is a variance?
Relief from the terms of the zoning ordinance only if, because of circumstances applicable to the property, including its size, shape, topography, location, or surroundings, that the strict application of the zoning ordinance will deprive such property of privileges enjoyed by other properties of the same classification and in the same zone.

How do I get a variance?
An application must be filled out and submitted, along with the appropriate fee, to the planning department. Following receipt of the application, the request will be scheduled for a public hearing before the Town of Cave Creek board of adjustment. Please refer to the Town of Cave Creek’s zoning ordinance for specific instructions.

 How do I get a property rezoned?
An owner of real property within the Town, or that owner’s authorized representative, may, upon proof of ownership, submit an application to the Town’s planning department for a change in zoning district boundaries (rezoning) for that landowner’s property. Please refer to the Town of Cave Creek’s zoning ordinance and general plan for specific regulations and instructions.

Site / Plot Plan
 What is a site / plot plan?
A site / plot plan is a drawing of your lot showing the size and shape of the property and everything on it, both existing and proposed, drawn to scale and showing distances to property lines and between other elements such as buildings, fences, garage, or other accessory structures. North arrow, street name and address, legal description of property, and location of water, gas, electric, and sewer should also be shown on the drawing along with any easements affecting the property. Topography showing relative slope of the ground surface should be indicated either by contour lines or by spot grades related to elevation of a known point. Please see the Town of Cave Creek zoning ordinance for specific details.

How do I get an address assigned to my property?
New addresses are not assigned until an applicant comes into the office to obtain a building permit or upon written request to the planning department. Addresses in approved subdivisions are assigned as part of the subdivision process. A legal description, an assessor’s parcel number, and a plot plan showing the location of the access to the property are required. An address will then be assigned based upon the parcel’s frontage as determined by the access.

How are street names assigned?
The street names are assigned based upon the Maricopa County street name grid system and through the Town’s subdivision process. All new street names must be approved by the Town Council.

Where do I get a certificate of elevation?
The Maricopa County Flood Control District.

Where do I get a permit for a septic system?
The Maricopa County Department of Environmental Services.

Where do I get a permit for a well?
The Arizona Department of Water Resources.

My zip code is 85331. Does this mean my property is located within the Town of Cave Creek?
Not necessarily. The postal jurisdictional boundaries are different than the Town’s boundaries. As such, properties with the 85331 zip code can located either within the Town of Cave Creek, the Town of Carefree, the City of Phoenix, the City of Scottsdale and unincorporated Maricopa County. To determine if your property is physically located within the Town of Cave Creek, please refer to the Town of Cave Creek zoning map as contained within the zoning ordinance or a Phoenix Metro Area Street Atlas.

Where do I get a map of the trails located within the Town of Cave Creek?
For the Cave Creek Regional Park and the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, contact the Maricopa County Parks Department and/or the Town of Cave Creek trails map.

How do I report a zoning violation with the Town?
All zoning violations must be submitted, in writing, on a form available at Town Hall to the Town’s Marshal.

Does the Town of Cave Creek keep records of private access easements?
No. The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office maintains copies of recorded private easements.

Do real estate signs require a permit from the Town?
Not necessarily; however, there are limitations on the placement of real estate signs within the Town. Please refer to the Zoning Ordinance and Town Code for relevant regulations.

How do I determine the location of my property boundaries?
Research recorded records of survey or subdivision plats with the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office or contact an Arizona registered land surveyor for assistance. The Town does not provide property boundary information.

Do I need a permit from the Town in order to remove a saguaro cactus from my property?
Within zones A or B of a residential lot, no saguaro shall be removed or relocated. Some exceptions apply, such as driveway and utility easements. Relocating or removing a saguaro within all zoning districts shall require prior approval and a permit from the Town as well as being in compliance with state department of agriculture regulations.

Where do I get a copy of the CC&R’s (Conditions, Covenants & Restrictions) for my subdivision?
The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office.

Does the Town enforce CC&R’s and Deed Restrictions?
No. CC&R’s and deed restrictions are private contracts between individuals and, as such, the Town does not have legal standing to cause their enforcement. It is important to note that CC&R’s and Deed Restrictions can be more restrictive, but not less restrictive, than the Town’s zoning regulations.