All of the unincorporated areas of Cochise County have been zoned. The purpose of zoning is to guide the development of land in accordance with the County’s Comprehensive Plan, and to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of the County’s residents. Zoning districts specify permitted land uses, minimum lot sizes, and certain site development standards such as setbacks and screening. Because Cochise County encompasses a large and diverse area, there are 34 individual zoning districts. However, for general purposes, the majority of these zoning districts can be classified into three broad groupings: Rural, Residential and Commercial/Industrial. 

Following is an explanation of the three general zoning categories, and a summary of the specific zoning districts that fall under each classification. Included is a brief summary of the permitted land uses and minimum lot sizes for each district. This summarized information is intended to be used as a guide only, and therefore is not a detailed listing of everything that is allowed in a particular zoning district. A complete description of each zoning district is available from the Planning Department upon request, in addition to copies of the Cochise County Zoning Regulations.

To determine the zoning district for a parcel, call the Planning Department (520-432-9240) with the Tax Parcel I.D. number or assigned rural address.

Rural Zoning Districts
Approximately 90% of the unincorporated areas of the County are zoned RU (Rural). These districts allow residential uses on large acreage, as well as some other uses typically found in rural areas. In addition, a wide range of commercial and industrial activities are also possible as Special Uses, which require, on a case-by-case basis, a public hearing and approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission. 

Please note that general agricultural, ranching, mining and railroad activities are exempt from County zoning regulations by State law.

Zoning District

Permitted Housing Types

Specific Districts

Minimum Lot size

RU (Rural)

All single-and multiple-house-
hold dwellings


36 acres
18 acres
10 acres
4 acres
2 acres

Residential Zoning Districts
There are a variety of residential zoning districts offering a wide range of housing types, lot sizes and densities. These include SR (Single-Household Residential), SM (Single-Household/Manufactured Home Residential), and MR (Multiple-Household Residential). TR (Transitional Residential) districts are generally treated as residential and allow all types of housing units. As the name implies, TR districts are located at the fringes of developed areas and act as a transition zone between high-density urban and low-density rural lands.

Zoning District

Permitted Housing Types

Specific Districts

Minimum Lot Size

SR  (Single-Household Residential

All single-household

dwellings, excluding

mobile and

manufactured homes

SR-36 Acres
SR-18 Acres
SR-10 Acres

36 acres
18 acres
10 acres
4 acres
2 acres
1 acre
22,000 sq. ft.
12,000 sq. ft.
8,000 sq. ft.

SM  (Single Household/

Manufactured Home Residential)


All single- and multiple-

household dwellings,

but excluding mobile



SM-36 Acres
SM-18 Acres
SM-10 Acres


36 acres
18 acres
10 acres
4 acres
2 acres
36,000 sq. ft.
18,000 sq. ft.
9,000 sq. ft.

MR (Multiple- Household Residential)


Single- and multiple-

household dwellings

excluding mobile and

manufactured homes

and recreational vehicles



3,600 sq. ft.

Single- and multiple-household

dwellings including mobile

and manufactured homes

and parks and recreational

vehicle parks



3,600 sq. ft.

R  (Residential)

All single-household

and multiple-household



36,000 sq. ft.
18,000 sq. ft.
  9,000 sq. ft.

For the purpose of clarifying residential uses, the following terms are defined as follows by the Cochise County Zoning Regulations:

Dwelling: any building or portion thereof, which is used exclusively for residential purposes.

Dwelling, Single-household: a detached resident for occupancy by one household only, including factory-built and site-built dwellings, mobile homes and manufactured homes.

Dwelling, Multiple-household: a residence for occupancy by 2 or more households, with separate housekeeping and cooking facilities for each, including apartments, condominiums, townhouses and multiplexes.

Factory-built Building: a residential or nonresidential building including a dwelling unit or habitable room thereof which is either wholly or in substantial part manufactured at an off-site location to be assembled on-site, except that it does not include a manufactured home, recreational vehicle or mobile home as defined in these Regulations. A factory-built building used for residential purposes shall be considered a single-household dwelling unit.

Manufactured Home: a structure built in accordance with the National Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standard Act of 1974 and Title VI of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 and as amended.

Mobile Home: a structure built prior to June 15, 1976 on a apartment chassis, capable of being transported in one or more sections and designed to be used with or without a permanent foundation as a dwelling when connected to on-site utilities except recreational vehicles and factory-built buildings.

Mobile or Manufactured Home Park: a parcel of land under single or unified ownership upon which 6 or more mobile homes, manufactured homes or a combination thereof, are set up as residences, regardless of whether or not a charge is made for such accommodations.

Recreational Vehicle park: any lot of land upon which three or more recreational vehicle sites are located, established or maintained for occupancy by recreational vehicles of the general public as temporary living quarters for recreation or vacation purposes. The park may also include tents.

Commercial/Industrial Zoning Districts

There are several districts established to accommodate business and industrial uses. These Commercial/Industrial zoning districts ranging from least to most intensive are NB (Neighborhood Business), GB (General Business), LI (Light Industry), and HI (Heavy Industry). A number of Special Uses are also possible in these zoning districts. Special uses must be considered on a case-by-case basis and require a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The commercial and industrial zoning districts are summarized as follows:

* The Cochise County Regulations have a complete list of permitted and special uses for each zoning district as well as definitions.


Permitted Uses*

Minimum Lot Size

NB (Neighborhood Business)

Neighborhood-oriented commercial uses, e.g. small shops and offices (residential uses are also permitted)

3,600 sq. ft.

GB  (General Business)

General commercial uses, e.g. retail trade, offices, light repair, service establishments, limited warehousing

Generally none

LI  (Light Industry)

General light industrial uses, e.g. wholesaling and warehousing operations, manufacturing, repair services


HI  (Heavy Industry)

General heavy industrial uses, e.g. manufacturing, recycling centers, junkyards