I own a townhouse that is zoned a 2 bedroom. There are 2 bedrooms on the top floor. L/R, Kit, D/R on the main floor and I have stairs that lead to the basement. There are 2 "basement sized" windows that pull open in an emergency. (By basement size, I would say maybe 19" X 32") My 18 year old son would like to move his bedroom into the basement. Am I able to do this without having a permit? I live in Upstate New York, which I know does not follow the same rules as NYC. Thank you for all of your help with this matter.
It's almost impossible to know the codes in ever State or area so for the exact answer, you would need to check locally.
Typically "Zoning" deals with occupancy. In other words, how many legal residences can be on one property. Out here, R-1 zoning means one residence per lot, R-2 means 2 per lot (like a duplex) etc. I've never heard of a "bedroom" restriction. As long as there is only one "legal" residence, there can be 20 bedrooms. It's usually the kitchen facilities that are counted. More than one kitchen constitutes another potential residence and a zoning violation.