Roatan Honduras Builders

Honduras Builders
Building Codes for Construction on Roatan (excerpts)


TOURIST ZONING REGULATIONS AND RULES ARTICLE NO 5; the provisions and regulations hereby included do not apply for tourist projects that have already been approved by the ministry of Tourism and /or the Honduras Tourism institute nor for any other project whether tourist, residential, commercial or industrial, that already has a resolution or Environment License still in effect issued by the Ministry of Natural resources and Environment even if the construction has not started on the date this regulation comes into effect. […]

Article NO 7;  In order to conserve the future of the shoreline and the access to public beaches and to harmonize the aesthetic effect of the construction we establish the following zoning; [ZONA DE PLAYA BEACH ZONE]: No hotel residential, commercial or industrial construction can be built on this area. In order to establish communication in this zone and provided that the premises face the sea, low impact roads preferably made of natural materials that do not alter the landscape, as well as jetties or quays can be built, according to the conditions defined for these purposes […]

ZONA A [ZONE A]; A strip of twenty –five meters [25m] wide, parallel to the beaches or shoreline, divided in two sub-zones and whose treatment is different depending whether there is a beach or not.

In case that there is beach -The first sub-zone will be of ten meters [10m] wide, adjacent to the beach; it will be for public use and will have the same limitations establish for Beach Zone described before.  The second sub-zone, of fifteen meters [15] wide, where independent construction can be built, provided that they are small, light and do not obstruct visibility.  The maximum height of the buildings is of ten meters [10m] and the maximum occupations of the premises will be of [25%].

Other kinds of shorelines: The first sub-zone will be of ten meters [10m] wide where independent structures can be built provided that they are small, light and do not obstruct visibility .The maximum height of the constructions is of ten meters [10m] and the maximum occupation is of [15%]. The second sub-zone is of fifteen meters [15m] wide and will have the same limitations established in the previous paragraph, except for the maximum occupation of the premises which is increased to 25%.

ZONA B [ZONE]: A strip of eighty meters [80m] parallel and adjacent to zone A where the maximum height for construction is of fifteen meters [15m] and maximum occupation of the premises is forty –five percent [45%].

ZONA C [ZONE C]: The remaining part of the island ‘s territory adjacent to zone B, after one hundred and twenty meters [120m] from the shoreline or beach where the maximum height of constructions is of twenty meters [20m] and the maximum occupation of the premises is of thirty percent [30%] After being authorized by CETS, socially oriented urban projects for people with low income can be built if the maximum occupation of the premises is of 80%if the largest lots do not exceed 120 square meters.

ZONA ALTA  [HIGH ZONE]: height of two hundred meters [200m] above the sea level in the districts of Roatan and Jose Santos Guardiola,

And who hundred and fifty meters [250m] in the island of Guanaja, above which the maximum occupation of the premises will be of twenty percent [20%]] and the maximum height of construction will be of ten meters [10m] tourists highways and roads will be allowed in this zone provided that they are designed minimizing cuts and fillers, are covered with asphalt, concrete, paving stones or stones and have the necessary works that allow the collection and disposal of rainwater in order to avoid erosion and sedimentation . Tourist highways and roads will also need an impact assessment study and Environment License.

ZONA  “DE USO TURISTICO PRIORITARIO   [ZONE OF PRIORITY TOURIST USE “]: A zone of Priority tourist Use is created in case of shoreline with beach this zone will include zones A and B described before, This zone will be exclusively used for activities related to hotels, gastronomy and recreation; allowing up to 30% for residential projects; it is forbidden to use them for industrial projects unless the zones has been qualified such by the Governing Schemes.

CAYS AND ISLETS: The rules established for zones A, B, C, and of priority Tourist Use do not apply for cays and islets, except for the strip of ten meters [10m] width adjacent to the beach that is left for public use and the maximum height of constructions. Projects intended to be developed in cays and islets must be known to CETS […]

 WATER LOTS        Article no.8: it is forbidden to create and register new immovable assets known as “water lots” that are not recorded in the Registry of property and mercantile in the Department of Bay Islands at the moment this regulation comes into effect, as well as those water lots duly recorded but where no construction has been erected at the movement this regulation comes into effect. In both cases, no construction may be done nor can new construction Licenses be requested in order to avoid further damage to coral reefs and marine ecosystems. The Titles granted erroneously up to this date by some municipal corporations on favor of individuals natural or judicial regarding water lots are judicially and absolutely annulled for having been granted over the marine platform whose territorial sovereignty belongs exclusively to the State of Honduras thus this regulation is put forward to avoid further occurrences of this type of and avoid further damage to the mangroves and coral reefs.

Article no .9 Except for the provisions of Article 19 a26 regarding jetties quays and marinas, any further construction are forbidden in the sea, whether for commercial, residential industrial or any other use; only small buildings for recreational use will be allowed such as hotel rooms, restaurants and other recreational use […]

CHAPTER IV [RESIDENTAL OR URBAN DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS] Article No. 13: […] fencing of premises.  Fences or walls that obstruct visibility will not be allowed facing the beach. Barbwires will only be permitted in agricultural zones that have been designated for this purpose by the governing scheme.


Article no, 17:cruise ships are forbidden to load potable water or unload sewage or solid waste in the Department of the Bay Islands, except for emergency cases that have been previously verified by the competent authority.

ARTICLE NO.20: Operations will be deemed as quays and shipyards if they include one or more of the following activities: a] repair and maintenance of boats, b] Docking and stowing of boats c] Residual water management, d] Solid waste management, and e] Fuel Management.

Article No.22.  All quay related to activity or major repair of vessels must be conducted in a Dry Dock  [Dique Seco]. Minor repairs, such as painting, oil change and other maintenance activities for vessels must be conducted in areas specifically designated and approved for this purpose by the Governing scheme located in Coxen Hole and French Harbor for the municipality of Roatan, Oak Ridge in the Municipality of Santos Guardiola, Bonacco Cay Armadores and Savannah bight in Guanaja and Utila Town, in order to fulfill the existing environmental rules and provisions issued by SERNA.


Article No, 27: ZONES OF SPECIAL PROTECTION: […] These areas will be the object of protection and therefore conserved and defended. No changes are allowed in the use of the forests; no constructions may be carried out, except for those necessary for its conservation and for sightseeing provided that they are compatible with the guidelines of the management plans approved by CETS. […]

Article No. 28: The anchorage of vessels on the coral reefs is prohibited except in the zones established for this purpose by CETS. Also the unloading of residual water, noxious or solid waste from the vessels anchored out of the jetties, quays or marinas is expressly prohibited.

Article No. 33:  It is forbidden to create new artificial beaches as well as all activities related to the expansion and maintenance of them with the exception of the restoration projects of beaches affected by natural phenomenon as well as social and communal projects. […]

Article No, 35: It is forbidden to bring or trade plastics within the territory of the Department of The Bay Islands; this includes bags and containers used to sell purified water, sodas and other drinking liquids, among others.  The company that distributes these products can request authorization from the CETS for importing and trading them if the company undertakes the responsibility of placing collection centers for the imported plastics and takes responsibility for the removal of such from the islands. […]


Article No.37: for the purposes of this regulations, it is considered that mangroves must be specially protected and therefore the ZONE FOR THE PROTECTION OF MANGROVES is created. This zone includes all existing mangroves in the islands whether they are alive or dead given that the purpose is to recover the typical flora of the islands. Furthermore, this protected zone includes a 10-meters strip of land parallel to the mangrove in order to conserve it.


Article No, 44:When this regulation comes into effect, all existing industrial facilities  [such as seafood packing companies, shipyards, or any other possible source of pollution] that operate in the Department of Bay Islands will have a six-month period, extendable only once with just cause for an additional six-month period to subject themselves to an environmental audit before the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.


Disclaimer: assumes no liability for the accuracy of the information provided on this webpage.  For the latest building ordinances for Roatan and the Bay Islands of Honduras, consult the appropriate Honduran authorities.