The Drosophila melanogaster Chd3 gene encodes a member of the CHD group of SNF2/RAD54 ATPases. CHD proteins are conserved from yeast to man and many are subunits of chromatin-remodeling complexes that facilitate transcription. Drosophila CHD3 proteins are not found in protein complexes, but as monomers that remodel chromatin in vitro. CHD3 colocalize with elongating RNA polymerase II on salivary gland polytene chromosomes. Since the role of Chd3 in development was unknown, we isolated and characterized the essential genes within the 640-kb region of the third chromosome (polytene chromosome region 76B-D) that includes Chd3. We recovered mutations in 24 genes that are essential for zygotic viability. We found that transposon-insertion mutants for 46% of the essential genes are included in the Drosophila Gene Disruption Project collection. None of the essential genes that we identified are in a 200-kb region that includes Chd3. We generated a deletion of Chd3 by targeted gene replacement. This deletion had no effect on either viability or fertility.