Planning and Zoning
The Planning and Zoning Division works with community members to create long-term plans for what our city can look like in the future while making sure that our neighborhoods and commercial corridors are designed to support residents, visitors, workers, and businesses.
Urban Planners do this through three main functions: planning, zoning, and commission support work.
Planning creates blueprints for what our city can look like in the future. This focuses on the big picture of how we use the spaces where we live and work.
See the plans the Planning and Zoning Division has created under Planning Initiatives.
The city's Zoning Code controls the location, size, and building materials of fences, buildings, garages, and homes. It also controls what is allowed in different parts of the city. For example, a large factory cannot be located in the middle of a residential area.
Zoning Verification and Transfer Certificate
Before a multifamily or mixed-use (residential and commercial) property can transfer to a new owner, the use must be verified. Submit a Zoning Verification and Transfer Permit (PDF). This verifies for the buyer that the number of units is legal.
The Planning and Zoning Division staff provide their knowledge and support to three commissions staffed by community members who volunteer their time to provide input and accountability.
- Accessory Storage Structures Brochure (PDF)
- Driveways Brochure (PDF)
- Fencing Brochure (PDF)
- Historic Preservation Commission Brochure (PDF)
- Home Occupation Brochure (PDF)
- Landscaping Brochure (PDF)
- One Stop Shop Brochure (PDF)
- Parking Regulations Brochure (PDF)
- Stream Buffer Brochure (PDF)
- Swimming Pools Brochure (PDF)
- Temporary Uses Brochure (PDF)
- What are special uses and rezoning permits?
A rezoning or a special use is required when a property owner proposes to use their land for purposes other than those permitted by the current zoning classification. The filing procedure for applications is the same. The following is the process:
- A meeting should be scheduled with a Planning Department Staff person to discuss the proposal in detail and receive staff suggestions on how to proceed.
- After the conference, the applicant submits the completed application form, site plan (if required), and the processing fee.
- The application is reviewed by the Planning Department staff who then prepares an analysis and recommendation for the Planning and Zoning Commission. The time, date and place of the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting is advertised in local newspapers and all adjacent property owners are notified.
- The Planning and Zoning Commission will consider each request at a public hearing. The applicant and the general public may present information to the Commission which may recommend approval as submitted, approval subject to certain conditions, denial of the application, or deferral of the case to a future meeting. After the Planning and Zoning Commission makes a recommendation, rezoning and special use requests are heard by the City Council. The Council will take final action on the request. If the request is approved, the property owner may proceed with development plans, taking into consideration any conditions which may have been imposed by the Council.
- What is a variance?
Variance permits are requested by citizens in specific cases where strict enforcement of a zoning regulation would cause unnecessary or unusual hardship. The Board of Zoning Appeals hears requests for variances and can vary or modify a regulation. An application for a variance must contain a surveyed plat and a statement of the unusual circumstances or unique physical characteristics which would cause an unreasonable hardship on the applicant with the strict enforcement of the requirements of the Zoning ordinance. These may include exceptional narrowness, shallowness, size, or topographic conditions of the property.
The process for a variance is as follows:
- Bring proposed plans to the Community Development Department where staff will provide pre-application counseling. An application form and other necessary information will need to be presented to the Board of Zoning Appeals in preparation for a public hearing.
- Upon receipt of the complete application form and required fee, the Planning staff and representatives from other City departments will review the request.
- A site inspection will be made. All staff analysis and recommendations will be prepared and submitted to the Board and the applicant. During this time, the request will be advertised in local newspapers, and notice of requests will be sent to adjacent property owners.
At the public hearing, the applicant or a representative must appear to present the proposal and answer questions. Other interested parties will also be allowed to speak. After hearing the testimony, the Board will take action on the request by either approving the request (with or without conditions), deny the request, or defer for additional consideration. The process takes approximately one month.