Planning and Zoning
There are two primary functions of the Planning Division: current and long range planning. Current planning involves the review of development projects, including anything from bedroom additions to residential subdivisions and new commercial centers. Projects are reviewed for matters such as compliance with zoning regulations, the effect the project will have on the environment, and compatibility with neighboring uses.
Long range planning, on the other hand, involves the establishment of regulations and long range plans for land use and development within the City. The type, size, location, and appearance of development on each property is determined through the Comprehensive Planning process. In essence, it establishes the objectives and framework under which current planning can effectively occur.
The Comprehensive Plan is a policy document that represents the official statement of the City regarding its social, physical, and economic goals. The adopted Comprehensive Plan includes chapters on land use, traffic circulation, housing, conservation, open space, noise, safety, community design, educational and cultural resources, and utility infrastructure. The Comprehensive Plan determines the potential growth of the City, including residential, commercial, and industrial growth. Then, it establishes goals to accommodate that growth.
The Land Development Code is designed to implement the goals of the Comprehensive Plan through detailed regulations. Each property in the City is designated a certain zone. The Zoning Ordinance, in turn, establishes the types of uses permitted at the location, intensity, and the size of structures within each zone.