The zoning ordinance is the most common technique local government uses to influence the location and density of development. Every property is assigned a zoning designation that determines what that property can be used for. A property owner can petition to change the zoning of their land for a different use, following well-established procedures outlined by state law and local policy. This is called a "rezoning."
Property owners wishing to rezone: a consultation with Area Plan Commission Staff is highly encouraged to ensure project conformity with the intent and requirements of the proposed new Zoning District and to alleviate potential future misunderstandings and extensive revisions. Depending on the proposal, potential petitioners may be requested to attend a Project Advisory Team (PAT) meeting, consisting of experts from relevant County Departments to receive further feedback about their proposal.
Following consultation, potential petitioners should fill out a request for rezoning form. Included in this petition should be a site plan showing the proposed plans for the parcel. After the required fees are submitted, Area Plan Commission Staff will review the petition in preparation for the Area Plan Commission Meeting. This includes reviewing the petition and providing a report for the board members as well as notifying members of the public near the rezoning. Petitioners will be required to appear before the Area Plan Commission members for a public hearing, during which they will have the opportunity to discuss their proposal and answer questions before the board.
The Area Plan Commission will then forward a favorable, unfavorable, or no recommendation to the County Council who will hear the rezoning and make the final decision.