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Thread: What does it take to apply for rezoning?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    What does it take to apply for rezoning?

    A question about the requirements to apply for a rezoning (a map amendment) in the jurisdictions you are familiar with. I'm trying to get an overall sense of what most places require, for comparison to a specific jurisdiction. (I'm thinking about the US, but I'd be interested in what other places require, too.)

    How much information about the proposed zoning change is the applicant required to submit? Is it more like just saying "AG to C-2"? Or are site plans, building footprints, building elevations, specific uses, number of proposed parking spaces, number of proposed trees, location of proposed driveways, etc. required to consider any rezoning application?

    I'm not concerned with information about the property itself, like tax maps and surveys and pictures, just about what the applicant is requesting. How specific do they have to be?
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  2. #2
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    From my experience detailed plans for the property are not required to apply for the zoning change. While, we would ask for the general purpose of the change (i.e. to build a house, to allow industrial uses, etc), it would be pointless and a waste of time to get building plans and the such at that point. In many cases the property is sold to somebody else, after the zoning change is approved, and they would have their own specific plans on how the property will be used.

  3. #3
    They don't need to be very specific here. That's what they pay me for.

    Typically, for a straight zone change they simply complete an application, pay a fee, and attend the public hearing.

    If they are seeking a PUD we do require a fairly detailed site plan to go with the application (our PUD is a hybrid zone change). Final CDs are not required until a secondary review meeting up to 18 mos after the PUD is approved.

  4. #4
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    In my 74,000 pop. prominent northwest Chicago suburb, we require a detailed development plan for the specific proposed use associated with the rezoning.

    Also, if someone sells the property after they have gone through the public hearing process and the new owner doesn't substantially comply with the development plan, the new owner may need to redo the public hearing process.

    I know....sounds like contract zoning.....but that's how we do it here. I would love to analyze rezoning without having to include the development plan (esp. for permitted uses). That would make life a lot easier and would jive much better with our general development code.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  5. #5
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    3 processes here (applies to textual and map changes. Typically for map changes, requests are based on tax map and lot numbers. We don't generally split the zoning of lots):

    1. Council Initiative – The Town Council decides they want to initiate a zoning change. Under this process, the Council would refer their request to the Planning Board for a public hearing and recommendation. The Planning Board has 90 days to make a recommendation under the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance. After the Planning Board hearing and recommendation, the Town Council would then hold their own 1st reading, 2nd reading, public hearing, and make the final decision.

    2. Planning Board Initiative –
    This is the most common method of zoning ordinance changes. The Planning Board decides to amend the ordinance, holds a hearing and makes a recommendation to the Town Council. The Council then holds their 1st reading, 2nd reading, public hearing, and make the final decision. Any person can also apply directly to the Planning Board for a zoning amendment or rezoning. Under this scenario, if the Planning Board supports the request after a public hearing, it is sent to the Council for readings, hearing, and final decision. If the Planning Board does not support the request after a hearing, the process ends, and it is NOT sent to the Council for action.

    3. Citizen’s Petition – This is the final method for initiating a zoning change. A petition with a minimum of 25 signatures of registered voters is required for a valid citizen’s petition. The Town Council receives the petition, and then refers the petition to the Planning Board. Within 90 days, the Planning Board must hold a public hearing and make a recommendation on the petition. Regardless of the Planning Board recommendation (either supporting the petition, or recommending denial of the petition), the recommendation is sent to the Town Council for readings, hearing, and a final decision.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Any property owner can apply for a zone change. We require a survey of the property and a host of studies comparing development allowed now vs. development allowed under the proposed zone. The studies can be waived by the Commission where they don't make sense.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    We require a major site plan, which is a professional drawing. That can set you back a few G's.
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Other than the application form, $1200, site plan of property, and a copy of the deed, we don't require anything else. However, the board is more receptive when applicants provide a description of the proposed use and a preliminary development plan. But we always alert the board that the property owner is not bound to develop in accordance with the plan.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Try not to laugh.

    1. Application form and the $250 dollar fee
    2. Recorded plat of the land with or without a speculative design
    3. Public hearing at Planning Commission to appeal to the board for a change. I would say my board is about a 60% chance of it passing, especially if it is contiguous to other zones of the same nature.
    4. After that you have to make it through three readings at county council and another public hearing in front of council.
    5. over 100 days later (total process) your property will be rezoned.
    @GigCityPlanner

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    Try not to laugh.

    1. Application form and the $250 dollar fee...snip...
    Off-topic:
    Man, that doesn't even cover the cost of the published notices of public hearings. I've debated this issue until I'm blue in the face that the cost to process any application should not be subsidized by the general population. But does anybody listen to me?
    Annoyingly insensitive

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Off-topic:
    Man, that doesn't even cover the cost of the published notices of public hearings. I've debated this issue until I'm blue in the face that the cost to process any application should not be subsidized by the general population. But does anybody listen to me?
    What public notice? State law and local law only require, get this, a sign 7 days prior on the property. Now I'm working on changing that to mailed notice of property owners within 100 or 200 feet but change here is tough for this yankee.

    I agree, I've said here and have already upped the subdivision fees, minor sub is now a whopping $25 bucks up to around $1,200 for a larger 100 acre sub. based on lots and acres so it's a sliding scale. We currently run 6 figures in the red and we do almost no future planning it's all reactionary to requests for rezoning or permit review. I do think the public should fun future planning but not plan review.
    @GigCityPlanner

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Public Notice requirements from our rezoning application packet:

    AFTER FILING, but at least 12 days before the APC meeting, a notice must be mailed by the petitioner by
    CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED (see attached sample letter/instruction) to each of the
    owners whose property is abutting the owner's property included in whole or in part in the petition for
    rezoning.

    Submit a notarized affidavit (use the attached form), along with one copy of the notice which you mailed,
    and the green return receipts (and explanation for any un-returned receipts) to the Area Plan Commission Office by noon the Tuesday before the Area Plan Commission meeting. It is suggested that you have your copy of the certified letter receipt filled out completely and stamped by the Post Office at the time that you mail the notice. In the event that the green copy is not returned to you prior to themeeting, bring your receipt and/or the returned letter itself to the Plan Commission office as proof that the letter was sent by you. THIS IS IMPORTANT! If the above requirements are not met, the rezoning application will be postponed until the next regularly scheduled meeting, and you must complete (or repeat) the notification process for that meeting and pay an additional (continuance) fee equal to onehalf the original filing fee.
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  13. #13
    Cyburbian ruralplanner's avatar
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    We require rezone applicants to fill out a general application and attached to that application a general site plan to scale showing locations of buildings, parking areas, vegetation, storm water provisions etc. The site plan can be done by the applicant and need not be professionally done. Along with the site plan we have them answer three questions in part to find out what they intend to do, but to also make them think about whether their proposal is consistent with any applicable plans.
    Here are the three questions:

    Question 1: General description of the request.

    Question 2: Related background information on the project and site.

    Question 3: Justification, special reasons or basis for the request.


    Question three requires the applicant to justify how the proposed rezone and land use is consistent with all applicable plans.

    It is after the applicant addresses question 3 and realizes that the rezone and proposed land use is not consistent with all of the applicable plans, they usually stop the process and save themselves the $350.00 filing fee. For those people who still decide to try for the rezone, they are almost always denied. For those who find that their proposal is consistent with applicable plans, they leave quite happy knowing that the rezone will be a cake walk. On average question 3 has kept our rezone applications to about 12 a year, for a County of about 55,000.

    Finally, we also require a metes and bounds legal description of the exact area to be rezoned. This can be costly if the area is not already surveyed, especially in the hills. In the past, when I was like 5-years old, our old legal descriptions in old rezone files were more like: the north 30 rods from the oak tree to the corner of the fence row, south to the centerline of Bundy Hollow Road, past Mrs. Pickleís mailbox to the large boulder.

    Okóthey were not that badóbut bad enough.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Mailed notice, certified return receipt to property owners within a 1,000-ft. radius of the proposed zone change. Recent changes in the code (courtesy of you know who), provide some flexibility to this standard based on the proposed change.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  15. #15
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    In my 74,000 pop. prominent northwest Chicago suburb, we require a detailed development plan for the specific proposed use associated with the rezoning.

    Also, if someone sells the property after they have gone through the public hearing process and the new owner doesn't substantially comply with the development plan, the new owner may need to redo the public hearing process.

    I know....sounds like contract zoning.....but that's how we do it here. I would love to analyze rezoning without having to include the development plan (esp. for permitted uses). That would make life a lot easier and would jive much better with our general development code.
    I like your process quite a bit actually. One thing that has often frustrated me is the lack of specificity in other approaches (i.e. how did this local commercial center become a truck stop?).

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