What is Planning & Zoning?

What is Planning & Zoning?

Ever wonder what a Planning & Zoning Commission actually does? What is the role of zoning codes in development? All this and more in this Development Explainer video! 🏗️


Below is a transcript of this video:


Have you ever wondered why your city looks the way it does? Why do some areas have houses or apartments, while others have shops, restaurants, or even factories? It’s  likely that a local Planning & Zoning Commission helped guide the look and layout of your city based on adopted plans and community input. But what is Planning & Zoning?


Planning is the process of defining a collective vision for the future.


Zoning is the regulatory tool used to implement the vision laid out in a plan.


Zoning codes decide what can be built and where. They determine 3 things:


1- The classification of land use for a prospective site

2- Where a building will be located on a prospective site

3- The size and height allowed for a new building


A planning & zoning commission is an advisory board appointed by local officials that determines and recommends policies and programs that help make decisions for development in your city. Sometimes, P&Z commissions hold public hearings on planning and land use decisions. They also oversee the creation of comprehensive plans and deliberate on ordinance amendments to current codes and regulations.


Planning & zoning go hand in hand; it is impossible to do one without the other. Having a P&Z department allows communities to think about how they want their community to look in the years ahead and grow in a smart, sustainable way; to learn more about your city or county’s P&Z board, look online, attend a P&Z meeting, or stop in at your local city hall to see how you can get involved.

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