Planning & Land Use Division

Planning & Urban Design

Think for a moment about a city or town you’ve visited that left a lasting impression on you. As you visualize the experience in your mind, what was it about that place that impressed you? Was it the city’s overall appearance, prominent architecture, beautiful parks, or something else? Regardless of the answer, your impression was made possible by a concept known as planning or more accurately, planning and urban design.


Planning and urban design is the art of placemaking-a multi-faceted approach to the planning, designing and management of land development (or non-development)-which is essential for the orderly evolution of a city or town. Why? Because the built environment has a profound impact on our lives-influencing everything from the way we feel about ourselves to the way we function in our day to day activities! The built environment is; therefore, at the forefront of the human habitat.


With that in mind, the Planning Division is primarily responsible for:

  • Working with residents and affected stakeholders in the creation of long-range community plans contained within the City’s Comprehensive Plan
  • Writing and amending land use (zoning) regulations that implement the Comprehensive Plan
  • Reviewing development proposals (from both the public and private sector) for compliance with the City’s zoning regulations, design guidelines, and the state’s environmental policies
  • Assisting the public in understanding and complying with the City’s zoning regulations
  • Informing and engaging City residents in certain land-use proposals; coordinating planning actions with other local governments and agencies
  • Interacting with the City’s Planning Commission/Design Review Board


In concert with the department’s mission and vision statements, the Planning Division adheres to the following principles:

  • That coordinated planning and good urban design is essential to the functionality and livability of the City.
  • That citizen participation and stakeholder involvement in long-range City planning efforts is necessary for the successful implementation of those community plans.
  • That all citizens are entitled to assistance in understanding City land use plans and regulations as well as assistance in navigating the City’s land use permitting process.
  • That all land use applications are processed in a timely, equitable, and consistent manner.
  • That good, working relationships between city staff and fellow citizens are essential to the betterment of the City.