How To Request A Planned Development

A planned development results in a property being rezoned, similar to a property being rezoned to a conventional zoning district. A planned development (PD) encourages a more creative and imaginative design than is generally not possible under conventional zoning regulations. A PD differs from conventional zoning by allowing deviations from the zoning ordinance. For instance, building setbacks may be changed or a mix of uses may be allowed or a development density may be increased. In return, however, the PD may require the use of a recommended development standard from the City's Comprehensive Plan which is not yet included in the zoning ordinance or smaller signage or an increased bufferyard may be required. A planned development also differs from rezoning to a conventional zoning district because a site plan, and accompanying set of development standards, will be used to direct development of the property.

Initial Contact

You are encouraged to meet with staff of the Zoning and Subdivision Services Office of the Planning and Development Department prior to submitting a sketch plan. You may meet with staff as many times as you wish prior to submitting a sketch plan or application. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss your plans with staff to learn how the City's Comprehensive Plan may affect development on your property. In this way, you will know from the start, what (if any) problems a request for a PD could face.

Sketch Plan Review

All planned developments proposals must first be reviewed by City staff for compliance with the City's Comprehensive Plan and the City's ordinances prior to submitting the rezoning application. The applicant must submit a site plan along with explanatory text for review at this time. Please see the Planned Development Sketch Plan Checklist. The Administrative Review Committee will review this material to understand the PD's basic concept, character and nature, as well as the specific site plan and requested development standards, and they will make its recommendation to Planning and Zoning Commission known to you in writing prior to the rezoning application deadline. The recommendation may be for approval, denial, or approval with certain changes to the site plan and submitted material. Some of the changes may include those recommended by policies in the Comprehensive Plan. You are welcome to meet with staff to discuss their recommendations.

The Application

When you have determined that you wish to apply for a PD, request a planned development packet from Zoning and Subdivision Services staff, if you haven't yet done so. This packet includes a Rezoning Application and checklist, a current processing time schedule and a boilerplate language for the development standards. The application must be accompanied by items listed in the checklist, including:

  • Application must be signed by the property owner at the time the application is filed
  • Accurate legal description of the property prepared by an attorney or licensed surveyor
  • List of all property owners within 185 feet of the area to be rezoned that is prepared by a title company or attorney
  • 2 plain, stamped envelopes for each name on the property owners list with the names and addresses typed on the envelopes (do not put a return address)
  • Non-refundable application fee

Staff Review

During the weeks following application deadline, City staff does a more in-depth evaluation of your request. Requests will be evaluated as to their effect on the community as a whole, not on the special interests of the property owner, and how well the application addresses policies from the Comprehensive Plan and/or city ordinances. Based upon this evaluation, staff prepares a report to Planning and Zoning Commission that contains our recommendation to Commission. A letter notifying you of the date, time and place of the meeting, with a copy of the staff report, will be sent to you the week prior to the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

Also during this time, the Springfield Newspaper will publish a legal advertisement and they will bill you. Staff will mail notices to property owners within 185 feet of the property to be rezoned and will place public hearing signs on the property to advise interested parties of the date, time and place of Commission's meeting.

Both Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council strongly urge that you have a meeting with those adjacent property owners who might be affected by this rezoning. Holding such a meeting before Commission holds its public hearing is a good idea. It may lessen some of the fears that your neighbors have.

Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting

Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing to consider your request. You or your representative must attend this meeting or the issue may be automatically tabled for one month. Staff will first make its presentation followed by your presentation. Then, those in favor of the request and then those not in favor will be permitted to speak. Each speaker will be permitted five minutes to present their comments. Commission will then recommend the request be approved, the request be denied, the request be approved with modifications or that the request be tabled to a future meeting for changes.

If Planning and Zoning Commission recommends that your request be approved, it will automatically be placed on City Council's agenda approximately one month after Commission's decision. If Commission recommends that your request be denied, you may request in writing that it be appealed to City Council within 90 days after Commission meeting. If you request an appeal by Monday following Commission's meeting, your case will be placed on the same Council meeting as it would have been if it had been approved by Commission. A request for appeal made after this time will experience a delay before it's reviewed by City Council due to advertising requirements.

During the time prior to City Council's public hearing on your request, staff prepares minutes of Planning Commission's meeting, prepares a council bill for Council's review, and again mails notices to property owners within 185 feet of the area to be rezoned and places public hearing signs on the property.

City Council will have 2 readings (at least 2 weeks apart) on your request. You will be notified by mail of the date, time and place of the Council meetings. You (or your representative) are not required to attend the City Council meetings, but it is recommended that you do so at the first reading in case City Council has any questions. Council's rules require that input from the applicant or neighbors will be during the first reading only.

City Council Meetings

The first City Council reading is the public hearing. Council will review both staff's and Commission's recommendations. They will also hear from you or your representative and any others wishing to speak to the request. City Council does not vote on your request at the first reading.

City Council may vote on your request at their next meeting. Council may either approve the request, approve it with modifications, deny it or return it to Planning Commission for further review and another recommendation. If Council determines that additional time for review is required, they may table it until a later meeting.

A simple majority, 5 of 9 Council members, is required to approve PD requests. If a valid protest petition has been submitted, a two-thirds majority, 6 of 9 Council members, is required to approve a rezoning. A brochure outlining protest petitions is available upon request from Zoning and Subdivision Services.

If the PD is approved, it rezones the property until another rezoning changes it or amends the PD.

You will be notified by mail following City Council's second reading about their decision on your request. Another request for rezoning on the same tract of land cannot be accepted by the Planning Department within 6 months of Council's decision.

Final Development Plan

Development cannot begin until a final development plan is approved. Exhibit 1 in the ordinance approving the PD contains a section on how the final development plan is to be approved. It may require staff review or it may require review and approval by Planning Commission and/or City Council.

Responses to Common Questions

The quickest a PD can get through the review and approval process, including sketch review, is about 100 days. It may take longer if an item is tabled or returned to Planning Commission.

City Council does not negotiate on changes at their meetings. If changes are desired, Council will likely return the PD to Planning Commission for another recommendation.

No, you may not contact individual Planning Commission members to discuss your case with them. However, you may discuss it with any of the City Councilpersons.


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