When you, as a property owner, want to use your property for a purpose other than the one permitted by the Zoning Ordinance, you may request that the zoning be changed. The City Council, after receiving the recommendations from the Planning and Development Department and the Planning and Zoning Commission, may authorize the change.
The following steps will guide you through the rezoning process. Staff is available at any point during the process to assist you or your representative with any questions or concerns you might have.
First Step: Initial Contact
You are encouraged to meet with the staff of the Zoning and Subdivision Services Division of the Planning and Development Department. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss your plans, to learn how the City's plans and policies may affect your property and its development, and to determine what zoning district may be best suited to your proposed development and the surrounding neighborhood. In this way, you will know from the start, what (if any) problems a request for rezoning could face. There may even be a method for allowing you to do what you would like to do on your property without a rezoning. Except for applications for planned developments, this step is not required. Anyone may submit an application for rezoning without consulting the staff first.
Second Step: The Application
When you have determined that a rezoning is necessary, you may submit a Rezoning Application online to Zoning and Subdivision Services. The following items must accompany the application in order to be considered a complete application:
- Rezoning Application signed by the property owner at the time the application is filed
- Accurate legal description of the property
- List of all the property owners, and their mailing addresses, both within the area to be rezoned, and 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 list of property owners with the names and addresses typed on the envelopes
- Non-refundable application fees
Third Step: Staff Review
During the weeks following the application deadline, Planning and Development Department staff will evaluate your request based upon goals and policies as approved by City Council. Your request's effect on the City's street system, sanitary sewer system, and other public facilities; its effect on surrounding properties, specifically on existing residential neighborhoods, and other considerations will be evaluated. Requests must be evaluated as to the effect on the community as a whole and not on the special interests of the property owner. Based upon this evaluation, the staff prepares a staff report to the Planning and Zoning Commission that contains the staff recommendation to the Commission. You will receive a letter notifying you of the date, time and place of the meeting with a copy of the staff report and staff recommendation the week prior to the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
Also during this time, staff prepares a legal advertisement and delivers it to the Springfield News-Leader for publication. The newspaper will bill you for the cost of the advertising (as well as the advertisement for the City Council meeting). Staff will mail notices to the 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 the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
Fourth Step: Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting
The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing to consider your request. You or your representative must attend the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. The Commission will hear each case on the agenda in the following order: the staff presentation and recommendation; your (or your representative's) presentation; other persons in favor of the rezoning, and any persons in opposition to the rezoning. The Commission will recommend the request be approved, the request be denied, or the request be approved with modifications. If the Commission determines that additional information is needed to make a decision, it may also table the request to a future meeting.
If the Planning and Zoning Commission recommends that your request be approved, it will automatically be placed on the City Council's agenda. If Commission recommends that your request be denied, you may request in writing that it be appealed to City Council within 90 days after the Commission meeting. If you request an appeal by the Monday following the Commission meeting, your case will be placed on the same City Council meeting as it would have been if it had been approved by the Commission. A request for appeal made after this time will experience a delay before it is reviewed by City Council due to advertising requirements.
During the time prior to the City Council public hearing on your request, staff prepares minutes of the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, again prepares legal advertisement for newspaper publication, prepares an ordinance for City Council review, mails notices to the property owners within 185 feet of the area to be rezoned and again places public hearing signs on the property.
City Council will have two meetings (two weeks apart) on your rezoning request. You will be notified by mail of the date, time and place of the City Council meetings. You (or your representative) are not required to attend the City Council meetings, but it is recommended that you attend the first meeting in case the City Council has any questions.
Fifth Step: The City Council Meetings
The first City Council meeting is the public hearing. Council will review the staff recommendation and the Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation. They will also hear from you or your representative and any others wishing to speak in favor of or in opposition to the rezoning. City Council does not vote on your request at the first meeting.
The second meeting, two weeks later, is when City Council can vote on your request. The Council may approve the request, approve the request with modifications, or deny the request. If Council determines that additional time for review is required, the request may be tabled until a later meeting.
A simple majority, five of the nine Council members, is required to approve rezoning requests. If a valid protest petition has been submitted for a rezoning request, a two-thirds majority, six of the nine Council members, is required to approve the rezoning. A brochure outlining protest petitions is available upon request from Zoning and Subdivision Services.
You will be notified by mail following the City Council's action on your rezoning request. Another request for rezoning on the same tract of land cannot be accepted by the Planning and Development Department within six months of Council's decision.