The Subdivision Section processes preliminary plans and final plats of subdivision, reservation and vacation plats. Subdivision approvals result in the creation of thousands of new lots per year. Preliminary plans are reviewed to ensure that adequate public facilities are available, or will be available in the future, to serve the proposed development. Final plats, reservation plats, and vacation petitions include all pertinent engineering data necessary to locate every street, lot, block, and boundary on the ground.
The Zoning Section processes zoning map amendments, special exceptions, variances, special permits, certification of nonconforming uses, and departures. Zoning map amendments for mixed-use, comprehensive design, and traditional single-purpose developments establish the development potential for individual properties. Special exceptions and special permits are required for specific uses, and physical improvements must conform to an approved site plan. The certification process addresses uses that were established legally but are not currently permitted by existing zoning. Departures and variances provide modest relief from the strict requirements of the Zoning Ordinance, based upon the existence of unique physical characteristics or other extraordinary situations that could otherwise prohibit reasonable use of a property.