There are occasions when a business or property owner wants to develop a property for a business that may not be allowed in a given area of the city. For example, a business owner may want to build a restaurant in an area that is zoned for office buildings. In this case, a request for rezoning is necessary.
The rezoning process requires that a public hearing, an open forum, is conducted by the Planning Commission. Business owners are encouraged to have a thorough discussion with the City Planner before a public hearing is scheduled. The purpose of the public hearing is to provide interested parties the opportunity to voice concerns about the proposed project. The applicant also has an opportunity to discuss the details of the proposal and the reasons why the rezoning is requested.
The Planning Commission's goal is to ensure that the neighborhood will not be adversely affected by the proposed rezoning. The standards considered in an application are outlined in the city’s zoning ordinance. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the Planning Commission will make a recommendation to the City Council. The City Council will make the final determination regarding the rezoning request.
Unlike the other approvals (special land use, variances, etc), rezoning requires an ordinance change. As such, the city cannot only consider the business specifically being proposed. It must also consider all of the other uses that could be permitted as 'of right' if the rezoning is adopted, current development patterns, and the City's Master Plan. The city's zoning ordinance outlines the standards used in considering rezoning.