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  • The Planning Zone

What the Planning Department Does and Why???
Plan and provide for the future growth and
improvement of the unincorporated areas of
Cochise County in order to conserve and promote
the public health, safety, convenience and
general welfare of the citizens of this county.
  • Enabling Legislation
  • ARS Section 11
  • Established in the 1970s
  • Planning Zoning Commission in 1972
  • Zoning Regulations Adopted in 1975
  • Light Pollution Code in 1982
  • Cochise County Comprehensive Plan Adopted in
  • Rural Addressing in 1989

How Were Organized
  • Planning Department Divisions
  • Building (Linda Weiland)
  • Planning (Judy Anderson)
  • Rural addressing
  • (Sally Snowball or
  • Janet Smith)

How it All Fits Together
  • Comprehensive Plan
  • Blueprint for County Growth
  • Land Use Maps Goals Policies
  • Light Pollution Code
  • Hazard Abatement
  • Clearing Ordinance
  • Building Code
  • Zoning
  • Specifies land uses allowed in
  • different districts
  • Lists site development standards
  • setbacks parking
  • Development Review
  • Subdivisions
  • Building Permits

Cochise County Comprehensive Plan
  • This is the umbrella
  • document that guides
  • land use decisions and
  • serves as the blueprint for the
  • kinds of zoning to be expected in
  • a particular area.

Comprehensive Plan
Comprehensive Plan Summary
  • Growth Areas
  • Category A - Intensive Growth Areas (Around SV)
  • Category B - Urban Growth Areas - (Around cities
    Sunsites, St. David etc.)
  • Category C - Rural Growth Areas (Small
  • communities e.g. Elfrida,Naco)
  • Category D - Rural Areas
  • Designations
  • Neighborhood Conservation - where people live
  • Enterprise -clusters of business and industry
  • Developing - An area that is changing
  • Rural - Large residential lots agriculture

Zoning Regulations
  • Is my property zoned? Yes
  • When was it zoned?
  • Zoning was adopted in 1975 for all
  • properties in the unincorporated parts
  • of Cochise County.
  • General agricultural, ranching, mining railroad
    activities are exempt from County Zoning
    Regulations ( other ordinances) by State law.

Summary of Zoning Districts
  • Rural Zoning Districts
  • Approximately 90 of the unincorporated areas of
    the County are zoned RU (Rural)
  • Rural districts allow residential uses on large
    lots ranging from 2-36 acres in size
  • A wide range of commercial and
  • industrial activities are also
  • possible as Special Uses if
  • approved by the Commission

Residential Zoning Districts
  • SR (Single-Household Residential)(Site Built
  • - Only districts that excludes mobile
    manufactured homes
  • - Lot sizes 9,000 square feet to 36 Acres
  • SM (Single Household/Manufactured Home
  • Excludes mobile homes (pre-1976)
  • Lot sizes from 9,000 square feet to 36 Acres
  • TR (Transitional- Residential) (All dwelling
  • Lot sizes from 9,000 to 36,000 square feet.

Multi-Residential Zoning Districts Contd
  • MR-1 Single- and multiple-household dwellings
    like apartments but does not allow mobile and
    manufactured homes and recreational vehicles
  • MR-2 Single- and multiple-household dwellings
    does allow mobile and manufactured homes and
    parks and recreational vehicle parks
  • Smallest lot sizes allowed in
  • residential districts
  • Minimum lot size 3,600 sq.ft.
  • per unit
  • Used to be called Manufactured/Mobile Home

Business Industrial Districts
  • There are several districts established to
    accommodate business and industrial uses ranging
    from least to most intensive
  • NB (Neighborhood Business),
  • GB (General Business),
  • LI (Light Industry),
  • HI (Heavy Industry).
  • These districts allow
  • a whole range of uses!

Our County
  • Mission Statement
  • Provide a one-stop shop for permits, inspections,
    enforcement and complaint resolution to the
    Citizens of Cochise County.

Building Division Functions
  • Issue Residential Commercial Building Permits
  • Perform Building and Zoning Inspections
  • Enforce Zoning Regulations
  • Abate Hazards

What is a Permitted Use?
  • A use that is allowed in the zoning district but
    requires a permit from the Planning Department.

To Permit or Not Permit
  • A permit is required for new construction,
    additions, installation of manufactured homes,
    remodels and signs gt 500 outside of Building
    Code Areas.
  • A permit is also required for a change of use,
    such as when a different type of business is put
    into an existing building.
  • Example When a furniture store is changed to a
    restaurant, a permit is needed.

Permit Application
  • A complete application is the key to successful
    and timely permit request.
  • Joint Permit Application
  • Commercial Permit Questionnaire
  • Hazardous Materials Questionnaire
  • Proof of Valid Contractor Form
  • A complete site plan

Getting a Permit
  • Residential permits take about 5 days to issue
  • Non-residential take 15 days or more to issue
    depending on the complexity
  • One Stop Shop
  • The Planning Department sends the permit to the
    Health and Highway and Floodplain Departments and
    other interested agencies for review

Enforcing Zoning Regulations
  • Violations of the Zoning Regulations
  • Fill out a violation form
  • An inspector will investigate
  • If determined a violation a letter is sent
  • Owner given about 2 weeks to comply voluntarily
  • If compliance is not achieved the violation is
    cited to the hearing officer
  • Hearing officer can impose a fine of 750 up to
    50 per day per violations
  • Process requires patience as it can be lengthy

Our County
  • Mission Statement
  • Promote future growth of the County in
  • an orderly, well-planned manner
  • Assign physical addresses for establishment of a
    countywide Enhanced 9-1-1 emergency response

Planning Division Functions
  • Issue Rural Addresses
  • Process Rezoning Special Use Permits Master
    Development Plans variances
  • Review Home Occupations
  • Process Accessory Living Quarters
  • Lot Modifications
  • Update/amend the Comprehensive Land Use Plan
  • Develop localized land use plans with communities
  • Process Subdivisions

Why an Address is Important
  • The local fire department needs an address to
    find your
  • home (Enhanced 911)
  • Santa Claus cant find the house at RR2, or the
    second house, past the 3rd big rock, after
  • the fork in the road

Rural Addressing Questions
  • Im west of Hway 92, why is my address east?
  • Why cant I name my driveway?
  • How are roads named?
  • Why hasnt my road sign been installed?
  • Can I put up my own numbers or do I have to use
    the shiny green numbers the County provides?
  • Can I put my address numbers on the mailbox?

Changing my Zoning Rezonings
  • Rezoning changes the range of land uses permitted
    on a property
  • For example a lot limited to homes can be changed
    to allow businesses if a rezoning is approved
  • Neighbors are notified of the request
  • The Planning Commission holds a public
  • hearing and makes a recommendation
  • to the Board of Supervisors
  • The Board holds a public hearing
  • and votes for approval, approval
  • with conditions or disapproval

  • Downzoning is a voluntary action by an individual
    or group of landowners to decrease densities
    and/or uses of an area through increased minimum
    lot sizes
  • Increased buffers between neighboring parcels
  • Decreased residential densities
  • Increased overall open space
  • Fewer offsite impacts
  • Less infrastructure needed
  • Preserves rural appearance

What is a Special Use?
  • Uses that are approved on a case by case basis by
    the Planning Commission
  • Involve a public hearing with input from

Special Uses in the RU Zoning Districts
  • There are 43 Special uses in the Rural Zoning
    Districts, for example
  • Auto Repair Services
  • RV Parks
  • Convenience Stores
  • Shooting ranges

Home Occupations
  • Gaining permission to operate a small business in
    your home is simple
  • Complete a short questionnaire
  • Submit a hand-drawn sketch plan
  • showing the area used for the business
  • Typical home occupations are
  • Internet consulting and sales
  • mail-order accounting
  • handicrafts for craft shows.

Home Occupations Criteria
  • Home still looks like a home, not a business
  • No outdoor display, storage or activities
  • except one small on-site unlit sign and vehicular
  • No off-site impacts (noise,odors,dust,glare etc.)
  • Business uses an area no greater than ¼ of the
  • residences floor area
  • Only 1 employee other than a resident
  • Minimal traffic/all parking on site
  • No retail sales from the property

Accessory Living Quarters
  • Needed if you want to care for your mom in a
    small house next door or want a guest house
  • 750 square feet or 1/2 the size of your home
    whichever is smaller
  • Permitted if the neighbors have no concerns
  • Only for larger parcels
  • RU, TR-36, SM-36, 87,174, 10-acres,
  • 18-acres or 36-acres, or
  • SR-43, 87,174, 10-acres,
  • 18-acres or 36-acres.

Lot Modification
  • What if my lot cant quite meet the site
    development standards for my zoning districts?
  • Some Site Development Standards may be eligible
    for a reduction of up to 10
  • Setbacks
  • Site coverage
  • Height
  • Number of Parking spaces
  • Site area may be reduced
  • 5 for lots in a zoning district with a
  • minimum site area of one acre or smaller
  • 1 for lots in a zoning district with a minimum
    site area of more than one acre.
  • Permitted if the neighbors have no concerns

  • What if my lot still cant meet the site
    development standards?
  • A variance can be reviewed by the Board of
    Adjustment at a Public Hearing
  • Variances are granted if
  • There are peculiar circumstances, surroundings or
    conditions for which strict application of the
    Zoning Regulations would result in practical
    difficulties or unnecessary hardship

What is a Community Plan?
  • Gives local citizens a voice in how their
    community grows
  • Once adopted, it is a commitment from the Board
    of Supervisors to use the Plan as the basis of
    land use change decisions such as
  • rezoning requests
  • special use permits
  • subdivisions
  • Master development plans

A Plan Does Not
  • Affect existing zoning or
  • Affect existing permitted land uses!

How Big Parcels Shrink
  • There are two ways that big parcels become small
  • Formal subdivision process
  • (lots split all at once
  • through a planned
  • process)
  • Unregulated splits (lots split 5 times by
    different owners over time)

Unregulated Splits
  • State law regarding splitting parcels
  • 360-acre parcel can be broken into ten
  • 36-acre parcels so long as each lot is
    36-acres or larger
  • Each 36-acre parcel can be split 5 more times by
    subsequent owners if they meet the minimum lot
    size for zoning
  • No one owner can split more than 5 times

The Result
A 400-Acre parcel
Becomes Ten 40 -Acre Parcels
40 acres
40 acres
40 acres
40 acres
40 acres
400 acres
40 acres
40 acres
40 acres
40 acres
40 acres
New Owner Splits 5 Times
8 Acres
8 Acres
8 Acres
8 Acres
8 Acres
Each 40-acre parcel becomes five 8-acre parcels
New Owner Splits Twice
Each 8-acre parcel becomes two 4-acre parcels
4 acres
4 acres
End Result 100-Lots
100 -Lots
Each With Own Home
4 acres
4 acres
16 acres
4 acres
4 acres
Problems Resulting
  • Unregulated splits happen without any planning or
    oversight resulting in
  • Unmaintained, impassable roads
  • Flooding during
  • storms
  • Parks, schools, or Sheriffs
  • protection becoming overburdened or crowded
  • The general taxpayers ends up paying for services
    rather than those served

Formal Subdivision Process
  • Advantages of a formal subdivision process
  • Applicant presents a planned development
  • County reviews all lots at once
  • Adequate roads, drainage, utilities, and accurate
    lot boundaries
  • Once approved and improvements are
  • constructed the original owner can
  • put the lots on the market all at once

Decision Making Bodies
  • The Planning and Zoning Commission
  • 9 Volunteer membersBoard of Supervisors appoints
  • Recommends to the Board of Supervisors on
    rezonings, regulation and plan amendments,
    community plans
  • Make decisions on special uses
  • The Boards of Adjustment
  • 3 volunteer members Board of Supervisors
  • Decides variances to the Zoning site development
    standards such as setbacks
  • Hear appeals of Planning Director interpretations
  • Hearing Officer
  • Judges violations to the Zoning Regulations

Thank you for your time
  • Any Questions or comments?