Planning Department Responsibilities

Regulation Enforcement
The Planning Section of this department serves as staff for the Planning Board and the Board of Commissioners on land use regulation enforcement.

These regulations include:
  • Billboard
  • Flood
  • Junkyard
  • Mobile Home Park
  • Stormwater
  • Subdivision
  • Water Supply Watershed
  • Zoning Ordinances
Central Permitting System
Since March 2003 the Planning Department, along with Environmental Health and Building Inspections, have used a Central Permitting System. This computer system allows for the status of permits to be easily followed in many ways including address, owners name, subdivision or contractor. We have a goal of making this information available online over the Internet.

The Planning Department is the first agency involved in the permitting process. After receiving an application we determine if the project is within the County's jurisdiction. If not, then the applicant must receive approval from the appropriate municipality.

If the property is in the County’s jurisdiction an address is assigned to the property. In 2007 we assigned over 800 new addresses. The staff will then review the proposed use for compliance with the zoning, stormwater, flood, billboard and noise overlay ordinances. If a manufactured home is proposed for the site we verify the age and previous location of the home. We issued over 1,000 Development permits in 2007.

Zoning Consideration Process

When considering zoning as part of the County’s permitting process the Planning staff looks at whether the property is in a zoned area (not all parts of the County are zoned), and if the proposed use is allowed in the existing zone.

The areas around the airports and schools are zoned for residential, commercial, and/or industrial. If the proposed use is not allowed in existing zones the property owner may request a rezoning. The Board of Commissioners holds on average about 3 rezoning public hearings a year.