Types of Development Applications

The development pyramid illustrates how the various types of development applications considered by the Planning Commission relate to each other and to the building permit review process. Additional details about a development are required with each subsequent application.

 

Special Use Permits Rezoning Final Development Plan Plats Preliminary and Final Building Permit

Development Pyramid

Rezoning Requests

A rezoning is a request to change the zoning district classification applicable to one or more specific lots or tracts.

Rezoning and special use permits are often the first permits approved and provide the base on which all other applications are reviewed. 

Requests for planned zoning districts (distinguished by a "P" in the title, for example CP-2, Planned General Business District) must be accompanied by:

  • A site plan showing the proposed layout of the development, including building locations, parking lots, access, landscaping and buffering;
  • Civil drawings to indicate existing and proposed grades, drainage patterns and locations for detention and stormwater treatment facilities; and
  • Building architecture, which may be conceptual.

Requests for conventional zoning districts require only a legal description of the property requested for rezoning. Conventional rezonings typically are limited to single-family developments.

All rezoning applications require notice to surrounding property owners and a public hearing before the Planning Commission and the City Council. Recommendations from the Planning Commission will be forwarded to the City Council for final action.

Submittal of a protest petition may impact the voting requirements of the Council; however, all decisions by the City Council are final unless appealed to District Court.

Special Use Permits

Some uses, such as hotels, hospitals, airports or nursing homes, only are allowed by special use permit. This allows the proposal to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure it is compatible with surrounding uses.

Special use permit requests for new buildings, such as hospitals, hotels, cell towers, etc., require the submittal of site plans, civil plans and architecture, just as a rezoning request to a planned zoning district. Other requests, such as drinking establishments and other uses within an existing building, require only a legal description.

All special use permit applications require notice to surrounding property owners and a public hearing before the Planning Commission and the City Council. Recommendations from the Planning Commission will be forwarded to the City Council for final action.

Submittal of a protest petition may impact the voting requirements of the Council; however, all decisions by the Council are final unless appealed to District Court.

Preliminary Development Plans

Some development applications require the submittal of detailed plans identifying the nature of the development proposal. These include: requests for rezoning to a planned district, special use permits where a new building will be constructed and non-residential buildings in residential districts, such as churches, schools and subdivision pools.

These applications must be accompanied by:

  • A site plan showing the proposed layout of the development, including building locations, parking lots, access, landscaping and buffering;
  • Civil drawings to indicate existing and proposed grades, drainage patterns and locations for detention and stormwater treatment facilities; and
  • Building architecture, which may be conceptual.

Revised Preliminary Development Plans

Once a preliminary plan has been approved as part of a rezoning or special use permit, it may be modified. The extent of the changes will determine whether or not a new public hearing will be required to approve the revised plan.

If a revised plan meets any of the criteria for a substantial change, notice to surrounding property owners and a public hearing before the Planning Commission and City Council is required. Changes to an approved plan that are not substantial may be approved by the Planning Commission without a public hearing or notice to surrounding owners.

In the case of a preliminary development plan for a non-residential use in a residential district, such as a religious institution or school, public hearings are required before the Planning Commission.

Consideration of these applications by the City Council only is required if a valid protest petition is submitted.

Final Development Plans

While preliminary development plans include the general concept for the entire development, final development plans provide specific information about proposed construction and typically focus on one phase of the development.

As part of the final development plans, details of the site layout, including access, parking, landscaping and site grading, are finalized, and building architecture is established. Additional details, such as site lighting and signage, also may be reviewed.

Final development plans are reviewed against the approved preliminary development plan for consistency. Although some minor modifications may be allowed, substantial changes require a new preliminary plan to be filed.

The Planning Commission must approve final development plans prior to building permits being issued. No public hearing is required.

City Council approval only is required if the applicant appeals the Planning Commission decision, or if required by the Council as part of the rezoning or special use permits approval process.

Plats

Platting involves the subdivision of land into lots or tracts. A plat is recorded as a permanent legal document that includes both an accurate description and graphical depiction of any real property that is to be divided.

The intent of platting is to provide a readily accessible and easily understandable public record of property. Property must be platted before a building permit can be issued.

Platting ensures:

  • A sensibly arranged pattern of lots results for the intended use: Streets and public improvements are planned to serve the needs of each lot and surrounding properties
  • Consistency is provided between subdivisions; and
  • An opportunity is provided for public review and comment on the proposed plat layout.
Preliminary Plats

The preliminary plat dictates sizes and shapes of lots, the relationship between existing and future streets, location of proposed public improvements, and location of lands dedicated for public purposes.

Preliminary plats demonstrate the overall subdivision concept for an entire ownership tract, showing the general lot configuration, street layout and existing topography.

Preliminary plats require notification to surrounding property owners and a public hearing at the Planning Commission; they do not require City Council approval.

Final Plats

The final plat must conform to the approved preliminary plat. No public hearing is required.

If the plat contains public right-of-way (or other property that is proposed to be dedicated to the city) the application will be heard by the City Council for acceptance of the public lands.

Property owners and city officials will sign an approved version of the final plat drawing that will ultimately be recorded by the Johnson County Department of Records and Tax Administration.

Building Permits

Building permits are considered after all required development approvals are obtained.