"What is a Comprehensive Plan? "
A comprehensive plan, or a master plan, is a document that integrates a community’s goals and objectives to achieve an overall vision for the future. A main component of a comprehensive plan is its future land use designations. These designations drive where and how future development will occur.
"What is Comprehensive Rezoning? "
Comprehensive rezoning is the process whereby a jurisdiction changes the zoning map to be consistent with the Master Plan. This also involves reviewing and updating the zoning code. This ensures that the zoning map & code align with the community’s vision for the future as expressed in the adopted comprehensive plan.
"What is the Process for a Text Amendment? "
The Text Amendment process begins with the Concept Team. This group is comprised of representatives from numerous county agencies including:
- Department of Planning
- Dept. of Land and Resource Management
- Department of the County Attorney
- Bureau of Development Review
- Zoning Administration
- Department of Economic Development
After soliciting stakeholder input, this Concept Team develops a Draft Code which reflects the goals of the Comprehensive Plan.
The Draft Code then makes its way through the Public Review process where it must be reviewed by both the Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners (BCC). Only upon the Board’s Adoption and map changes does the new zoning code take effect
The process is summarized in the flow chart below:
"What is the Process for a Zoning Map Change? "
Zoning Map Changes follow a similar process involving the same players: the Concept Team, Planning Commission, and BCC.
The process is summarized in the flow chart below:
The below image is an example of an approved Zoning Map:
"Current Comprehensive Plans "
During comprehensive rezoning, the Concept Team, Planning Commission, and Board of County Commissioners will analyze any zoning changes for compatibility with the county’s comprehensive plans. The following comprehensive plans are applicable to our county:
Please note that this list does not include municipalities’ individual comprehensive plans. These plans will remain under the purview of these local jurisdictions and their respective zoning ordinances.
"I own property in Carroll County. How will I be affected by this effort? "
The way in which you will be impacted depends on the location of your property, its zoning, and its future land designation on the recently adopted County Master Plan or Freedom Community Comprehensive Plan (currently under consideration). If you are located within a municipality, you are NOT impacted at all by this effort. If you are outside of a municipality in a commercial or industrial zoning district or have a future land use designation of commercial, industrial or employment campus on one of the above-mentioned Plans, the proposed changes to the zoning text at this time MAY impact your property. If you are in a residential, agricultural, or conservation zoning category, the proposal under consideration at this time does NOT impact you. Changes to the regulations in these zoning categories will be proposed over the next year which MAY impact you. The Zoning Map for the County will not be amended until the new zoning regulations are adopted by the Board of County Commissioners. These changes will be based on the future land use recommendations in the Master and Comprehensive Plans. Impacted property owners will be informed by mail of the proposed change in zoning at that time.
"Why is it necessary to change the zoning regulations? "
The zoning regulations were written over fifty years ago, with few comprehensive changes made to keep up with changes in development and market trends. As a result, it is difficult for citizens to interpret the outdated land uses, identify all of the applicable regulations, and understand the obsolete language. In addition, it is necessary to change the regulations for the commercial zoning districts because the new Master and Comprehensive Plans created three zoning districts where there are currently only two. The recommendations of the Plans cannot be realized without the creation of the three districts commercial districts.
"When will the remaining zoning text changes be available to the public? "
The remaining zoning districts will soon be considered by the staff group, (the Concept Team), that drafted the commercial, industrial, and employment campus districts currently being reviewed. The initial proposal will then be vetted by a focus group, and forwarded to the Planning Commission and ultimately, the Board of County Commissioners. It is anticipated that the order of consideration will be residential, agricultural, and conservation zones. Signing up for email updates at carrollrezoning.org will ensure that you are aware of all proposals as they become available.
"Will I be getting postcards in the mail throughout the process? "
The postcard that all property owners received in January, 2018 was intended to kick off the entire effort and ensure that all citizens are aware of this project from the beginning, and ill not be repeated. However, you are encouraged to sign up for regular email updates at carrollrezoning.org. The progress of the zoning text changes, and at a later date, the zoning map amendments, will be communicated via these emails, the County’s Facebook page and Twitter, press releases to the local news organizations, and information provided to the County’s senior and community centers and libraries.