Pottawatomie County Zoning was adopted in 1962. Zoning is the classification of land into districts for the purpose of regulating the use of land; placement, size of buildings, and activities associated with property. Zoning is the primary means of ensuring that nearby lands are compatible, and the public health, safety and welfare are protected.

Zoning is used by communities to ensure that land uses are properly situated in relation to one another. Each zoning district requires that adequate space is available for development and that development occurs at a density which can be properly served by public facilities such as streets, schools, recreations, resources, emergency services and utilities. Zoning is a tool through which a community can establish harmonious and compatible uses of land, maintain sufficient open space to conserve natural resources and provide recreational opportunities.

Standard Versus Planned Zoning Districts
Standard zoning allows a limited number of adaptations and is more restrictive. In contrast, planned zoning enables greater flexibility in design, whereby you can mix uses that are basically compatible. For instance, a developer may want to develop a parcel into single family residential but reserve a specific area for duplexes and maybe even an area for office commercial use.

Development in a planned district requires analysis of a specific site plan. As a result, a planned development requires the applicant to submit greater documentation of the location of buildings and structures. Planned zoning districts place greater emphasis on the preservation of green space and encourages innovative and creative site planning.

Conditional Use
Some land uses are not allowed as of right in all zoning districts. Rather than be completely excluded, these land uses may only be allowed under special circumstances and may be for limited lengths of time. These special uses require a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). In order to obtain a Conditional Use Permit, the applicant must apply for one to the Office of Planning and Zoning and it is handled in the same way as a zoning request.

Rezoning property requires consideration by the Pottawatomie County Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners. The Planning Commission listens to the request from the applicant, the staff reports and any citizen input and then makes a recommendation to the County Commissioners. Following a fourteen day waiting period (after the recommendation), the Board of County commissioners may vote to either approve the recommendation, deny the recommendation or return the request for rezoning back to the planning commission for further review.

There is certain criteria used to review all proposed changes to the county zoning map, which may include the following:
  • Availability and adequacy of required utilities and services to the proposed use.
  • Character of the neighborhood.
  • Conformance with the comprehensive plan.
  • Environmental impact of the proposed use.
  • Extent to which the proposed use will detrimentally affect nearby property.
  • Length of time the subject property has remained vacant as zoned.
  • Recommendation of the planning staff.
  • Suitability of the subject property for the uses to which it has been restricted.
  • Zoning and use of nearby properties.
Rezoning Steps
Anyone wishing to rezone a parcel of ground should first visit the office of Planning and Zoning to review the comprehensive plan. If the zoning request would be in compliance with the plan, then the applicant can make an application to rezone and pay the appropriate fee to get the process started. Once the application is received, a legal notice of publication must be submitted to the official county newspaper (at least 20 days in advance of the hearing) stating the date, time and location of said hearing.

In addition to the legal publication, all property owners within 1000 feet of the proposed rezoning boundaries must also be notified of said hearing at least 20 days prior to the hearing. Because of the notification requirements, you must allow a minimum of 45-65 days days for a request to come before the board. Either the applicant or a representative must be present at the public hearing.