Planning & Zoning


Planning aims to provide a quality living environment, facilitate economic development, and promote the health safety, convenience, and general welfare of the community by guiding and controlling development and the use of land. Planning seeks to bring about an organized, efficient and desirable place for citizens to live and work in.


Zoning is the process of planning for land use by a city to control the development of its community and allocate certain resources and ensure long range plans are maintained or deviated from methodically. Zoning also provides protection for existing property owners to ensure similar land uses will be maintained within an area. Zoning also includes restrictions in different zoning areas, such as height of buildings, use of green space, density (number of structures in a certain area), use of lots, and types of businesses. Classifications or types of zoning include open space, residential, retail, commercial, agricultural, and industrial. Each classification can have sub-classifications that vary in what is or is not allowed for a specific area of town.

The Charles City Planning and Zoning Commission meets on a regular basis to hear requests on planning and zoning issues and then forwards its recommendations to the City Council who makes the final decisions on the requested items.

A revised zoning ordinance that incorporates both zoning and subdivision ordinances has recently been finalized and is in the process of being adopted by the city council. Click here to see this unified development ordinance and click here to see the zoning map.