What is planning and zoning? Why is it important?

Planning and zoning regulate land development in terms of the size and division of land, what uses can be developed and where they can be located; a building’s size and location on a site, the landscaping, parking, signage, and fence regulations; and the process for how development occurs. The planning and zoning code is also a tool for the City to implement the vision established in the Comprehensive Plan – Fairfield Forward.

Why do we need to update the City’s current planning and zoning code?

This update is not anticipated as a complete rewrite of the existing planning and zoning code, as the current code provides a solid foundation. Nevertheless, significant updates and enhancements are needed to correct errors, eliminate inconsistencies, incorporate zoning code best practices, right-size subdivision requirements, and make it easier to navigate. Additionally, the update provides an opportunity to implement the vision established in Comprehensive Plan.

What are some general changes that can be expected?

  • Design the code to be user friendly – easy to understand, administer, and interpret
  • Update terminology used throughout the code
  • Improve overall organization, and ease of use by clarifying references and cross references to other sections of the code
  • Incorporate diagrams, tables, graphics, and illustrations that clarify and enhance understanding of relevant code sections
  • Address where the code is silent and where regulations are lacking
  • Utilize innovative planning and zoning approaches and design guidelines where appropriate
  • Investigate if a mixed use zoning district is appropriate for the City
  • Evaluate the use of flexible housing styles in subdivisions to accommodate consumer interest and housing trends
  • Ensure compliance with federal and state laws

Will there be opportunities for public involvement?

Yes! Public engagement opportunities will be posted on this website as they become available!

How long with the process take?

The process to update the City’s planning and zoning code is expected to take 16-18 months. The process began in August 2021 and will wrap up in fall 2022.