All owners of property within the City of Columbia have the right to request that the City Council amend the City Zoning Map as it pertains to their property. The procedure for such a request is as follows:
The applicant should discuss the proposal with the Planning and Development Department staff which can inform the applicant of Land Use Plan guidelines in the subject area, area zoning history, planned improvements and development constraints. In addition, the staff will advise the applicant of available options to accomplish the intended purpose. It should be noted that this discussion in no way guarantees that a given property will be zoned accordingly. Similarly, any discussion of zoning problems with the City Manager, Director of Public Works or any other member of the City Administration staff is not to be construed as a zoning commitment.
The following items must be submitted to the Planning and Development Department:
- A completed application form, copies of which are available in the Planning and Development Department.
- A check in the amount of applicable fees made payable to the City of Columbia, which is for required legal advertising and City processing costs.
- An accurate legal description of the property. This can usually be obtained from the property deed, boundary survey or subdivision plat of the property. Inaccuracies in the legal description may be cause for delay and additional expense to the applicant. If deed book and page numbers or plat book and page numbers are included in the legal description, copies of the referenced page(s) must be included with the application.
- A map clearly showing the property, for which zoning is being requested.
An application for rezoning will not be considered complete until all of the above items are submitted. If the application has not been completed prior to the deadline for submission of a rezoning request, public hearing scheduling will be delayed.
After the Planning and Development Department has determined that the application and supporting documents meet all requirements, a public hearing will be set with the Planning and Zoning Commission. (The Planning and Zoning Commission meets the Thursday immediately following the City Council meeting, which is held on the first and third Monday of each month, unless otherwise posted.)
At least 15 days prior to the public hearing before the Commission, the proposed rezoning request (including map and general description) is advertised in a daily newspaper. A week before the Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing, a hearing notice sign is placed on the property. In addition, the owners of property within 185 feet of the site to be rezoned are notified of the public hearing.
At the Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing, all interested parties should be present. The applicant or his representative should be prepared to present the request, which may include justification and data supporting the rezoning proposal.
At the public hearing, the Planning and Zoning Commission will make a recommendation to the Council either for or against the proposal, or continue the hearing to a future Planning and Zoning Commission meeting should additional information be required.
The recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission is forwarded to the City Council at which time the Council sets a public hearing on the proposed zone change. The City Council meets the first and third Monday of each month.
Usually 25 days following the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, the City Council will hold a public hearing and, unless the hearing is continued, final action is taken by the City Council. All interested parties should be present at the City Council public hearing.
If the City Council approves the rezoning, the change goes into effect immediately. The City’s official zoning map is then updated by the Public Works Department.