Planning Department
PlanningDevelopment Services › Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn the answers to some of the frequently asked questions regarding development services in Columbus, Georgia.

  1. Does the city enforce any of the covenants or deed restrictions that may be applicable to my subdivision?
  2. What is involved with rezoning property?
  3. When will the Planning Advisory Commission meet?
  4. How to obtain a Zoning Verification Letter?
  5. What is a Special Exception Use?
  6. What are the zoning requirements for Places of Worship?
  7. What are the requirements to be met in order to have a Home Occupation?
  8. If I see a rezoning sign near my place of residence or business, how can I get information about it?
  9. How long does it take to rezone property?
  10. What are the zoning fees?

Question: Does the city enforce any of the covenants or deed restrictions that may be applicable to my subdivision?
Answer: Many of the subdivisions in the county are subject to covenants and deed restrictions which regulate the use of property beyond the limitations contained in the county's ordinances. These deeds and covenants are private agreements between property owners and are not enforced by the city. Therefore, before you add a shed or fence to your property or initiate any other significant changes, you should also check with your homeowners' association to determine if any restrictions apply.

Question: What is involved with rezoning property?
Answer: The zoning process begins when the applicant obtains an application from the Planning Department, completes the application, and returns it to the staff. The applicant needs to make sure that all requirements are met and that all necessary information is included such as: site plans (high density, residential, and commercial), legal description and fees. A planning technician will then compose a folder of all received materials and the application processing begins. A work order is submitted to the GIS division in which maps are prepared for the site being rezoned. An information sheet and site plan is sent to the Planning and Engineering Departments to be reviewed. A notification map is prepared and any lots within a 300-foot radius are included. Notifications containing a letter, map are prepared and sent out to the citizens located within the notification area. The application then goes before the Planning Advisory Commission (PAC). PAC then hears the case and either recommends denial or approval of the application. The application must be approved by at least one of the two reviewing parties, the Planning Department or PAC to automatically be sent to Council. If the application is denied by the Planning Department, the applicant must send a letter to the Clerk of Council requesting to continue forward with the public hearing. The application is then taken before the City Council to be heard. It is then approved, approved with conditions, or denied.

Question: When will the Planning Advisory Commission meet?
Answer: The Planning Advisory Commission meets every 1st and 3rd Wednesday unless there are no rezoning cases to be heard or there is a holiday being observed.

Question: How to obtain a Zoning Verification Letter?
Answer: Visit the Fees and Applications section and download the Zoning Verification Letter application. The application can also be mailed, emailed or faxed to you, call 706-653-4116 and request a copy. Complete the application and include the required fee. The letter will state the zoning of the subject property and what uses are permitted in that zone. The letter will be processed within three business days.

Question: What is a Special Exception Use?
Answer: Special Exception Use means a use which would not be appropriate generally or without restriction throughout a zoning district but which, if controlled as to number, area, location, or relation to the neighborhood, would not be detrimental to the public health, safety, welfare, morals, order, comfort, convenience, or appearance, and which may contain conditions of approval required by the Council.

Question: What are the zoning requirements for Places of Worship?
Answer: For standards on Places of Worships you may refer to Chapter 3, Article 2, Section 53 of the Unified Development Ordinance.

Question: What are the requirements to be met in order to have a Home Occupation?
Answer: For standards on Home Occupations you may refer to Chapter 3, Article 2, Section 39. of the Unified Development Ordinance.

Question: If I see a rezoning sign near my place of residence or business, how can I get information about it?
Answer: Contact the Planning Department either by email or phone. You may inquire about the rezoning; we will provide you with all the relative information. You may leave a comment in opposition or in favor of the rezoning. Please provide your name, phone number, comments and/or concerns.

Question: How long does it take to rezone property?
Answer: Depending on the project, a rezoning without any major issues during the process will take 4 months to rezone.

Question: What are the zoning fees?
Answer: Zoning fees may be found at the bottom of the Zoning web page.

Columbus, Georgia Consolidated Government Annex Building

Government Annex Building
2nd Floor
420 10th Street
Columbus, Georgia 31902

Phone: (706) 653-4421
Fax: (706) 653-4534

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