The Decatur City Plan Commission is an eleven-member body appointed by the Mayor and City Council. The Commission’s primary role is to provide a forum for public hearing of petitions for rezoning of property, special use permits, vacation of public rights-of-way and amendments to the zoning ordinance. The Commission is advisory in nature and provides summary recommendations to the Decatur City Council.

Six members of the Board must be present to constitute a quorum. The Board meets regularly on the first Thursday of each month at 3:00 P.M. in the City Council Chambers of the Decatur Civic Center.

Petitioning the Commission

Presenting a petition before the Commission requires the submittal of a petition form, fee and supporting documents. Site plans and other information may be required to evaluate certain types of requests. A filing fee is required to submit petitions to the Commission. Please consult Schedule A for petitioner fees. The petition should:

  • be typed, clear, and complete
  • explain the reasons for the requested action
  • include the legal description of the subject property

The petition, once completed, should be filed with the Planning and Development Division, Community Development Department, Third Floor, Decatur Civic Center. The deadline for filing petitions is the first Thursday of each month.

Pre-Application Meeting

Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend a pre-application meeting. Pre-application meetings are held on the second and last Thursday of each month at 9:00 A.M. in the Engineering Conference Room, Third Floor, Decatur Civic Center. The pre-application meeting is an informal meeting with city staff to review projects and discuss potential problems that may arise. No formal application is required to attend this meeting. If you are unable to attend this meeting, please contact the Planning and Development Division at 424-2786 or 424-2798 to make a pre-application meeting appointment at another time.

Technical Review

The Planning and Development Division, upon receiving a valid petition, will complete a summary review and schedule a meeting of the Technical Review Committee (TRC). The TRC consists of representatives of the Planning, Engineering, Economic Development and Fire Department staff. The petitioner and/or petitioner’s representative are welcome to attend the TRC meeting. The meetings are held on the second and last Thursday of each month at 9:00 A.M. in the Engineering Conference Room, Third Floor, Decatur Civic Center.

During the TRC meeting, city departments will notify the petitioner of any potential issues related to the request. A follow-up statement of the review items will be sent to the petitioner so that any potential problems may be corrected or revised before the item is presented to the Plan Commission. Revisions to the petition and/or plans are due the following Thursday at 5:00 P.M. If the revisions are received on time and are complete, the item will be scheduled for the next available Plan Commission agenda. Incorrect, late or incomplete submittals may delay the hearing of petitions by the Commission.

In the event a petition requests a modification of city policy on a particular subject (e.g. sidewalks, street improvement standards), the petition will be forwarded to the Policy Review Committee (PRC). The PRC consists of the City Manager, Corporation Counsel, Economic and Urban Development Director, Engineering and Infrastructure Director and Fire Chief. The PRC convenes when needed, typically the first day following the TRC meeting. The PRC will usually issue a policy decision on the same day that it meets.

Following the Technical Review process a legal notice will be prepared and published in a local newspaper at least 15 days prior to the meeting and a sign indicating a request for zoning action will be placed on the property. A staff report will also be prepared for review by the Commission. All petitioners receive a copy of this report along with a copy of the meeting agenda approximately one week prior to the meeting.

Public Hearing

All meetings of the Decatur City Plan Commission are public hearings and conducted accordingly. A notice of hearing is published locally and the meeting is open to all interested members of the public. The Chairman of the Commission will call the roll, determine if a quorum is present and begin the meeting. The Commission will call the subject petition; staff will report its findings and members of the Commission may ask the petitioner questions related to the proposed application and/or project. A time is open for public comments, both in favor of and against, regarding the proposal. The Commission will then make a recommendation for approval, denial or tabling and vote on the proposed petition. The vote is forwarded to the City Council as a recommendation. Failure of the petitioner or his/her representative to attend the meeting and be available to answer questions may result in the petition being tabled until the next regular meeting.