On February 5, 2018, the City of Decatur adopted the One Decatur Comprehensive Plan. The focus of One Decatur has now switched to implementation and building upon momentum to create a community in which future generations can be proud to call “home.” The City is beginning one of the most important steps to take the comprehensive plan to action – updating our zoning ordinance. The zoning ordinance is a legal tool that controls land use, building and site design standards, natural resource protection and other development issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a zoning ordinance? A zoning ordinance is the adopted law of a city that regulates land use, growth, and development. It divides the city into different zoning districts and generally governs the location, size, and type of development in each district. A zoning ordinance also establishes the process for reviewing development proposals and includes standards for different aspects of development, like parking, landscaping, lighting, signage, building design, and environmental impacts.

2. Why revise the zoning ordinance? Decatur’s zoning ordinance was published in 1987, and several portions date back to the 1950’s. Large parts of the ordinance are outdated and difficult to use. The ordinance does not reflect recent policy direction found in the City’s plans or make use of many best practices of modern planning and zoning techniques. The purpose of the zoning ordinance revision is to address all these issues, resulting in a set of regulations that are user-friendly, modern, and in-line with the policy direction in the City’s newly-adopted comprehensive plan, One Decatur.

3. How long will the revision process take? The rewrite process is expected to take approximately 18-20 months to complete.

4. Will there be other opportunities to get involved? Yes, there will be public input meetings in each of the four major phases of the project and opportunities to share ideas on this website.

Join the code discussions…


4:30-6:00 pm
Decatur High School
910 Somerville Rd SE

7:30-9:00 pm
Austin High School
3004 Modaus Rd SW

At the code discussions you will:

  • Provide input that will help proactively guide development in the City.
  • Learn how the zoning ordinance rewrite will help build a better place.
  • Get an appreciation for the latest thinking about how to accommodate development.

To help us accommodate everyone, please register for the event:

RSVP for the code discussions