Zoning Code Rewrite Continues

By February 26, 2021 News, zoning

The second module of the draft zoning ordinance is now available for review and comment.

This module includes the remaining four (out of eight total) articles in the new zoning ordinance: zoning district regulations, use regulations, rules for nonconformities, and rules for measurement and interpretation. It completes the initial draft of the zoning ordinance, and will be consolidated with the revised articles previously drafted in Module 1— general provisions, administration (procedures for application submittal and review), development standards (parking, landscaping, exterior lighting, etc.), and enforcement provisions— in a future draft of the ordinance.

Virtual Public Hearing

Information about a virtual community meeting on the draft module will be provided soon.


View the updated draft ordinance.

Provide comments on the draft zoning ordinance (Part 2)


1. What is the difference between the zoning ordinance, zoning map, and
future land use map? 

  • The zoning ordinance and the zoning map are legal documents that define the land uses and the development attributes allowed on a specific property within the city today. A zoning ordinance also establishes the process for reviewing development proposals and includes standards for different aspects of development, like parking, landscaping, lighting, signs, building design, and environmental impacts.
  • The future land use map is a policy guide that depicts the general character and land use that is appropriate throughout the city and its planning jurisdiction in the future. The future land use map contained in the comprehensive plan is used to develop recommendations about potential zoning changes. It also helps guide the City’s long-term infrastructure planning.

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zoning ordinance was published in 1987, and several portions date back to the 1950’s. Large parts of the ordinance are outdated and difficult to use.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 comprehensive plan, One Decatur.

3. Will there be other opportunities to get involved? 

Yes, an additional public input meeting is planned after the completion of the second draft module. You can also visit onedecatur.org to review work products, submit comments, and sign-up for our email list.