On February 5, 2018, the City of Decatur adopted the One Decatur Comprehensive Plan. The City is now undertaking one of the most important steps to take the comprehensive plan to action – updating the 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.

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zoning ordinance was published in 1987, and several portions date back to the 1950’s. Large parts of the ordinance are outdated and difficult to use.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

The rewrite project is divided into four tasks, shown in the timeline below. Meetings on the Module 2 draft in early April will conclude Task 3. In Task 4, revisions based on the input received on Modules 1 and 2 will be made and a consolidated public hearing draft will be prepared.

The process is in Task 3

Draft Zoning Ordinance Modules

Module 1 Public Review Draft

Module 2 Public Review Draft (provide comments using the form below)

Ordinance Assessment

Zoning Ordinance Assessment Public Review Draft

Zoning Code Public Kick-off

Public Kick-off Meeting Summary Results

Public Kick-off Meeting Presentation (November 8, 2018)


Current Zoning Documents

Current zoning map (after opening, click on layers, then select “Decatur zoning”)

Current zoning ordinance (links to Chapter 25 of City Code)

The drafted Zoning Ordinance Rewrite is now available for public review.

Please provide comments below.

Drafted Zoning Ordinance Rewrite

The drafted Zoning Ordinance Rewrite is now available for public review and comment. It includes the eight total articles in the new zoning ordinance and completes the full draft of the ordinance.
Did you miss the Zoning Ordinance presentation? View the slides here.
You can still give your feedback via email to Planning@Decatur-AL.gov or by phone at (256) 341-4720.

To help the team review and address comments, please specify the section or topic within the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite to which your comment applies. If you have multiple unrelated comments, please submit them individually. You can submit as many comments as necessary.

Zoning Module 1 form
Which section does your comment apply?
Your home or business street number and street name.

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