About City Planning & Buildings

About City Planning & Buildings


"To create an aesthetic, vibrant urban center, that is a model for cities nationwide."


"To utilize creative planning principles, to guide land use while ensuring excellent customer service and fostering safe and sustainable building development."

The Department of City Planning and Buildings is a unified, high-performance team that guides land use, zoning and preservation of historic structures, facilitates building permitting and construction inspection.

Through sound planning practices, the department ensures that our great city is enriched with vitality, thrives as an urban center and is a model to other cities nationwide.

Core Services

The Department consists of two divisions: the Division of City Planning and the Division of Buildings and Inspections.

The Division of City Planning administers the regulation of land uses within the City.

  • Administration of the Zoning Code, Subdivision Rules and Regulations and other land use regulatory processes
  • Staff to the City Planning Commission and Historic Conservation Board
  • Provides demographic, mapping, and analysis services
  • Develops special plans, including the Consolidated Plan, Urban Renewal Plans, Community Plans, and Tax Increment Financing plans
  • Manages federally funded program reviews, including environmental reviews of projects
  • Conducts heritage and historic research
  • Provides professional guidance to property owners concerning certificates of appropriateness and other actions affecting the City's historic resources

The Division of Buildings and Inspections protects the health and safety of the citizenry by ensuring the quality and integrity of the City's housing stock; promotes economic development by maintaining the quality of commercial construction, and enforces the laws and codes established to further these goals.

  • The Business Development and Permit Division (BDPD) is responsible for the issuance of licenses and permits, the inspection of all new construction, alterations, additions, as well as related plumbing, mechanical and elevator work.
  • The duties of the BDPD includes the examination of plans to ensure that they comply with the requirements of the Zoning Code and the Building Code, and the handling of appeals on building and zoning code enforcement.