Zoning verification for a specific property confirms the zoning classification assigned to a property and determines if a proposed use is permitted within the given zoning district. Zoning verification generally is required to obtain a building permit, sign permit, or business license. To obtain a zoning verification, a site address or tax parcel number is needed and must be brought with you to the Community Development Department. You may also review the zoning classification of specific property using the Geographic Information System (GIS), and review a list of applicable design standards and permitted uses for the zoning classification in the Unified Land Development Code (ULDC).
Zoning Certification Letters
Zoning certification letters confirm the current zoning classification and generally provide more detailed information regarding zoning history and compliance with the Unified Land Development Code. A zoning certification letter may be obtained from the Department of Planning by written request via U.S. Mail, fax, or email and submitted to Matt Tate, Planning Manager, (or the planner with whom you have been speaking). When requesting a zoning certification letter, you will need to provide a site address or tax parcel number for the property in question. An "as-built" boundary survey/plat will be required for any confirmations relative to existing and/or nonconforming conditions related to zoning. Staff requires a minimum of three business days to fulfill the request.
Please ensure that you allow additional processing time for more detailed requests. There is a fee of $25, made payable to the City of Gainesville.
Another function of the Planning Division is to review and approve for recording boundary survey/plats for a simple subdivision or combination of properties, in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 15-6-67 and the ULDC. Staff requires a minimum of three business days to fulfill the request. Please ensure that you allow additional processing time for more detailed requests. There is a fee of $25, made payable to the City of Gainesville. Large-scale subdivisions or subdivisions involving the construction of a road require the review of a preliminary and final plat as part of the Civil Plan Review process.
Record a Boundary Survey / Plat
To record a boundary survey/plat to either combine properties or to subdivide a tract of land located within the City, please follow these steps:
- Submit the survey/plat to Planning to determine what other departments are required to review the plat. This may include the Gainesville Department of Water Resources (DWR) confirming water and sewer availability, Hall County Environmental Health Department for septic tank (and/or well water) properties, and the Gainesville Public Works Department for future driveways.
- The planner will contact you regarding any necessary changes. Once all comments have been addressed, a minimum of four copies of the final plat shall be taken by the applicant to the appropriate departments to be stamped. The plats shall also include the land surveyor's original signature and owner authorization statement signature.
- The final plats are brought to the Planning Division for final approval. The planner will contact you to pick up the stamped copies and will retain two of the stamped copies for permanent record-keeping.
- The property owner or surveyor shall digitally record the plat on the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority website.
- Once you have properly recorded the plat, you can contact the Hall County Addressing Department at 770-531-6809 to obtain any new site addresses if necessary.
Civil Plan Review & Land Disturbance Permits (LDP)
The civil plan review process helps ensure compliance with various codes, ordinances, and requirements; including:
- Grading Requirements
- Hillside Requirements
- Overlay Zone Standards
- Sedimentation Control Provisions
- Soil Erosion
- Subdivision Regulations
- Unified Land Development Code
- Water and Wastewater Design Standards, etc.
Civil plan review includes plans associated with the preparation of land for construction, on-site/off-site improvements, water and sewer line installation, and other similar improvements.
Land Disturbance / Development Permit (LDP)
A land disturbance/development permit (LDP) must be obtained from the Planning Division prior to any land disturbance activity, whether clearing and grubbing; grading; and construction of such improvements as streets, parking lots, stormwater detention facilities, sidewalks, or other similar permanently affixed structures. The review process involves various city, county, and state agencies; and generally takes two to three weeks for preliminary review. The number of departmental comments and the time it takes for the engineer, land surveyor, or other professional to address the comments determines the timeframe in which an LDP is issued.
For more information about the LDP permitting process and guidelines for the preparation of civil plans (and preliminary and final plats for subdivisions), you can review Article 9-13 of the Unified Land Development Code. The Civil Plan Review Process Packet is a listing of the procedural requirements and fee schedule, and checklists the Planning Division uses to review development projects.