Proposed Development Information
Click on the Proposed Development Notices link on the left for all current Proposed Development Notices.
The foundation for all growth and development decisions are based upon the community’s comprehensive plan. A comprehensive plan is a collection of information and materials designed to guide the future development of a city. Such a plan can provide a community with a firm foundation for policy and action that will allow it to function more efficiently and effectively and it can strengthen a community’s policies and legislation to promote a more certain future. Johnston 2030 is the city of Johnston’s comprehensive plan, which was adopted in 2010, after a nearly 18-month planning and public involvement process. The plan establishes goals, objectives and action steps related to many facets of the community, including; demographics, natural resources, land use, transportation, housing, parks and recreation and utilities. While a comprehensive plan creates a grand long-term vision for a community, it isn’t law and can and is amended regularly to reflect changes in the community. To implement the Comp Plan, communities rely on the zoning ordinance.
Zoning divides the city into a number of different zones, with specific uses allowed in each zone, for example, the C-1 zone allows neighborhood commercial and retail uses, while the R-1(75) zone allows single-family detached residential uses. Additionally, there are a set of rules for each district regulating the bulk requirements of the development, such as building height, setbacks, open space and landscaping, building architecture, parking, buffers, stormwater management and onsite lighting. City staff, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council use these regulations to review all development proposals to ensure the proposed development meets with the City standards and regulations.
Any development proposed within the City of Johnston must follow a review and approval process which starts with an application submitted to City of Johnston Community Development Staff. Following the review by staff, all development must be reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved by the City Council.
The planning and zoning commission is a seven member board, each member is a citizen of Johnston and is appointed to the Commission by the Mayor and Council to serve five year terms. The commission members are volunteers and receive no compensation for providing this valuable service to their community. The commission serves in an advisory capacity and is responsible for developing the City’s comprehensive plan, and reviewing all proposed development to ensure it meets the City’s requirements. Since the Commission serves in an advisory capacity, they do not make final decisions on any item; rather, they make formal recommendations to the City Council, which will also consider the proposed development, the commission’s recommendation and public comments before making a final decision.
During the review of a proposed development, the public and adjacent neighbors to a proposed project have an opportunity and are welcome and encouraged to be involved in the review process. Prior to a Commission or Council public hearing or meeting to consider a proposed development, a postcard notice will be mailed and/or a sign will be installed on the subject property, depending on the type of request. Check out this quick video that helps explain what to do if you receive one of the postcards.
There are two types of requests that trigger redevelopment notices:
Rezoning: before a property can be developed, it has to have a zoning district established that allows for the proposed use. Pursuant to state law, all property owners within 320 feet of a proposed rezoning of a property are mailed a postcard notice and a sign is installed on the property announcing the date and time of the public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. At these hearings, it’s important to note that the Commission and Council are only considering whether the proposed zoning district is consistent with the Comp Plan and whether the use is appropriate. Other details of the development, such as many specifics related to the site are not completed and are reviewed at the preliminary plat/site plan stage.
Preliminary Plat/Site Plan: once a property has zoning established, the property owner can submit detailed design engineering as part of a preliminary plat (for single family development or as part of a multi-lot development) and/or site plan (for commercial or multifamily development). It is at this stage of review that all specifics of a project are determined such as parking, architecture, open space and landscaping, buffers, stormwater management and site lighting. While public hearings aren’t conducted, the Commission and Council review these types of projects in public meetings and postcard notices are mailed to all adjacent properties so property owners can attend and participate in the meetings.
If you receive a postcard notice for a rezoning, preliminary plat or site plan or see a rezoning notification sign there a number of important things you should know. First, you can visit Proposed Development Notices page and find a detailed explanation of the request, contact information for the applicant and city staff and any other maps or graphics available. You can also contact the city staff member listed on the card at any time with questions or to seek additional information. On the Friday before a commission or Council meeting, you can also visit the City’s website to review the Commission/Council agenda and a detailed staff report which discusses the specifics of the project.
If you’d like to provide comments about the proposed project, there are a number of ways to do so. You can attend the hearing/meeting and an opportunity for public comment will be provided after staff provides a review of the proposed development and the applicants make a presentation. You will be asked to come forward to the podium and state your name and address for the record prior to your comments. You can also provide your comments in writing by mailing or emailing the City staff member listed on the post card notice. All written correspondence received by staff is shared with the Commission and Council as part of their meeting packets.
The City of Johnston staff, Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council welcome your input during the review of development proposals and look forward to hearing from you if you have questions or concerns.