The Zoning Administration Division of the Department of Planning & Development can provide information about the zoning of properties, permitted uses, building setbacks (also known as minimum yards), parking and landscape requirements, and sign regulations.
Zoning refers to regulations which primarily pertain to permitted uses of land, as well as the size, height and placement of structures. These regulations help to provide for the compatibility of adjacent and nearby uses, thus helping to protect quality of life. To find the zoning of a property, refer to the property Tax Record or to the Official Tax Maps.
Rezoning (or zoning amendment) refers to the process of changing the current zoning designation of a property to a different zoning designation usually to allow for a use that is not permitted in the current zoning district. The process includes the completion of a rezoning application, the payment of a non-refundable filing fee, and two public hearings before a final decision is made by the Board of Commissioners.
The establishment of zoning districts is largely based upon the County’s Future Land Use Map, part of the Comprehensive Plan. Any request for rezoning must be consistent with the future land use category designation indicated on the Future Land Use Map, or an application to amend the Future Land Use Map to a category appropriate for the requested zoning district will also be required. The process of applying for an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map is very similar to the rezoning process. A complete application must be submitted, along with a non-refundable filing fee, and after two required public hearings are conducted, the Board of Commissioners will make a decision. Normally, an application to amend the Future Land Use Map is filed concurrently with a rezoning application.
A Special Use Permit refers to a special permission granted to allow a use that is not permitted by right in the zoning district, but that is generally compatible with the use characteristics of the zoning district and appropriate and compatible with adjacent and nearby uses. The process includes the completion of a special use permit application, the payment of a non-refundable filing fee, and two public hearings before a final decision is made by the Board of Commissioners. Examples of uses which would require the approval of a Special Use Permit include cell towers in residential areas and accessory uses normally associated with places of worship, such as child care learning centers and private schools.
A variance refers to a special permission granted to allow relief from one or more zoning or development regulations when the strict application of the particular regulation would impose on a property owner an exceptional and undue hardship. Some types of variance requests may be reviewed and granted or denied administratively by the Director of Planning & Development while other requests must be considered and decided by the Board of Adjustment. An example of a variance request might be to reduce a required minimum yard due to an odd configuration of a property.
An appeal to the Board of Adjustment can be initiated by any aggrieved person, or by the department, official, agency or board of the Rockdale County affected by any decision, final order, requirement, determination or interpretation of any administrative official of Rockdale County with respect to the provisions of the Unified Development Ordinance.
An ordinance is a law or regulation adopted by Rockdale County. The authority of Rockdale County to enact ordinances is derived from the Official Code of Georgia (known as O.C.G.A.). Ordinances are enacted by the Rockdale County to protect and maintain the public health, safety, welfare, and morals of its citizenry. The Code of Ordinances, also known as “The Code of Rockdale County, Georgia,” may be viewed for free at www.municode.com.
For additional information about pending or approved ordinances, please contact the Zoning Administrator, Department of Planning & Development, at 770-278-7100, or the County Clerk, BOC Office, at 770-278-7001.