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Arkansas Land Use Planning (1-AR-a)

Information current as of 2019
In Arkansas, land use planning is delegated to cities and municipalities. Ark. Code Ann. §14-56-402 (1957). The local legislative body has the authority to create a planning commission. Ark. Code Ann. §14-56-404(a)(1) (1957). The planning commission may adopt a land use plan and a community facilities plan. Ark. Code Ann. §14-56-414(c)(1)(C) (1957).



Land Use Planning Process

1-AR-a.1 to 1-AR-a.2 — Is There a Comprehensive Land Use Plan in Place?

The developer should contact the local government to determine if there is a comprehensive land use plan in place for the site location. The local legislative body has the authority to create a planning commission. Ark. Code Ann. §14-56-404(a)(1) (1957). The planning commission may adopt a land use plan and a community facilities plan. The community facilities plan may indicate general location requirements for future public utility facilities and transmission lines. Ark. Code Ann. §14-56-414(c)(1)(C) (1957).

Municipal and county comprehensive land use plans provide context for determining if the proposed development activity is compatible with the community’s overall development plans. If there is a comprehensive land use plan in place, the developer should review the plans and any accompanying maps, studies, or other information in order to determine the goals and planning strategies of the local government and to ensure the proposed project is in compliance with the plan. If there is no comprehensive land use plan in place, the developer should still review any applicable local government regulations that could restrict the proposed project.

1-AR-a.3 to 1-AR-a.5 — Does the Municipality have Zoning Regulations?

The local government body has the authority to enact a zoning ordinance. Ark. Code Ann. §14-56-416 (1957). If there is a zoning plan, the developer should review the plans and other information to determine if the proposed project is in compliance with the zoning plan. If there is no zoning plan in place, the developer should still review applicable municipal zoning regulations to ensure the proposed project will comply with any development restrictions before continuing with the project.

1-AR-a.6 to 1-AR-a.8 — Determine if the Project Conforms to Local Zoning Regulations

If the locality has zoning regulations, the developer must determine whether the project conforms to the regulations. If the project is consistent with the regulations, the developer may continue with the project as described in the regulations. If the project is not consistent with the regulations, the developer will need to follow the local government’s process for issuing a zoning variance or for amending the zoning regulations.

1-AR-a.9 — Contact Local Government for Zoning Variance or Amendment to Zoning Regulations

A developer should contact the local government, with jurisdiction over the proposed project site, to discuss the possibility of a zoning variance, or an amendment to a zoning regulation and the details of the regulatory process.

1-AR-a.10 — Petition for Zoning Variance or Amendment to Zoning Plan

The planning commission may petition the local legislative government for a zoning ordinance or amendment to the zoning plan. Ark. Code Ann. §14-56-416(a)(1) (1957).

1-AR-a.11 to 1-AR-a.12 — Publish Notice of Public Hearing

The planning commission must hold a public hearing before any land use plans, ordinances or amendments are passed. The planning commission must publish notice of a public hearing in the local newspaper at least fifteen (15) days before the hearing. Ark. Code Ann. §14-56-422 (1957).

1-AR-a.13 — Proceed with Zoning Variance or Amendment Process

The developer must follow any conditions or restrictions regarding the variance or amendment. Ark. Code Ann. §14-56-416(b) (1957).

1-AR-a.14 — Appeal Decision (Optional)

A developer or interested party may appeal a decision to the local court with jurisdiction. Ark. Code Ann. §14-56-416(b) (1957), Ark. Code Ann. §14-56-425 (1957).


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