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Planning in the City of Racine

Planning focuses on the correlation between the city’s goals and objectives established in the Comprehensive Plan and the implementation of that plan throughout the community. The Planning Division of the Department of City Development provides regular support to the Planning, Heritage and Design Commission; the Community Development Authority of the City of Racine (CDA); the Zoning Board of Appeals; and the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) regarding land use and development issues. Planning staff work closely with other departments to coordinate the review of design standards, site plan reviews and development projects throughout the City. City Development staff also work with consultants to develop project and area plans for specific parts of the City.

Beyond the big picture aspects of planning, implementing the city’s goals involves daily, one-on-one interaction between citizens and business owners. Planning staff can help you determine appropriate locations for your business, if any permits or licenses may be needed, and if any committee or commission action needs to occur on your way to getting up and running. Get in touch with us to discuss your business plan.

** Contact Michelle Cook, Associate Planner or Steven Madsen, Associate Planner for the latest information related to development review.**

Design Review Districts

Several areas of the city have been designated as design review districts which have standards that differ from the standards of the Zoning Ordinance. Development in these districts generally require additional levels of building exterior or site design review. Depending on the district, this review may be completed by staff or it may have to go before a committee. Funding may be available for exterior building improvements through the various Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) or the city’s Façade Grant programs.

Specific information regarding the design review districts is listed below:

Active Redevelopment Areas

There are several portions of the city where specific redevelopment plans and initiatives have been implemented. These areas are ripe for new investment and offer excellent opportunities for a mix of business and residential development. Several have Tax Incremental Districts (TIDs) in place or other incentive programs that may provide assistance that meets your needs.

Planning Processes, Forms and Applications

The City Development Department reviews requests for conditional use permits, amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, zoning changes, certified survey maps and development requests requiring site plan reviews. Some items are brought before the Joint Plan Review Team; the Planning, Heritage and Design Commission; the Community Development Authority of the City of Racine, or a special design review committee. Others are reviewed by staff with no outside committee review required. The Planning staff will determine the appropriate process for your item and will help you understand the process to complete your project.