Laura Detert — City of Racine
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 City Planning Commission, the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Racine (RDA), the Landmarks Commission, the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and the Downtown Design Review Committee 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.
This guide was developed to be used in conjunction with the Build Up Racine website. It covers information such as licensing, building and other permits, city grant programs and who to contact regarding your project. We encourage you to use this resource and get in touch with staff to discuss how to successfully navigate the review processes and keep your project moving forward.
For more complex site plan reviews, the city has a team (Joint Plan Review Team, or JPRT) consisting of staff from several departments that will provide a comprehensive review of project plans. This team includes Planning, Building, Fire, DPW, Health and Utilities staff. The idea behind this team is to provide a central place for you to submit plans and to provide you with a coordinated review letter outlining any issues that need to be resolved prior to permits being granted.
Adopted City Plans
The City of Racine has adopted several citywide and area specific plans to guide the development of the city. Below are links to a number of the plans and guidelines adopted by the City of Racine. The subarea plans work in conjunction with the citywide Comprehensive Plan to provide a framework for development within the city.
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 Facade 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
For all applications, a pre-submittal conference is required. Contact Matt Sadowski, Assistant Director/Principal Planner, at (262) 636-9151 or by email or Jeff Hintz, Associate Planner, at (262) 636-9473 or by email.
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, Plan Commission, Redevelopment Authority of the City of Racine, or a 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.