Zoning is defined as the division of a governmental unit into districts, and the regulation within those districts such as:
Example Zoning Map
Zoning regulations for unincorporated Winnebago County are detailed in Chapter 90 of the Code of Ordinances of the County of Winnebago, Illinois. In the case of Euclid v. Ambler Realty, in 1926, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that reasonable zoning is constitutional.
1 Source: Principle and Practice of Urban Planning
Sometimes citizens wish to rezone property to a different zoning to permit a land use that otherwise would not be permitted in existing zoning. In order to permit a certain land use or waiver to the regulations, there are certain zoning requests that may be pursued. The primary tyes of zoning requests that can be made are hereby listed below.
The three primary types of zoning petitions are as follows:
Zoning Map Amendment (Rezoning): changes the zoning of the subject property. The County is divided into agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial districts, with several classifications in the latter 3 Districts allowing varying intensities.
Special Use Permit: allows a subject property to be utilized as a special use. Chapter 90 lists both permitted uses and special uses for each zoning district. Because of their potential effects on neighboring properties, special uses need to be carefully regulated.
Variation: allows for a waiver from the regulations of the Chapter, in instances when an unique hardship / difficulty affiliated with the land is presented. Common variations are to allow a decrease in required yard setback, an increase in the allowable size of an accessory structure, and to waive various other requirements of the Chapter.
Applicants may also apply for Appeals, Text Amendments, Planned Unit Developments (PUDs), etc. through Planning and Zoning. PUDs are granted via Special Use Permits.
Completed application packets are submitted to Planning and Zoning. Deadlines for petitions are the third Friday of each month. All applicable fees must be paid prior to the petition being added to the monthly agenda.
Staff takes care of all required notifications and types a Staff Report for each petition. The public hearings for the petitions are held the following month, at the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) meeting. The petitioner must attend the ZBA meeting to present on what they propose doing. Others may attend the meeting to voice support or objection to the petitions. The ZBA votes on whether to recommend approval or denial of each petition.
The petitions then go before the Zoning Committee. The Zoning Committee is provided with the minutes from the ZBA meeting and the Staff Reports and maps of the subject properties. They are not to take any new testimony. The Zoning Committee votes on whether to recommend approval or denial of each petition. Lastly, the petitions go before the Full County Board. The Board votes on whether to grant or deny each petition.
Certain tools have been adopted to consistently address each petition that comes before the County.
In the case of Zoning Map Amendments, the 2030 Land Resource Management Plan and the Land Evaluation Site Assessment (LESA) score should be taken into consideration. The 2030 Land Resource Management Plan was adopted by the County Board in May 2009, and it is a color-coded map that depicts where specific land uses should be located. The LESA score is compiled by Staff. It takes into account the Natural Resources Information Report (NRI) conducted by the Soil and Water Conservation District, as well as the proximity to municipal services and infrastructure and the nature of the surrounding area. The resulting score is a measure of how suitable the subject property is for development. The higher the score is, the more it is ideal to keep the property agricultural or undeveloped.
The Zoning Code lists standards that should be met in order to make affirmative recommendations. The Standards are as follows:
For Map Amendments (Rezonings):
For Special Use Permits: