The Cochise County Planning Department is the regulatory authority for all land use and development related activities which occur on private property within the unincorporated areas of the County. As such, persons interested in developing a piece of property in the County with a residential or non-residential use should call the Department on obtaining a permit. Anyone wishing to obtain general information on the various rules and regulations governing development are encouraged to call. This Department also issues new addresses in the County. Planners are available to work with unincorporated communities and areas to assist in developing plans addressing future growth and land uses.
The Planning Department is divided into three divisions: Planning, Zoning and Building. A summary of the functions of these divisions is provided below.
The Planning Division is responsible for developing and updating the comprehensive land use plan for the unincorporated areas of Cochise County. This Division also works with communities to develop more specific area, neighborhood and community plans. Further, the Planning Division assists in developing and revising the Zoning and Subdivision ordinances. This Division also processes special use requests, rezonings, home occupations, accessory living quarters applications, lot modifications and variances to the Zoning Regulations, as well as subdivisions. In addition the Planning Division is responsible for the County’s Rural Addressing program.
The Zoning Division is responsible for the issuance of building and use permits (both residential and commercial), and the issuance of land clearing and demolition permits. The Division enforces the Zoning Regulations, Land Clearing Ordinance, Light Pollution Ordinance, Hazard Abatement Ordinance, Graffiti Abatement in the enclaves of Sierra Vista and the Solid Waste (Wildcat Dumping) Ordinance. The Division serves as the one-stop shop for issuing County permits and, as such, is responsible for receiving applications and issuing permits for septic systems (Health Department), residential work in the right-of-way, and floodplain use permits (see Highway and Floodplain Department for Right-of-Way and Floodplain information) once those departments have provided their reviews.
Building Safety Division
The Building Safety Division coordinates all facets of building plan review and the subsequent inspection process during construction (both residential and commercial) for code conformance in the interest of public safety. The Cochise County Building Safety Code incorporates various building, plumbing, electrical, fire, mechanical and energy conservation codes for the applicable portions of the unincorporated areas of the county. To ensure quality construction for the county's residents and visitors, the Building Safety Division regulates building construction and building occupancy through the enforcement of the Building Safety Code. The Building Safety Division also performs the state required installation inspections on Mobile and Manufactured Homes, under an agreement with the State of Arizona Office of Manufactured Housing, in the county.