The purpose of zoning is to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of the County's residents as well as to guide the development of land in accordance with the County's Comprehensive Plan. Zoning districts specify permitted land uses, minimum lot sizes, and certain site development standards such as setbacks and screening. Because Cochise County encompasses a large and diverse area, there are 34 individual zoning districts, ranging from rural and residential districts to business and industrial districts. Sometimes, an owner may want to develop a parcel or group of parcels in a way that isn't allowed under the existing zoning because of minimum lot sizes or limited permitted and special uses.

For example, a property owner may want to develop a subdivision of homes on lots smaller than permitted under the current zoning district or establish a business in a residential area. These examples would entail a rezoning to a more "intensive" district, otherwise known as an "upzoning," - where the potential for impacts on the area is higher as a result of the increase in density. For example, upzoning may result in increased traffic.

Another example of rezoning would be where a landowner or group of landowners want to ensure that their parcels stay relatively intact and not be developed at the density or intensity the existing zoning district would allow. They would then apply for a downzoning, a change to a less intensive district with a larger minimum lot size per dwelling, such as 36 acres per residence instead of 4 acres.

Public Input

Prior to submitting an application for a rezoning, potential applicants are required to have a pre-application meeting with Planning staff to discuss their proposal as well as go over the Citizen Review Process - a process to notify neighbors of the proposal, required of applicants before they submit their application.

Once an application is submitted, the case planner will send a mailed notice to all property owners within a radius of no less than 300 feet of the subject parcel(s). The case planner may expand the mailed notification area to greater than a 300-foot radius at the time of application acceptance if there are compatibility concerns associated with the request. A legal notice is placed in the local newspaper and posted on the property at least 15 days before the first public hearing, also by the case planner. 

A public hearing will be held by the Planning and Zoning Commission to accept input from people who support, oppose, or simply have questions about the project. After the hearing is closed, the Commission votes to recommend approval, recommend approval with conditions, recommend disapproval to the Board of Supervisors, or table the request. If it is not tabled by the Commission, then the request goes to the Board of Supervisors, in another public hearing, for a final decision. Note: if 20% of property owners, by area and number, object to the rezoning, then the request will need approval by all 3 Board members at the adoption hearing. The rezoning goes into effect 30 days after the Board's decision, and the zoning maps are revised accordingly.

Submittal Requirements

  • Application Form/Questionnaire
  • Additional information as needed depending on the nature and scale of the proposed amendment
  • Citizen Review Report
  • Rezoning Fee
  • Concept Plan

The process will not begin until fees and all information needed to evaluate the rezoning request are submitted. Acceptance of the application does not confer approval of the proposed rezoning request

Commission meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 4:00 p.m. located in the:
Board of Supervisors Hearing Room
Building G
1415 Melody Lane
Bisbee, AZ 85603

The Board of Supervisors meets every Tuesday of the month (except the 5th Tuesday) at 10:00 am at the same location. The submittal deadline is 45 days before the Board Meeting.