The Planning and Zoning Division
The Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Division is responsible for long and short-range planning for unincorporated areas and communities throughout Cochise County. P&Z processes applications associated with special use requests, rezonings, home occupations, subdivisions, and variances to the Zoning Regulations. It is also tasked with developing and updating the Comprehensive Plan.
Planner: Christine McLachlan email@example.com
Planner: Robert Kirschmann firstname.lastname@example.org
The purpose of zoning is to guide the development of land in accordance with the County’s Comprehensive Plan, and to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of the County’s residents. Zoning districts specify permitted land uses, minimum lot sizes, and certain site development standards such as setbacks and screening. There are 34 individual zoning districts.
A new subdivision is created when a large parcel is divided into six or more smaller parcels when any one of these parcels is smaller than 36-acres. The Cochise County Subdivision Regulations contain the procedures for creating a new subdivision. The purpose of the Subdivision Regulations is to implement the Comprehensive Plan Goals of promoting orderly growth, providing for adequate roads, utilities, water and wastewater treatment, ensuring that structures are not built in areas subject to flooding and ensuring an accurate legal description when dividing a large parcel into smaller lots for sale.
A minor land division is when a parcel of land is divided into five or fewer parcels, and which results in the creation of additional parcels, any of which are ten acres or smaller in size. Minor land divisions are subject to a review by the planning division to ensure the division of land complies with all zoning regulations and does not constitute a division of land subject to the Subdivision Regulations.
The Cochise County Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 1984 and last revised in 2015, serves to promote orderly and well-planned County growth. The Plan consists of a written document establishing land use, transportation, water conservation and public facility goals and polices and a series of maps that serve as a blueprint for the intensity and type of land uses expected near the incorporated cities and towns and in the outlying rural areas.
The Planning and Zoning Commission
The Planning Commission consists of 9-members appointed by the Board of Supervisors for four-year terms. Each supervisor appoints 3-members from the district they represent. Their main function is to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on rezonings, Comprehensive Plan amendments and to make decisions on special use permit applications.
The Boards of Adjustment
In Cochise County there are three boards of adjustment, corresponding to the number of supervisory districts. Each elected member of the Board of Supervisors appoints a three-member Board of Adjustment to serve their district. Each Board member serves a 4-year term and must reside in the district that they represent. The primary functions of the board are to hear variance from the terms of the ordinance when, owing to peculiar conditions, a strict interpretation would cause an unnecessary hardship. In addition, the boards may Interpret the zoning ordinance when the meaning of any word, phrase or section is in doubt, when there is dispute between the appellant and enforcing officers.