The Bessemer City Planning and Zoning Department is committed to excellent public service and enhancing the quality of life in the community by guiding its orderly growth and development while preserving its cultural heritage and natural resources. We strive to offer the most efficient service possible in the management of our activities and programs. We always adhere to providing professionally competent advice to officials and citizens on the issues of planning and public policy, land development regulation and community improvement.
Who do we serve?
The Planning and Zoning Department primarily serves the public, but we also serve the City Council, the Planning and Zoning Board, the Board of Adjustment, as well as other City officials, citizen committees, and internal work committees. The following entities are the main boards that the Department supports.
The Bessemer City Council is the elected legislative body made up of seven citizen representatives, including the mayor. This body is responsible for establishing the budget as well as the policies and ordinances that govern the City. The Planning and Zoning Department receives direction from the Council in regards to planning studies and policy initiatives.
The Planning and Zoning Board is a five-member citizen advisory body appointed by the City Council. The primary duty of the Board is to give official recommendations to Council on land use, zoning, and development issues.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment is a citizen board of five members appointed by the City Council. The Board hears appeals of staff decisions as well as requests for variances from the zoning ordinance. The Board also has the responsibility to grant special exception permits for certain uses that may or may not be appropriate in certain zoning districts based on relevant factors and conditions.
This work program includes a variety of functions, including: day-to-day administration of the Code of Ordinances, support of the two appointed boards (Planning and Zoning Board and the Board of Adjustment), long-range planning, annexation, development plan review, subdivision administration and addressing.