Planning & Development
The Planning and Development Department works to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Fairmont through a multitude of efforts by planning for the current and future needs of the city in collaboration with other city departments and partnering agencies. These needs range from housing, transportation, development services, parks and other public amenities, employment, and much more.
The department is responsible for implementing the city’s adopted comprehensive and strategic plans, reviewing zoning code compliance, coordinating planning services for stakeholders and partnering agencies, staffing various boards and commissions such as Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning Commission, manages grants related to development, coordinates the city website and communications, and much more.
The City of Fairmont currently has a Hybrid Zoning code that meshes conventional zoning codes with graphic urban design standards that typically address setbacks, parking placement, building setbacks and heights, materials, and architectural features. This style of code focuses less on specific land uses and more on how land is improved.
All improvements of a property (such as new buildings, additions, tool sheds, sidewalks, porches, driveways, and fences) require review and approval by the Planning and Development Department.
When trying to understand how to build or expend within the City of Fairmont, first consult the Permitted Use Chart within the zoning code within Article 3. Find the use description that best fits what you wish to do on a particular property and then verify that it is permitted within the zoning district where your property is located. Then consult the district Development Requirements and Supplemental Standards to verify the primary requirements for improving the property such as setbacks, height limits, minimum windows and doors, and more. Other regulations from later articles may apply, such as Article 4 – Use Standards and Article 5 – Site Standards.
The Planning and Development Department, by authority of the Planning Commission, processes and reviews all subdivisions and mergers of land within the City of Fairmont. It is strongly recommended to submit for a free preliminary review by the department staff ahead of filing for an official subdivision review in order to streamline the approval.
Smaller subdivisions and mergers, often called a Minor Subdivision, are reviewed and approved by the Planning and Development Department staff. If a preliminary review has been completed by staff, these can be approved within 1 to 7 days.
Larger and often more complicated subdivisions and mergers, called Major Subdivisions, require review from additional staff and the Planning Commission for approval. Major Subdivisions take additional time and public hearings to approve.
Major Subdivision Application [LINK]
Board of Zoning Appeals
The Board of Zoning Appeals is a citizen board, staffed by the Planning and Development Department, that reviews Conditional Use Permits, Variances, and Appeals related to the Zoning Code. More information can be found on the BZA page [LINK].
The Planning Commission is a board composed of one or more city council members, city staff, citizens representing various industries relevant to the City of Fairmont. The commission is the advisory body for City Council that recommends adopting changes to the Zoning Code, development requirements, right-of-way abandonments, annexations, capital improvements budget related to the comprehensive plan, approval of major subdivisions, and changes to the adopted comprehensive plan.
Petitions to change the text of the zoning ordinance or to rezone property within the city are heard before the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission then votes to forward the petitions favorably or unfavorably to city council in most cases. No change may be made to the zoning code or zoning map without the recommendation of the Planning Commission.
Historic Preservation Review Commission
The Historic Preservation Review Commission is a five-member citizen board that reviews applications pertain to development within the official historic districts within the City of Fairmont. The commission verifies that a proposed projects meets the approve Design Standards for that historic district. This is required for most improvements to land within the historic districts to include new signage and exterior wall changes.
Marketing and Communications
The Marketing and Communications sector of the Planning Department performs administrative work involving city-wide community relations, coordination of marketing programs and business development activities and administration of the City’s website and social media network. This role has considerable interface with all City Departments and the greater Fairmont community. This role coordinates marketing and promotional information for the City, which includes branding, production of messaging, collateral materials, website, social media, and advertising. Find out more on the Communications Page [LINK]
Follow the City of Fairmont on Facebook:
The Planning and Development Department manages all of the GIS mapping for the City of Fairmont. You can view all of the maps here [LINK]