Planning & Zoning

The Planning Division performs both short and long-range planning efforts for the City. Long-range efforts include managing and updating the General Plan, Vista 2030, which includes such elements as land use, transportation, parks and open space, water conservation, and redevelopment. The department also enforces Development and Zoning Codes to ensure new developments are constructed to meet City standards.

The division is also involved with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, development code amendments, sign permits, home occupations, storm water compliance, annexations, housing, floodplain administration and providing census and demographic information. Underlying many of these planning functions is management of the City’s Geographic Information System, Map Vista.

Zoning Parcels

Use the zoning parcels interactive tool in the ARC GIS portal.


Permits are required for the following land development projects:

Building-inspector-ALTERNATE-web-imageBuildingBuilding permits are required when there is new construction or when there is alteration to the main structure or an accessory structure.  Examples would include re-roofing, room additions, garage or carport conversions, patio covers, fireplace installations, fences and walls, swimming pools, storage sheds (permanent or temporary), building a new garage, or any work involving electric, plumbing or gas.  Permits are not normally required for painting or minor repairs.  If in doubt concerning permit requirements, please call the Department of Community Development for clarification (520) 458-3315.

Conditional Use – Conditional use permits are required for certain uses of property that may affect neighboring property owners.  The conditional use permit process includes the opportunity for public participation by affected property owners.  This process can help enable decision-makers to include measures to mitigate any impacts.

Development Code Map Amendment (Rezoning) – An amendment to the Official Zoning Map is called a Development Code Map Amendment, more commonly known as a “Rezoning.”  The burden of proof is upon the proponent and the proposed change must be consistent with the General Plan.

General Plan AmendmentA General Plan Amendment can be proposed for either text or map amendments to the City of Sierra Vista General Plan, Vista 2030.  The text amendment modifies existing text in the General Plan.  The map amendments modify the Land Use Designation Maps and Appendices in the General Plan.

Administrative Modification Application –  Administrative Modification is a request to reduce the rear and side yard building setbacks for minor residential home additions or to modify maximum fence or wall height for residential properties.

Parking Lot Plan – A Parking Lot Plan is required for commercial properties or businesses that are restriping or repaving an existing parking lot.

Site Plan/Modified Site Plan/Related Documents
– A site plan refers to the site or land improvements for a commercial, industrial, or multi-family residential project.  The site plan process is typically used for improvements to vacant property.  The Modified Site Plan Process is typically used for building additions to existing improved sites.  A pre-submittal meeting is required prior to the official site plan/modified site plan submittal.

Site Plan Digital Packet
Site Plan Review Application

Site Plan Checklist
Luminaire Information Worksheet
Dumpster Enclosure Detail

Low Water Plant List
ADA Parking Details
Bicycle Parking Guidelines

Special Use Permit Application – A special use permit is used to request variations from sign regulations and outdoor light control standards.  This application is needed for a Comprehensive Sign Plan, Special Sign District, and Outdoor Light Control waiver.

Subdivision Related Documents A subdivision is created when land is divided into four or more lots, tracts, or parcels or in other certain circumstances.  The subdivision plat review process reviews both preliminary and final plats for compliance with the City Development Code.  A pre-submittal meeting is required prior to the official submittal of the preliminary plat.
Presubmittal Application Form
Final Plat Checklist
Final Plat Review Application

Preliminary Plat Review Checklist
Preliminary Plat Review Application
Specific Plan Application
Subdividers Agreement
Native Plant Salvage Form

Variance Request A variance can be requested to reduce the minimum requirements of the Development Code for a specific property.

Request for Appeal