Zoning Process

Zoning is one of the major functions of municipal government, authorized by state law, which divides the city into distinct districts for the purpose of regulating the use and development of land. Through the zoning process, the city attempts to ensure compatible land use patterns by minimizing conflicts between uses thereby protecting property values and enhancing the urban environment.

The City of Jonesboro's Zoning Ordinance is a body of regulations pertaining to allowable uses within given zoning districts, characteristics of the sites occupied by those uses, and the geographic area contained within the boundaries of zoning districts.

Zoning Conflict

If it is determined that your proposed use conflicts with the allowable uses within the existing zoning district, you may consider making an application for a request to change the designated zoning of your site to one that will accommodate your proposed use. This change may entail expansion of existing adjacent zoning boundaries, change of the existing district to another standard zoning district, or a request for the establishment of a Planned Development district. Planned Development districts (PD's) are designed to allow creative site design, flexibility in use, or additional regulation not provided for within the standard zoning districts.

Zoning Change Process

Your 1st step in the zoning change process (which establishes an actual amendment to the Zoning Ordinance) will be to contact planning staff to discuss the nature of your zoning request. Staff will help you explore the feasibility of your request. Your request will be reviewed for its compatibility with the existing land uses, adjacent zoning districts and the City of Jonesboro Comprehensive Plan.

The 2nd step will be the submission of your application for zoning change or Specific Use Permit. If your application requires the submission of a general site plan which is required of all planned developments, the information must be submitted along with the zoning application. Note that all property zone change requests are subject to properly posting an Intent to Rezone sign which publicizes hearing details to be obtained that the local planning office concerning the zoning change.

Zoning Process Flow Chart

Following application submission, your case will be heard by the Planning Commission (MAPC), who will make recommendation regarding your request to the City Council. The City Council will, in turn, decide the final disposition of your request (see the Zoning Process Flow Chart).

Conditional Uses

Specific Use Permits or Conditional Uses, while not zoning districts within themselves, are special permits mandated by the Schedule of Uses allowing particular use of a site within a standard zoning district under certain conditions and restrictions.

Planned Developments

Planned Developments, or PD's, accommodate planned associations of uses developed as integral land use units. These can include:

  • Commercial or service centers
  • Industrial districts
  • Offices
  • Residential developments of multiple or mixed housing
  • Shopping centers
  • Any appropriate combination thereof

Planned Developments may be used to permit new or innovative concepts in land utilization not permitted by standard zoning districts in the City of Jonesboro Zoning Ordinance.


A variance is a modification of the literal provisions of the property development standards of the zoning ordinance granted when strict enforcement of the zoning ordinance would cause undue hardship owing to circumstances unique to the individual property on which the variance is granted.