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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any specific questions,
please email us at planning@brgov.com


| General | Historic Preservation | Demolition | Zoning |
| Subdivision | Site Plans | Wireless Tower | GIS |
| Comprehensive Plan | Economic Development |

GENERAL

What is Planning?

Planning is the creation of a long-range course of action for guiding orderly growth and development. The City-Parish Planning Commission is working with planning professionals, public officials, and citizens to create, maintain, and promote socially and economically viable communities in the City of Baton Rouge and the Parish of East Baton Rouge.

What is FUTUREBR?

FUTUREBR is a twenty-year comprehensive land use and development plan for the City of Baton Rouge and the Parish of East Baton Rouge. It is designed to act as a “blueprint” for the future development of our community. FUTUREBR is available at the Office of the Planning Commission at 1100 Laurel Street, Suite 104 for review. You may make an appointment with a staff member in the Advance Planning/Research Division to discuss FUTUREBR or you may access the Planning Commission Information Bulletins published on the Planning Commission website.

What is the UDC?

The Unified Development Code (UDC) is a comprehensive combination of ordinances including, but not limited to, the Subdivision Ordinance, Zoning Ordinance, Sign Ordinance, and Landscape Ordinance. The Unified Development Code (UDC). The UDC is available online on the Planning Commission webpage at the following web address: http://www.brgov.com/dept/planning/udcodeonline.as

What is the role of the City-Parish Planning Commission and Staff?

The nine member Planning Commission advises the Metropolitan Council on long range planning issues and current planning applications. It has the authority to approve certain current planning items and advises the Metropolitan Council on the items for which it does not have the authority to approve.

The Commission’s goal is to provide for the orderly growth, development and redevelopment of the City of Baton Rouge and the Parish of East Baton Rouge. The staff strives to prepare for the present and future growth of the City-Parish through the implementation of responsible planning initiatives and priorities.

The Planning Commission Staff is divided into three inter-related divisions to support these efforts: Advance Planning/Research, Current Planning and Geographic Information Systems. Each division provides a variety of services to members of the public, elected officials, department heads, and developers.

For more information concerning the Planning Commission and its Staff, visit "Who We Are" on our website. You may also visit the Office of the Planning Commission.

Does the City-Parish Planning Commission publish resource guides?

The following resource guides can be obtained through the Office of the Planning Commission, 1100 Laurel Street, Suite 104, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802 or call (225) 389-3144.

Annual Report This document is in PDF format.  Download the free viewer from www.adobe.com
Information Bulletins This document is in PDF format.  Download the free viewer from www.adobe.com
Land Development Guide This document is in PDF format.  Download the free viewer from www.adobe.com
Planning Quarterly Newsletter This document is in PDF format.  Download the free viewer from www.adobe.com
Planning, What Is It? This document is in PDF format.  Download the free viewer from www.adobe.com
Unified Development Code

Who are the Planning Commission Members and how are they appointed?

The plan of government establishes the composition, organization and duties of the Planning Commission. Meet our Planning Commission Members. The Planning Commission is a nine-member board that advises elected officials on growth and development issues for the parish. Of the nine members, seven are appointed for a four-year term on a rotating basis by the Metropolitan Council. Three of these appointees are residents from the rural area of the parish, and the remaining four members are residents of the City of Baton Rouge.

In what Council District do I reside?

Council Information or you may call (225) 389-3123.

Where are the Planning Commission and Metropolitan Council meetings held?

Both meetings are held in Room 348 of the Governmental Building, 222 St. Louis Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Planning Commission meetings are held on the third or fourth Monday of each month. The Metropolitan Council meets every Wednesday.

Where can I get population statistics on the city and parish?

You may call the Office of the Planning Commission at (225) 389-3144 and speak with the Advance Planning Division Land Use and Special Studies Section Coordinator. You may also access population statistics on the Planning Commission website from the 2010 Census Data link.

What is small area planning?

Small area planning is an opportunity for citizens to take an active role in the planning process. The small area planning process involves citizens, local stakeholders, City-Parish departments, community organizations and institutions working together to address land use planning and service delivery issues. The goal is to promote mutual responsibility and joint problem solving. A small area plan:

  • represents all of the groups that make a community;
  • identifies neighborhood strengths, assets needs and concerns;
  • establishes goals for improving the neighborhood;
  • provides recommendations for how to reach those goals, and
  • guides future development and directs the policy and financial decisions of local government.

The small area planning process allows Planning Commission staff members to meet with residents and discuss issues and aesthetics of development within a neighborhood context. Public meetings at the neighborhood level are designed to improve communications with neighborhoods and civic associations to:

  • redevelop declining neighborhoods;
  • evaluate land use for appropriateness and recommend changes where applicable;
  • establish a process that will assist in development of the ongoing Parishwide Capital Improvements Program by identifying neighborhood concerns and needs.

A new business is planning to locate in our neighborhood and we are not happy about it. What can be done?

Get the address of the new business and notify the DPW Inspection Division at (225) 389-3205 and ask that a determination be made, as to the appropriateness of zoning. You may also check any recorded private deed restrictions or subdivision covenants recorded with the East Baton Rouge Parish Office of the Clerk of Court at (225) 389-3982.

How is the public notified of property being rezoned?

The Planning Commission staff posts the property with a sign 15 days prior to the Planning Commission stating the meeting date, time, and address. The proposal is also advertised in The Advocate, External web link not maintained by City of Baton Rouge as a legal advertisement three (3) times within ten (10) days of the Planning Commission meeting.

How is the public notified of a new subdivision development?

The City-Parish Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on all subdivisions with more than five (5) lots. Notice of the time and place of the public hearing will be mailed by the Office of the Planning Commission to the property owners within 150’ of the proposed development. The public hearing will also be advertised in the official journal, The Advocate. External web link not maintained by City of Baton Rouge

How can I speak in favor or opposition of an item on the Planning Commission agenda?

In accordance with Title 1, Section 1.7 of the Code of Ordinances, all items on the Planning Commission agenda are open for public comment. Those members of the public desiring to speak on a particular item should approach the podium and request to speak after the item is announced by the Chairman. They will be required to give their name and address and the Chairman will allocate a specific amount of time for members of the Public to speak.


HISTORIC PRESERVATION

Where are the Historic Preservation Commission meetings held?

Meetings are held in Room 348 of the Governmental Building, 222 St. Louis Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Historic Preservation Commission meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month.

What is a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)?

A document evidencing approval by the Historic Preservation Commission of an application to make a material change in the appearance of a designated historic property Certified local government: a local, state and federal partnership that provides technical assistance and small grants to local governments who are seeking to preserve their architectural and cultural heritage for future generations.

What requires a COA?

New structures, demolitions/relocations, buildings, objects, and works of art to be constructed within a local historic district.

Where can I find local historic districts guidelines and building surveys?

You can find both the local historic district guidelines and building survey either online at Historic Preservation or at the Planning Commission Office.


DEMOLITION

When is demolition/relocation approval required from Planning Commission?

Approval from the Planning Commission must be obtained before demolition or relocation of any historic building within the Downtown Development District.

What is submitted with the demolition/relocation application?

Plans for the historic property must be submitted with the application. The Planning Commission must review future plans for the historic property at the same time as the application for demolition or relocation.


ZONING

What is the zoning on my property?

You may call the Office of the Planning Commission (225) 389-3144 to request the zoning status of your property. You may obtain a zoning verification letter from the Office of the Planning Commission for any property within East Baton Rouge Parish with the exception of property in the Baker and Zachary city limits. The cost of a zoning verification letter is $50.00. Send your written request for zoning verification to: Office of the Planning Commission, 1100 Laurel Street, Suite 104, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802. A legal description of your property must be provided in your written request. The legal description of your property must include the subdivision name and lot number, or the legal property name and tract number, if your property is not located in a subdivision. Also, include the name of the street where the property is located and the nearest intersection or the streets on either side of the subject property.

I have a question about a rezoning sign that I saw posted on a piece of property.

You may call the Office of the Planning Commission and request to speak with the Land Use and Zoning Coordinator. Provide the zoning case, street name of property and date of meeting and the rezoning case number printed on the rezoning sign. You can also find more information about the case using the Land Development Application Search Tool.

What are the residential and commercial zoning districts?

Chapter 8 (Zoning Districts) of the Unified Development Code (UDC) establishes the 18 types of zoning districts. The 18 types of zoning districts are further divided into specific zoning districts. The Table of Permissible Uses is also included in Appendix H of the UDC.

What types of uses are allowed in different zoning districts?

You may call the Office of the Planning Commission and speak with the Land Use and Zoning Coordinator. Chapter 8 of the Unified Development Code (UDC) provides the Table of Permissible Uses. You may request a copy of the Unified Development Code (UDC) at a cost of $150. The UDC is also available on the Planning Commission website.

What is a nonconforming use?

A use or activity that was lawful prior to the adoption, revision or amendment of the zoning ordinance but that fails by reason of such adoption, revision, or amendment to conform to the present requirements of the zoning district. Specific requirements govern the discontinuance of nonconforming uses. In addition, specific code requirements address damages and the ability to make major substantial changes to structures designated as nonconforming uses.

What is a conditional use?

Conditional uses are those uses which are generally compatible with the uses permitted in a zoning district, but require individual review of their location, design, and intensity in order to ensure their appropriateness on any particular parcel of land and the compatibility of the use with adjacent uses.

Conditional use permits may be granted for those conditional uses enumerated in each of the zoning districts established in Chapter 8 of the Unified Development Code (UDC). Contact the Planning Commission to purchase a copy of the Unified Development Code (UDC) at a cost of $150.

A completed application for a Conditional Use Permit must be submitted to a member of the Planning Commission staff. Applications are available at the Office of the Planning Commission and on the Planning Commission website.

Can more than one family live on a parcel zoned single family residential?

Chapter 2 (Definitions) of the Unified Development Code (UDC) defines family as an individual or two (2) or more persons who are related by blood, marriage or legal adoption living together and occupying a single housekeeping unit with single culinary facilities; or not more than two (2) persons, or not more than 4 (four) persons (provided the owner lives on the premises) living together by joint agreement and occupying a single housekeeping unit with single culinary facilities on a non-profit, cost sharing basis. See Section 6.6 of the UDC for violations of this ordinance.


SUBDIVISION

Is there a list of all subdivisions in East Baton Rouge Parish?

Yes. You can view and download this list from the Planning Commission website at: brgov.com/dept/planning/MapsListings.htm

Can I get a copy of the Deed Restriction for my subdivision?

Deed Restrictions are on file at the Clerk of Courts Office located at 222 St. Louis Street, Suite 151, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70801 or you may call (225) 389-3982.

How do I subdivide my property?

You may call or visit the Office of the Planning Commission, 1100 Laurel Street, Suite 104, or (225) 389-3144 to speak with the Land Development Coordinator, who will assist you in the application process. You must submit a completed application to the Land Development Coordinator. Applications are available on the Planning Commission website.

What is the Flood Zone of my property?

Flood Zone maps are available online at brgov.com/dept/dpw/EBRPfloodmaps.htm, or on file at the Department of Public Works Drainage Engineers office located at 300 North Boulevard, Room 411, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802 or you may call (225) 389-3196.

If my home is destroyed in a fire, can I rebuild my single family residence in C1 or C2 zoning districts?

Single Family Residential is a permissible use in C1 and C2 zoning districts, therefore, it may be rebuilt in a C1 or C2 zoning district. See the Table of Permissible Uses Chapter 8 of the Unified Development Code (UDC). Contact the Office of the Planning Commission to purchase a copy of the UDC at a cost of $150.00.

May I open a Child Care Center in my neighborhood?

Child Care Centers are permitted in the A3.1, A3.2, A4 and A5 zoning districts. However, childcare centers may be allowed as a Conditional Use in the A1, A2, A2.5, and A2.7 Single Family Residential zoning districts.

You can apply for a Conditional Use Permit by submitting a completed Conditional Use Permit Application to the Planning Commission at the Office of the Planning Commission, 1100 Laurel Street, Suite 104, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802.

Can I have a manufactured home (trailer) on my lot?

Manufactured homes (trailers) are only allowed in Rural zoning or in Mobile Home Parks. Refer to Chapter 8, Section 8.213, C.5 (a) (b) and (c) of the Unified Development Code (UDC). You may request a copy of the Unified Development Code (UDC) at a cost of $150. The UDC is also available on the on the Planning Commission website. According to Section C.5 the following conditions apply:

  • A mobile home must be located at least one hundred (100) feet from the street and twenty-five (25) feet from adjacent property lines.
  • The lot must have at least one hundred (100) feet of frontage on a parish maintained road, or be located a minimum of 200 feet from a parish maintained road having a dedicated access.
  • Only one (1) mobile home per lot or tract will be permitted.

What are my height and yard requirements?

First, you must find the zoning of your property. To find zoning of your property, call the Office of the Planning Commission (225) 389-3144 and speak with the Zoning Coordinator. You may request a copy of the Unified Development Code (UDC) at a cost of $150.

After finding the zoning of your property, refer to Appendix F of the UDC for all height and yard requirements for each zoning district.

How do I reduce my side or front yard requirements?

Please contact the Board of Adjustments at (225) 389-3226.

What are deed restrictions or homeowner covenants?

Deed restrictions or homeowner covenants are private land use controls included as part of the property title. A covenant restricts the property use and is enforceable usually by legal action taken by other property owners in the same subdivision. The City Parish does not have the authority to enforce private deed restrictions or homeowners covenants.


SITE PLANS

What is a Site Plan?

The development plan for one or more lots on which is shown the existing and proposed conditions of the lot. This includes topography, vegetation, drainage, flood plains, wetlands, and waterways; landscaping and open spaces; walkways; means of ingress and egress; circulation; utility services; structures and buildings; signs and lighting; berms, buffers, and screening devices; surrounding development; and any other information that reasonably may be required in order that an informed decision can be made by the approving authority.

I am planning to build a commercial building, do I need Site Plan Approval?

If your proposed building is less than 30,000 square feet or 75 multi-family units or less, Planning Commission Site Plan Approval will not be required. Chapter 4 of the Unified Development Code (UDC) establishes regulations relating to Site Plan review. You may request a copy of the UDC at a cost of $150.00.

What is a bufferyard?

The Unified Development Code, Chapter 2 Definitions defines a “bufferyard” as a unit of land, together with a specified type and amount of planting thereon, and any structures which may be required between land uses to eliminate or minimize conflicts between them. Shall not include any servitudes or rights-of-way unless approved by the person(s) in whose favor the servitude or right-of-way is granted and the Building Official. Bufferyards are required if a commercial development is near a residential zone. Landscape Bufferyard requirements are located in Appendix D of the UDC.

How can I obtain a copy of an approved site plan, subdivision or zoning map?

All maps on file at the Office of the Planning Commission are public information. Copies of individual site plan and subdivision maps can be purchased from the Office of the Planning Commission for $3.00 each. Zoning maps can also be purchased from the Office of the Planning Commission for a cost of $2.00 per page.


WIRELESS TOWERS

What is a Wireless Tower?

Chapter 2 Definitions of the Unified Development Code (UDC) states that a wireless facility includes the tower, antennae, relay equipment, perimeter fences and any other equipment or building necessary for the operation of wireless reception and transmission.

Where can I find City-Parish regulations relating to Wireless Towers?

Chapter 14, Section 14.4 of the Unified Development Code (UDC) provides information relating to wireless tower communications.

What is a wireless tower setback?

Chapter 2 (Definitions) of the Unified Development Code (UDC) states that the wireless tower setback is the distance from the property line of any rural or residential zoned property or residential use to perimeter fence of a wireless facility.


GIS

What is GIS?

GIS is the Geographic Information System for automated mapping and database management. GIS involves computer and automated mapping of the entire Parish, and the establishment of a companion computerized information management system or database. The database can store information, zoning districts, subdivision plats, floodplain boundaries, public utility locations and Census information. New technology allows the database to be analyzed and applied, or overlaid, directly onto the maps.

How can I obtain a map of all streets and subdivisions in the parish?

A map of all streets and subdivisions can be purchased from the Office of the Planning Commission for a cost of $40.00. These maps are also available on the Maps and Listings web page.

How can I get a map of my neighborhood?

You can obtain a map of your neighborhood by visiting the Office of the Planning Commission. Cost of neighborhood maps vary according to specificity and size of maps. The Office of the Planning Commission is located at 1100 Laurel Street, Suite 104, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802. You can also view your neighborhood online using the interactive mapping application eBRmap.

How can I find out if my property is within the city limits?

You can find out if your property is located within the city limits by contacting the Office of the Planning Commission at (225) 389-3144. This information can be obtained by providing the address, the nearest intersecting streets, parcel number or legal description of the property.


COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

How can I find out what the future plans are for my area?

If construction has begun in your area, then call the DPW Permit and Inspection Office at (225) 389-3226.

FUTUREBR is a twenty-year comprehensive development and land use plan for the City of Baton Rouge and the Parish of East Baton Rouge. It is designed to act as a “blueprint” for the future development of our community. FUTUREBR is available at the Office of the Planning Commission for review. You may make an appointment with the coordinator of Plan Implementation and Special Studies to discuss FUTUREBR or you may access Planning's Information Bulletins published on our website.

I saw a map in the newspaper describing an amendment to the “Comprehensive Plan” in my neighborhood. What does this mean?

This notice of change of land use means a rezoning case in your neighborhood requires a large-scale land use amendment to the FUTUREBR Land Use Map. It can also mean that the Office of the Planning Commission is conducting a public meeting in your area regarding amendments to FUTUREBR. For more information contact the Planning Commission at (225) 389-3144.


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

What is the Enterprise Zone Program?

The Louisiana Enterprise Zone (EZ) Program is a package of tax credits and sales tax rebates available to qualifying new businesses and/or expansions to existing businesses that will create new, permanent jobs and employ individuals from targeted groups. The City-Parish Planning Commission processes local EZ applications and administers the local EZ program on behalf of the State Department of Economic Development and the Board of Commerce and Industry. For more information contact the Economic and Environmental Coordinator of the City-Parish Planning Commission at (225) 389-3144 or the Business Incentives Division, Louisiana Department of Economic Development at (225) 342-9218.