The Division of Planning provides staff support for the following Boards & Commissions:
Metropolitan Development Commission (MDC)
The nine-member Metropolitan Development Commission adopts and amends the comprehensive General Land Use Plan for Marion County, keeping track of the changing needs of the city. The Commission adopts zoning ordinances and makes decisions on some variance and all rezoning petitions, thereby guiding the efficient and orderly development and redevelopment of the Unigov area. The Mayor appoints five of the commissioners; four are appointed by the City-County Council, all drawing from the general population.
The Metropolitan Development Commission also functions as the board of the Department of Metropolitan Development, approving contracts and the sale of property for redevelopment. In addition, the Commission functions as the planning and zoning commission and as a redevelopment commission with litigative authority.
The Metropolitan Development Commission is empowered by statute to: plan thoroughfares, adopt amendments to and additional segments of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, adopt resolutions concerning land use policy, approve ordinances for zoning and districting, approve and recommend ordinances for amendment or repeal of zoning ordinances, approve development plans, exercise Board of Zoning Appeals powers to grant or deny special exceptions and variances, and exercise all statutory powers in accordance with said statutes. Its functions also include tax abatement, declaration of redevelopment areas, and the purchase and sale of property. The President decides all points of order and procedure unless otherwise directed by a majority of the Commission members present.
Commissioners (Appointed by)
Legal Notices, Public Hearings & Staff Reports
Hearing Examiner of the MDC
The Hearing Examiner is a person designated by the Metropolitan Development Commission to conduct hearings. The Hearing Examiner is a contract employee who conducts hearings for rezoning petitions, companion variance or special exception petitions, approval petitions, and all other companion petitions. All decisions of the Hearing Examiner may be appealed to the Metropolitan Development Commission. The Hearing Examiner holds public hearings on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month (except holidays), at 1:00 p.m., in the City-County Building.
Board of Zoning Appeals
The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) holds public hearings and makes decisions on variances of the zoning ordinances, special exceptions specifically allowed by the zoning ordinances, appeals of administrative decisions, and approval petitions for modifications of previously approved petitions. Because of the large number of petitions filed in Marion County, there are three divisions of the BZA. Each division has five members, appointed as follows: 1 member by the Metropolitan Development Commission, 2 members by the Mayor, and 2 members by the City-County Council.
Each of the excluded cities in Marion County, Lawrence, Speedway, and Beech Grove have their own Board of Zoning Appeals. Although the Department of Metropolitan Development serves as staff to those Boards, petitions are filed and hearings are held in the respective city.
Hearing Officer of the MDC
The Hearing Officer has similar duties to the BZA. The Hearing Officer can hear variances of development standards of the zoning ordinances, limited variances of use of the zoning ordinances, special exceptions specifically allowed by the zoning ordinances, and approval petitions for modifications of previously approved petitions. The Hearing Officer is appointed by the Metropolitan Development Commission, and holds a public hearing nearly every Tuesday, at 10:00 a.m. in the City-County Building.
MDC Plat Committee
The Plat Committee is a 5-member body appointed by the Metropolitan Development Commission whose primary duties are to hold public hearings and make decisions on petitions to subdivide property, vacate rights-of-way and easements, or other requirements of an approved plat.