Planning and Development Processes

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The City of Gardner’s Planning Division reviews proposals for construction and development for compliance with plans, and the Land Development Code. Many of these proposals and associated applications are reviewed by the Planning Commission or variances from the zoning portion of the Land Development Code are considered by the Board of Zoning Appeals.  Cost of applications varies by type.                        


Property for proposed developments must be annexed into the City of Gardner to utilize city utility services. A property must be annexed into the city before the initiation of the city zoning and development review process. Property that does not adjoin city boundaries, requires certain approvals from the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners.

Annexation Forms


Preliminary and Final Plats

The City of Gardner requires that all property must be platted before any building permits may be issued for improvements to the property. Preliminary plats are larger divisions of land that enable new ownership and development patterns; or which impact public facilities or land, and are proposed in a preliminary or conceptual format to prepare for detailed engineering and design of facilities. Final plats are a refined version of the preliminary plat that presents proposed ownership and development patterns, as well as the specific location of public facilities and public property based on detailed designs.

Preliminary Plat Application Packet

Final Plat Application Packet


Administrative Plat

Administrative plats are routine applications such as lot line adjustments, lot splits, lot combinations or small land divisions that do not alter development patterns or impact public services.

Administrative Plat Application Packet


Zoning Map Amendment (Rezoning)

All properties within the City of Gardner carry zoning district classifications that govern the use and development of the land. The zoning map amendment process provides review of changes to the boundary of zoning districts (rezoning) that may be necessary to account for changed conditions in the general area or a change in public policies with respect to future development.

Rezoning Application Packet        


Preliminary Development Plan

When property is requested to be rezoned to a planned zoning district, the preliminary development plan shall be considered and approved as part of the rezoning application. A preliminary development plan is a generalized development plan for the entire area proposed to be included within a planned development. The purpose of a preliminary development plan is to allow preliminary review of a proposed planned development before substantial technical work has been undertaken. 

Preliminary Development Plan Packet


Conditional Use Permits (CUP)

A conditional use permit provides flexibility for different uses within a zoning district and allows the potential for additional uses. Due to the varying design and operational characteristics of the use or due to conditions in the area where the use is proposed, these uses are not generally appropriate in that district, but require a case-specific review to determine the compatibility in a specific context and location. 

CUP Application Packet 


Site Plan and Design Review / Final Development Plan

The site plan and design review process is a way to coordinate development projects within the public realm and with adjacent sites, and specifically to demonstrate how new projects meet the development and design standards of this Code for compatible arrangement of buildings, pedestrian and vehicle access, lighting and landscaping.

A final development plan is a detailed plan for implementing the preliminary development plan including technical information on building, site, open / civic space, and infrastructure development.  A final development plan may include the entire area covered in the preliminary development plan or it may include one or more phases of the approved preliminary development plan. The plan shall include all necessary information to demonstrate that all applicable standards, requirements, and conditions of the preliminary development plan have been met.

Site Plan and Design Review / Final Development Plan Application Packet                              


Administrative Site Plan

The administrative site plan process is a way to ensure that routine development projects meet the development and design standards of this Code, and all other standards applicable to the property.

Administrative Site Plan Application Packet


Administrative Adjustments

The administrative adjustment process is intended to provide flexibility for application of specific standards to sites where it is clear that an alternative approach with minor or de minimis modifications of the standards will equally or better meet the purpose, intent or design objectives of these regulations. Applications for administrative adjustments shall follow the same procedures required for a site plan and design review, or administrative site plans, whichever is applicable.

Administrative Adjustments Packet 



Variances are a process to provide relief from a strict interpretation of the standards of this Code, which when applied to a particular property and in a specific context would create an unnecessary hardship or practical difficulties on all reasonable use of the property. Variances can only be granted by the Board of Zoning Appeals under very unique circumstance, and approval is subject to compliance with six strict criteria established by state statute.

Variance Application Packet


Appeal of Administrative Decisions

The appeal of administrative decisions is a process to determine if there was an error in any final decision in the interpretation, administration or enforcement of this Code by an administrative official of the City.

Appeal of Administrative Decision Application Packet


Sign Permit Information