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Development Process
Overview
Downtown El Paso
Prior to the development of land within the City of El Paso, a property owner must obtain the necessary approvals from the city planner, city council, and board of zoning appeals. The process associated with a particular request varies depending upon the type of property (commercial, industrial, single-family, etc...) and where a property owner is in the process. For example, some properties may require rezoning and final plat approval before a building permit can be issued, while a property owner whose property is already zoned appropriately and platted may proceed directly with a building permit or site plan.

For additional information regarding the development process, please see the Planning Packets and Applications or the application process page.

Development Process
1.  Rezoning
The first step in the development process is zoning.  All property within the city is assigned a zoning classification and property can be used only in accordance with the zoning regulations for that district.  If a land owner wishes to develop or use the land for a use not permitted under the current zoning, then the property must be rezoned to another classification.

A public hearing is required before the board of zoning appeals (BZA) for all rezonings.  The BZA will allow public testimony, review the information presented by city staff and the property owner/developer, and will make a recommendation to the city council regarding the appropriateness of the request.

Following the public hearing, the city council will review the application and make a final decision regarding the rezoning request.

2.  Special Use Permit
Certain types of land uses are very intense in nature and can cause detrimental effects to surrounding properties, especially residential properties adjacent to the site. While these uses may be appropriate in some areas of the city, they are not appropriate in all circumstances and additional restrictions must be placed on these uses to ensure they do not adversely impact adjacent land owners.  The special use permit allows an additional layer of review and additional restrictions, buffers, screening, and other requirements may be imposed upon a property to ensure the negative impacts will be mitigated.

A public hearing is required before the board of zoning appeals (BZA) for all special use permits. The BZA will allow public testimony, review the information presented by city staff and the property owner/developer, and will make a recommendation to the city council regarding the appropriateness of the request.

Following the public hearing, the city council will review the application and make a final decision regarding the special use permit request.

3.  Preliminary Plat
All property within the city must be platted prior to developing the site.  A preliminary plat determines the overall layout of a subdivision, including the street network and location of public improvements.  Preliminary plats are typically reviewed and approved by city staff, but may require approval from the BZA or city council if the plat is part of a planned development district.  The denial of a preliminary plat by city staff may be appealed to the BZA by the property owner.

4.  Final Plat
A final plat is similar to a preliminary plat, but is generally more detailed in nature and usually pertains to one lot or one group of lots within a development; the lot(s) shown on the final plat is one of many lots identified on the preliminary plat and shall conform substantially to the dimensions shown on the preliminary plat. The final plat is similar to a survey in that it determines property lines, but it also determines building setbacks, easements, and other public improvements. Final plats are typically reviewed and approved by city staff, but may require approval from the BZA or city council if the plat is part of a planned development district. The denial of a preliminary plat by city staff may be appealed to the BZA by the property owner.

5.  Site Plan/Building Permit Review
Once a property has been zoned and platted, the property owner may proceed with a site plan review.  Single-family and two-family properties do not require a site plan review and the owner may apply for a standard building permit following platting.  Multi-family, commercial, and industrial properties must submit a site plan containing utility connections, architectural elevations, landscape plans, and other required documents as part of the building permit application.

As with final plats, site plans are reviewed by city staff and do not require a public hearing.  The denial of a site plan by city staff may be appealed to the BZA by the property owner.


Contact
Jack Hickok
Director of Public Service
Zoning Commissioner
Ph: (309) 527-4005

Sandee Kessinger
Administrative Assistant
Ph: (309) 527-4005

125 W. Front St.
El Paso, IL 61738

Hours
Monday - Friday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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