Planning & Zoning

Why is zoning regulation necessary?

The City of DeKalb’s Unified Development Ordinance ("UDO") acts to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of the City of DeKalb through zoning regulation. Zoning regulation is important for the City of DeKalb for many reasons:

  • To put land to the use for which it is best suited. Some land is best used for commercial development due to its proximity to major thoroughfares, some land is appropriate for industrial park development, and others are best left open due to proximity to a flood plain.
  • To assist in planning for future developments and considers economic and social factors as well as physical characteristics of the land. The needs and characteristics of the entire region as well as the immediate area are considered as well.
  • To protect and maintain property values by ensuring incompatible uses are be kept apart. For example, it is desirable to separate residential neighborhoods from industrial developments.
  • To protect and promote public health, safety, and welfare. For example, new homes are spaced far enough apart so fires cannot spread easily and allowing different levels of residential density protects open space, property values, and also promotes affordable housing.
  • To provide for more orderly development. Regulations for uniform lot sizes, lot lines, setbacks (distance from the property line), building heights, landscaping, and harmonious exterior design make areas attractive.
  • To attract business and industry to the area. Areas of land that is uniquely suited for business and industry can be reserved in advance of development and fitted with access to public facilities including available electric, gas, water, sewer, and, fiber-optic lines.

For general questions about planning and zoning, please contact the Planning Director, Dan Olson, at 815-748-2361.