News Release

Changes Coming to Lafayette’s Planning, Zoning and Development Department
Posted: 10/24/2017 3:00 PM
 

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On October 3, the Civil Service Board approved the reorganization of Lafayette Consolidated Government’s (LCG) Planning, Zoning, and Development Department, including a name change to Development and Planning, which will go into effect on November 6 and consists of three major changes.
 
First, the Development and the Planning Divisions will assume the functions of the Zoning Division (and thus the reason for the elimination of the word “Zoning” from the Department’s title).
 
“Since the adoption of the Unified Development Code in 2015 which integrated all development regulations into one code book, the need to combine development review has become clear,” stated the Department Director, Carlee Alm-LaBar. As such, the Development Division will be responsible for the review of all projects for compliance with the UDC, including zoning regulations. Furthermore, the Planning Division will take on the work of the Zoning Commission and Historic Preservation, managing the rezoning process and the designation of historic properties.
 
The second change resulting from the reorganization is the creation of a Compliance Division. According to Alm-LaBar, this is a model that many communities similar in size to Lafayette follow. The Division was created to help coordinate the enforcement activities within the Department and across government and therefore, will now manage the Department’s housing inspectors. As the only new Division resulting in the departmental restructuring, it is anticipated the transition will be slower than the other reorganization components.
 
Lastly, the Division of Alcohol and Noise Control (ANC) will begin reporting to the Department. Alm-LaBar said this change was made as a step towards centralizing the permitting functions of LCG. Additionally, the change will aid in the continued, effective implementation of the revised alcohol code. 
 
While the changes won’t go into effect until November 6, Alm-LaBar said the administration has been laying the groundwork to ensure a smooth transition over the last several months. “We began looking at the functions of the Department last year to make improvements from a customer service perspective. These organizational changes are the next logical step both from a service and efficiency standpoint.”
 
Last November, the Department implemented a multi-disciplinary certification for inspectors, which when fully deployed will streamline the inspection process for individuals and developers. Prior to that, inspectors were only certified in one of the four areas of building, electrical, mechanical or plumbing, resulting in a longer period to complete multiple inspections and requiring individuals to deal with more than one inspector. 
 
In addition, the department continues to offer classes to neighborhoods and to the development community. A Zoning 101 workshop is planned for neighborhood residents to understand zoning on November 1 at 5:30 p.m. at Rosa Parks. All workshops are free and open to the public.
 
For up-to- date information on the transition and messages to customers from the director, visit http://www.lafayettela.gov/PZD/Pages/PZDTransition.aspx.