Planning Application Types

Site Plan/Development Review

The Community Development Department reviews development applications and determines if a project is an allowed use in a specific zoning district and whether the project meets zoning ordinance requirements and restrictions such as density, height, setbacks, parking, landscaping, open space, and buffers.

Projects under 5,000 square feet are subject to review by the Development Assistance Director and/or staff.

Projects from 5,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet are subject to review by the Planning Director and staff.

Projects over 10,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet are subject to review by the Planning Director and the Planning Board.

Projects over 50,000 square feet or more than 50 dwellings are subject to review by the Development Assistance Department, the Planning Board and City Council. Processed as a Special Use Permit.

Conditional Zoning District

Conditional Zoning Districts (CZD) provide an alternative to development under traditional zoning by linking an application for rezoning with an application for a conditional zoning district specifying the intended use along with a site development plan. Applicant must demonstrate that the proposed use will be compatible with adjacent properties and neighborhoods. Special use permits are subject to a neighborhood compatibility meeting and review by the Community Development Department, Planning Board and City Council with a public hearing held during a City Council meeting. As part of a special use permit, City Council may require certain conditions be applied to the project. The applicant may apply for and City Council may authorize variances or special exceptions from certain zoning ordinance requirements.

Planned Developments

Planned developments are land developments that are under unified control and planned and developed as a whole. Planned developments offer the advantage of greater flexibility of density, setbacks and other development standards and requirements. May include residential, commercial, institutional, manufacturing or manufactured housing uses. These types of developments are processed as a Special Use Permit and require City Council approval.

Subdivision Processing

A subdivision is the division of a parcel of land into two or more lots. A minor subdivision consists of creating 8 lots or less and is subject to staff review. A major subdivision consists of creating more than 8 lots and is subject to Planning Board approval of the preliminary plat and Planning Board recommendation and City Council approval of the final plat.

Rezoning/Map Amendments

Zoning is the classification of land along with regulations and requirements to uniformly govern the use, placement, spacing and size of land and buildings.

Rezoning is changing the present zone classification of a parcel or group of parcels to a different zone classification. The rezoning of property involves an amendment to the Hendersonville Zoning Map and at times an amendment to the Land Development Plan map. Amendments of this nature require review by the Community Development Department, Planning Board and City Council with a public hearing held during a City Council meeting.

Text Amendments

The Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance and Land Development Plan periodically require text amendments so they accurately reflect the changing needs of the city. The text amendments can be a change in the wording, context or substance of these documents. Text amendments are drafted by the Community Development Department and require review by the Planning Board and City Council with a public hearing held during a City Council meeting.


Annexation is the process by which unincorporated land is added to the city's territorial limits. The most common reasons for voluntary annexation are to connect to city services such as sewer or to take advantage of the city's alcohol beverage control (ABC) laws. Once annexed, the city can supply services such as solid waste collection, water, sewer, street maintenance, zoning and code enforcement, building inspections, recreation facilities and police and fire protection. Voluntary annexations are processed through the Community Development Department and require City Council approval along with a public hearing. The City may waive annexation of certain petitions based on the location of the property. However that property may be annexed at any time in the future.

Street Closings

Property owners can petition the city to permanently close a street or right-of-way that no longer fulfills its public function or which was never improved as a public street. Once officially closed, the land that the street or right-of-way occupied becomes the property of the adjacent property owners. Street closings are subject to a public hearing and City Council approval.

Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

Geography is the study of the location and spatial variation of natural and human phenomena on the earth. Geology includes information about the earth's surface such as rivers, lakes, oceans, vegetation and topographical features such as mountains and valleys. Geology also includes man made objects such as buildings, roads and the distribution of human populations. GIS is a technology that is able to analyze and manage geographic information. That information is then presented in the form of spread sheets and maps. The Development Assistance Department incorporates GIS technology to organize and analyze data along with providing mapping products that show past and future development activity and patterns.

Historic Preservation Commission

The Historic Preservation Commission designates and regulates historic districts and landmarks within the planning jurisdiction of the City. Prior to any exterior construction or alteration to buildings and landmarks within designated areas, an approved Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) from the Historic Preservation Commission is required. The Community Development Department provides staff support to the Commission at regularly schedules meetings, processes individual COA applications, schedules special events, writes grants, maintains a newsletter and hosts a website.