Planning Services

MISSION: The mission of Planning Services is to facilitate orderly growth and development of the City and the Surrounding Area.

Planning Services is responsible for the administration of the City's zoning, subdivision and site plan regulations. Planning Services coordinates City activities relating to annexations and is responsible for maintaining the Comprehensive Plan. Staff provides support to the Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, Preservation Commission and Downtown Development. Planning Services collects and analyzes data on the community and the surrounding region. Staff members conduct special studies on issues as diverse as mass transit, waste management, and telecommunication facilities and assist with Downtown Development.

Members of the Planning Commission are: (as well as the Zoning Board following)

  Jim LeBeau (Chair)
  Sandy Litecky (1st Vice Chair)
  Catherine Field
  Janet Lilly 
  George Sheffer
  William Hamiton

  Randy Burnside


  Jessica Bradshaw, Ex-Officio

  Travis Taylor (Staff)


  For more information about Planning Services and its activities, please contact:

Chris Wallace, Development Services Director
Phone: 618-457-3248


Site Plan Review

Construction within the City limits of a new or an addition to a commercial structure or a residential building containing more than two units requires the approval of a site plan by the Development Assistance Committee. Applications for site plan approval and a checklist for completing the application process are available in Planning Services. The site plan review requires that a plan be submitted by a design professional that addresses development issues including drainage design, parking lot design and lighting, utility connections and fire protection, disabled accessibility and landscaping.


Zoning and Subdivision Administration

The City of Carbondale enforces a zoning and subdivision ordinance within and 1 1/2 miles outside of the City Limits. The Zoning Ordinance regulates the uses that can be placed on a property as well as building setbacks, height limitations, occupancy limitations and parking requirements.

Prior to changing the use of an existing building, constructing a new building, a building addition or placing an accessory structure on a lot within City limits or within the mile and 1/2 jurisdiction, a zoning certificate must be secured from Planning Services. Before a new use of a property is proposed, the current or potential property owner should contact Planning Services to verify the zoning of the parcel. After the zoning is identified, staff will assist the owner is interpreting the zoning ordinance to ensure that the proposed change is either a permitted use or a special use. If the proposed use is not permitted in the existing zoning district the property owner may be required to apply for a Special Use Permit or may want to consider applying to have the property rezoned to a district that would permit the use. Special Use Permit and Rezoning Applications are processed by Planning Services and require a public hearing be held before the Planning Commission prior to the City Council making the final decision on a request.

The Subdivision Ordinance regulates the division of property into new lots. Withing 1 1/2 miles of the City limits dividing a parcel into smaller lots must first have a subdivision plat approved by the City Council. The Engineering Advisory Committee (EAC) is comprised of representatives of City Departments that review the subdivision plans for compliance with applicable road standards, utility extensions and other development requirements. Planning Services coordinates the subdivision review process.


Downtown Development

      Downtown Facade Improvement Loan Program (pdf)

      Carbondale Main Street

The Downtown Development is responsible for implementing Downtown improvement projects and assisting Carbondale Main Street with Downtown Activities.

For more information about the Downtown Development, please contact:

Chris Wallace, Development Services Director
Phone: 618-457-3248


Preservation Commission

The duties of the Preservation Commission are to investigate, hold public hearings and recommend to the City Council the adoption of ordinances designating certain properties, improvements and areas having special historic, architectural or community value as historic districts, landmarks and neighborhood preservation districts. Other duties are to review applications for alteration, construction, and demolitions affecting property(ies) formally under consideration for designation or designated historic districts, landmarks, and neighborhood preservation districts.


Jason Sigler (Chair)
Kevin P. Clark (V. Chair)
Dorothy Ittner
Ed Van Awken
Barb Doherty
Scott Comparato

Kathy Benedict

Jordan Wren
Justin Zurlinden

For more information about the City of Carbondale Preservation Commission or any of it's activities, please contact:

Sara Lawrence, Planner
Phone: 618-457-3257


Comprehensive Plan

In November 2008, the City of Carbondale began the process of drafting a new Comprehensive Plan that will guide the growth and development of the community through the next decade. The Comprehensive Plan is organized into six chapters; Community Overview, Land Use and Community Development, Community Mobility, Housing and Neighborhoods, Economic Development, and Implementation. In order to assist in the planning process the City contracted with Kendig Keast Collaborative a professional planning consultant firm to help lead the effort. The consultant was selected from 18 firms that submitted proposals for consideration. Important criteria used in the selection of a consulting firm included experience of the firm with working on comprehensive plans in communities of comparable size and character, related experience in working with university communities, overall knowledge of the area and local development issues, as well as their approach to completing the project.

A fifteen member Comprehensive Plan Review Committee (PRC) was appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council to serve as the voice of the community throughout the process. The PRC was comprised of residents from different segments of the community with diverse backgrounds, interests and expertise. Community involvement was essential in the drafting of this plan and the PRC helped funnel the community’s wishes to the City. Throughout the course of this planning process, each segment of the community was tasked with providing feedback on issues relevant to them. This feedback was used to help draft each chapter. A public hearing was held before the Planning Commission on May 19, 2010 and the Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the City Council on June 22, 2010.

Comprehensive Plan

For additional information about the Comprehensive Plan or how to obtain a complete copy of the plan, please contact:

Planning Services 
Chris Wallace, Development Services Director
Phone 618-457-3248


Official Zoning Map


Official Zoning Map (pdf format 15.4MB) …last updated December 2015.

This map should be used for reference purposes only. Please consult with Planning Services for all official zoning determiniations.

For additional information please contact Planning Services at 618-457-3248.

Zoning Ordinance Update

Title15 Final Draft

In February 2011, the City began the process of updating the City’s Zoning Ordinance.  Updates to the Zoning Ordinance were based on recommendations included in the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan.  The City Council approved the Zoning Ordinance at the April 2, 2013 City Council meeting.  For further information on the Zoning Ordinance update please contact Chris Wallace in the Development Services Department at 457-3248.

The update to the existing Zoning Ordinance was completed by amending the existing language, and by adding language that addresses specific problem areas.  This is not a complete rewrite of Title 15 which explains why much of document may seem familiar.  The consulting firm Duncan Associates assisted in the preparation of the document.  The consultant was first tasked with reorganizing the existing code into a more cohesive document, and then applying recommendations included in the Comprehensive Plan.

If you have any questions please feel welcome to contact Chris Wallace in Planning Services at 457-3248.


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