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Zoning and Codes

The Zoning office is currently in the process of revising the Zoning Regulations for the unincorporated area of Douglas County. Sections of the current Zoning Regulations go back to the original adoption in 1966. Various edits and additions have been made through the years with text amendment changes. Zoning (not to be confused with building codes) is a method of land use regulation designed to minimize the negative impacts of certain types of land use by separating them from one another. This is achieved by restricting uses to classified districts, such as residential, agricultural, commercial, and industrial zones. The regulations are intended to allow these different land uses to be located and organized in a manner that promotes the public health, safety, comfort and general welfare, to conserve property values, and to facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewage, schools, parks, and other public requirements.

Most of the laws and regulations we live by are determined at the federal and state level. States recognize, however, that the regulation of land-use is better understood and controlled at the local level. Therefore, under state-delegated authority, Douglas County has its own document which contains the Zoning (property and land use) Regulations.

The County Zoning Regulations is a legal document, but it will not be upheld in a court of law unless its regulations show a direct relationship to a rational planning process.  As a result, most municipal governments develop living comprehensive planning documents.  Plan 2040 is our current guidance document.  It was officially adopted in December of 2019 at the city and county level.

The Planning and Zoning offices have two primary purposes: to administrate the regulations and to maintain a planning process that reflects the evolving needs of Douglas County, often utilizing the comprehensive plan to identify those needs.   

We invite anyone from the public to attend our meetings.  We want to hear your comments!

Mark you calendars!  Our next public meeting will be:

   Board of County Commissioners
   February 19, at 5:30 PM 
   Meeting Location: County Courthouse
   Street Address: 1100 Massachusetts, Lawrence, Kansas 66044 

Follow this link to the joint City County Planning Department where you will find the most recent draft of the proposed Zoning and Subdivision regulations.

View our comparison map to see how your zoning will change.

Common Questions and Answers - Proposed Zoning Regulations

Information Sheet for Proposed Zoning Regulations

Link to Video Presentation for the Proposed Zoning Regulations

Proposed Zoning Regulations Powerpoint Presentation


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Our Services

Board of Zoning Appeals

Board of Zoning Appeals schedule, board members and the application information.

Guide to Rural Living

Guide to rural living in Douglas County, Kansas

Licenses and Permits

Applications and information for licenses and permits for businesses.

Regulations and Fees

Regulations and fees for businesses.

Agritourism Business

Agriculturally-based business that brings visitors to a farm or ranch.

Issued Building Permits

Reports of issued building permits.

Home Business

Information on registering your Rural Home Business.

Zoning and Codes documents

Documents for Zoning and Codes.


Douglas County’s Floodplain Management Program, administered through the Zoning and Codes Department.

Department Contacts

Name Job Title Phone Number Email Address
Tina Rakes Building Codes Director 785-331-1343
Tonya Voigt Zoning Director, Floodplain Manager 785-331-1343
Judy Stone Administrative Zoning Specialist 785-331-1343
Ben  Harris Administrative Zoning Specialist 785-331-1343
Donna Hughes Administrative Building Specialist 785-331-1343
Isaac Mallory Combination Building Inspector 785-331-1343
Stuart Young Combination Building Inspector 785-331-1343