Zoning and Codes
Lawrence/Douglas County Joint Services
The Lawrence/Douglas County Planning Department processes and presents applications to the Lawrence Planning Commission and the Douglas County Commissioners. To get started you will need to contact and submit your application to the Planning & Development Services office at 1 Riverfront Plaza, Suite 320. Lawrence, KS 66044. For questions and application submittal call (785)-832-7700 or email Planner of the Day.
Conditional Use Permits (CUPS) (PDF): A conditional use permit provides a public hearing process for the establishment of land uses which may be desired in the community but which, by the nature or scale of the use, have the potential to negatively impact surrounding land uses, the character of the area, the road network, or other features in the area. The conditional use permit process is intended to insure that the proposed uses are appropriate in the unincorporated portion of Douglas County; especially those land uses that are of a sensitive nature due to the intensity of the use or environmental impacts associated with the normal operation of the business or activity.
An amendment to the zoning map, rezoning, may be initiated by the Board of County Commissioners or the Planning Commission. An amendment to a specific property may be initiated by an application of the owner of the property affected. Any proposed amendment shall follow the process set forth in the zoning regulations.
The purpose of requiring site plan review and approval is to ensure compliance with the standards of these Regulations prior to the commencement of development activity and to ensure the compatible arrangement of buildings, off-street parking, lighting, landscaping, ingress and egress, and drainage in a manner that will promote safety and convenience for the public.
Long Range Plans
Douglas County Zoning and Land Use regulations were largely inspired by the Lawrence/Douglas County Comprehensive Plan, various Area Plans, and comment from the general public. Select a plan below to learn more.
Plan 2040 (Comprehensive Plan): The Comprehensive Plan provides a vision and expresses a community’s desires about the future. It provides the foundation and framework for making future physical development and policy decisions. It is used as a policy guide that identifies the community’s goals for directing future land use decisions. The Plan also is used by property owners to identify where and how development should occur; by residents to understand what the city and county anticipates for future land uses within the community; and by the city, county and other public agencies to plan for future improvements to serve the growing population of the community
Transportation 2040: is the blueprint for our future transportation system. It is a vision for a healthy, safe, and efficient transportation system, which adequately serves Lawrence, Eudora, Baldwin City, Lecompton, and unincorporated areas of Douglas County.
Northeast Sector Plan (PDF): outlines specific land use goals, policies and recommendations for Northeast Lawrence and adjacent parts of unincorporated Douglas County.
West of K-10 Sector Plan (PDF): outlines plans for urban density growth in the area west of K-10 in Unincorporated Douglas County.
Food System Plan: The Douglas County Food System Plan provides strategic recommendations to help guide the development of the local food system in Douglas County, Kansas. It was adopted by Douglas County Board of Commissioners on June 28, 2017, and the Lawrence City Commission on July 11, 2017. The plan was created as part of the process to update the Lawrence-Douglas County Comprehensive Plan, and sets a framework for the next 10 years to guide policy changes by our local governments, to shape the work of the Douglas County Food Policy Council, and to inspire community actions and partnerships.