The development team consists of two divisions: Planning Division and Building Division. Both divisions are involved in a wide range of physical planning and development review activities (see Development Review Guide). Please contact us if you have any questions about planning or the development review process.
The Planning Services Division reviews annexations, street vacations, rezoning requests, conditional use permits and subdivisions of land. The division also works to develop and maintain the City's Comprehensive Plan (Master Plan). The Planning Services Division also provides staff support for the Plan Commission, City Council, Sustainable Janesville Committee, Janesville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Technical and Policy Committees. In addition, staff reviews site plans to determine compliance with zoning and development code requirements. The division provides information to private developers and members of the development community conducting market analyses for clients as well as advice on site design and layout. The division maintains an excellent base of information for this purpose including neighborhood plans, aerial photographs and socio-economic/demographic data for sub-areas of the city.
The Building Division reviews all commercial and residential building plans for new construction, additions or alterations. Plans for commercial buildings containing more than 50,000 cubic feet must be signed and sealed by a licensed architect or engineer. The City is certified to review all plumbing plans except for State-owned buildings and some types of medical facilities. Division staff schedule meetings with developers to review building, fire safety, zoning and site improvement requirements and necessary permits for new commercial projects, remodels and major additions.
Division staff is state-certified in several inspection categories to provide the staffing flexibility and timely inspections for all trades. Occupancy inspections are required when a commercial operation builds a new building, makes alterations or additions to their existing building, relocates to a different location, changes ownership, or is a new business. The division is also responsible for responding to complaints from citizens regarding certain building, zoning and code violations.
The Building and Development Services Division provides staff support for the City Council, Historic Commission, and Zoning Board of Appeals. In addition, staff reviews site plans to determine compliance with zoning and development code requirements. The division provides information to private developers and members of the development community conducting market analyses for clients as well as advice on site design and layout. Building permit time frames range from three to four weeks depending on the completeness of the plans and if they are brought to City staff in a timely manner. A "conceptual meeting" with city staff is recommended before architectural plans have been developed. This can be arranged through the economic development office. Although the City of Janesville adheres to the International Building Code, staff can often provide input and creative solutions to significantly speed up processing times.