Land Use & Zoning

Zoning has two major functions: administration and enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance. Zoning administration includes the zoning application process for Zoning Map Amendments, Special Use Permits and Variances requested by property owners or developers, and with providing background information and recommendations to the Zoning Board of Appeals on all requests for zoning changes.

Zoning also includes review of all building permits for compliance with the Zoning Ordinance, and enforcement of the ordinance by responding to complaints and following up on previous zoning cases. For a copy of the updated 2008 Ordinance Book or to file a complaint, contact Zoning at 779-348-7158. The cost for the book is $22. The cost for a zoning map is $33.

Zoning also provides zoning clearances for building permits, new water meter requests and permanent sign permits. It also issues permits for Home Occupations, parking lots, fences, and banners and inflatable signs.

View the 2024 Zoning Fees (PDF).

View the Zoning Ordinance (PDF), as approved by City Council, March 24, 2008 (effective April 3, 2008) and amended through December 7, 2023.


The Planning Division is responsible for implementing the Annexation Policies of the City of Rockford. The policies were first adopted in 1984, revised in 1993, and revamped and updated in 2022. The policies are designed to promote the orderly growth and development of the City. Staff processes petitions for annexation for voluntary annexations, and water agreements for property owners connecting to the City water system. Staff is also responsible for working with developers and property owners who wish to annex large areas into the City. In these cases, staff must often address zoning questions; street layout on the property; land use issues where proposals differ from what is shown on the City's adopted plan map; access to and from the property; and availability of public utilities, i.e., sanitary sewer and City water. If these negotiations are successful, an Annexation Agreement between the City and the property owner is developed and approved by City Council. In some cases when the land is not contiguous to the City, a Pre-annexation Agreement is negotiated between the City and the property owner and approved by City Council prior to annexation of the property.

View the Annexation Policies (PDF).


The Planning Division is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Subdivision Regulations. Most commercial and industrial developments require the division of land into smaller parcels and the construction of streets for access, i.e., subdivision plats. All subdivisions plats are routed to this office which, in turn, distributes them to various agencies for review and comment. All comments are then gathered and incorporated into a Subdivision Recommendation to be considered by the Code and Regulation Committee and ultimately by the full City Council.

View the Subdivision Ordinance (PDF).

View the Subdivision Application (PDF).

View the 2024 Subdivision Fee Schedule (PDF).