Planning & Zoning


The Planning & Zoning Department is committed to promoting the highest quality of life and individual prosperity for the citizens of Lancaster. We strive to do this by supporting economic growth while maintaining an appropriate balance of residential, commercial, and industrial land uses; increasing connectivity and enhancing public safety to encourage active living and improve community health; and protecting parks, natural resources, area landmarks, and sites of historic significance to preserve the unique character and rich heritage of our community.


The Planning & Zoning Department provides current and long-range planning services for the City of Lancaster. Planning involves creating a long-term vision for the community as well as bringing a sense of coordination to City services by considering the interrelatedness of decisions and their social, economic, and aesthetic impacts. Project plans are reviewed for compliance with the City’s zoning code and consistency with long range and area plans. Planning & Zoning staff assists applicants through the development process from the conceptual stage through final plan approval and provides technical guidance and recommendations to the Planning Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), and the Historic Lancaster Commission (HLC).

Contact Us

  1. Office:
    City Hall, Second Floor
    104 E. Main St.
    Lancaster, OH 43130

    121 E. Chestnut St.
    Lancaster, OH 43130


    Monday - Friday
    7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Staff Directory

Lancaster Zoning Code

The Lancaster Zoning Code is enacted for the purposes of:

  • promoting the health, safety, peace, morals, comfort, convenience, prosperity, order, and general welfare; 
  • lessening danger and congestion of public transportation and travel; 
  • securing safety from fire and other dangers; 
  • preventing overcrowding of land; 
  • avoiding undue concentration of population; 
  • providing adequate light and air, police protection, transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks, forests, recreational facilities, and other public requirements, and preventing undue encroachment thereon; 
  • conserving the value of buildings and encouraging the most appropriate use of land; 
  • encouraging the industrial, commercial and residential growth of the community; 
  • and promoting the development of the community in accordance with a development plan.

Zoning Clearance

A zoning clearance review and permit are required prior to the construction, alteration, or change of use of any building, structure, or land. Projects requiring zoning review could include, but are not limited to new construction, additions, signage, change of use/new tenant, accessory structures, parking lots, etc. The clearance process ensures that the proposed use or building meets the requirements of the zoning code and does not negatively impact surrounding properties.

  1. City Planning Commission
  2. Board of Zoning Appeals
  3. Historic Lancaster Commission
  4. CRA Housing Council

The Lancaster City Planning Commission is responsible for administering the land use plan, zoning code, and subdivision regulations within the City of Lancaster. Members come from a wide range of backgrounds including business, development, architecture, and real estate to provide a well-rounded viewpoint of interests in the development of the City. The Commission reviews new developments, subdivisions, and rezoning requests.

  1. Forms & Documents
  2. Other

Zoning Clearance


Board of Zoning Appeals

City Planning Commission

Historic Commission

Tax Abatement