Hall County Government Center - Third Floor
The Planning Department develops long-range plans designed to direct and manage growth based on a wide range of diverse community goals. The staff then analyzes proposed changes in land use, and administers regulations including the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations, in order to implement land use and development policies of the Board of Commissioners. The Department provides information to the Board of Commissioners regarding the effects of growth, including the increasing demands on public infrastructure and governmental services, and overall effects on the community's quality of life.
- Planning: 8:00am to 5:00pm
- Zoning Verification: 8:00am to 4:15pm
You can view our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below, access our online forms page, or visit the Hall County Public Works Department or the Gainesville Public Utilities Department for additional information, or you can download our basic Guide for Planning and Zoning Department (PDF).
Planning Commission Meeting Schedule
What is going to be developed in my area?
What can I do with my property?
Can I rezone my property?
Can I subdivide my property?
How do I get my plat recorded?
How do I get my business license?
What is an overlay district?
How do I abandon a road right-of-way?
What are the rules for having a mobile home in Hall County?
Can I work from my home?
Q: "What is going to be developed in my area?"
The Comprehensive Plan is a guideline for all future development in Hall County. It will indicate proposed future land use for all areas of unincorporated Hall County.
Rezoning Applications. These applications will show proposed development in certain areas and include information such as a conceptual drawing of the project along with a narrative created by the applicant. It does not constitute an approved plan since the County Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners may require changes but the information will give a general idea of what is proposed for development. For a copy of the application and staff report for the development contact the Planning office.
Development Permits. Information on current projects that may have begun construction or may be in review by Hall County for future development.
Long Range Transportation. Information on future road changes that may affect your area.
Q: "What can I do with my property?"
Find your current zoning. The Hall County GIS system can assist you in finding your properties current zoning. Once you have clicked the link you will be redirected to the GIS site. Follow the instruction provided and enter you address. Once you know your zoning for the property you can start using the Hall County Code for information on uses for property, setbacks, certain restrictions for overlay districts, etc.
Determine minimum setbacks, uses, etc. Before planning out an idea for your property check the code (Municode.com) to verify what can be placed on the site under its particular zoning. Find out what density exists for the property, what are the setbacks and buffers for State waters, etc.
Plan. Once you have a basic understanding on the zoning and use that you have in mind call and make an appointment with our staff. They will assist you in checking through all of the information and verifying what can be done or making suggestions on what processes may be required to have a particular use approved through the County Commission.
Q: "Can I rezone my property?"
There are several different factors and requirements that are involved in rezoning property. These can include road frontage availability, access, lot size requirements, adjoining commercial or residential property, the future land use plan, overlay districts, etc. The best resource for assisting you in understanding the requirements and processes for the rezoning is the Planning staff.
1. First, obtain a copy of the recorded plat for the property to be rezoned. This can be obtained through the Hall County Deeds and Records room at 116 Spring Street, the basement of the Hall County Courthouse Annex building. The telephone number is 770-531-7058.
2. Second, make an appointment with one of our staff to discuss the type of business and or development that you would like to begin. They will provide you with documents, schedules and information on what will be required by the Planning Commission and County Commission for your rezoning action.
Q: "Can I subdivide my property?"
The subdivision of property is done as either a major or minor subdivision as defined in the Hall County Ordinance. Minor subdivisions are defined and a simple split of property creating no more than two lots from one piece of property within a twelve-month period. All other subdivisions are seen as major subdivisions. There are several factors that prohibit the creation of a new lot. Lot size requirements, road frontage requirements, water availability, etc. The easiest way to discern if you can make a split in a lot is to make an appointment with one of our staff and bring a copy of your recorded plat, one that has been recorded in the deeds and records room of Hall County with a clerks stamp, to our office for a consultation. A Planner can evaluate the property and talk with you about what splits are possible or what further documentation may be required before you hire a surveyor or purchase the property. The Deeds and Records Room for Hall County is located at 116 Spring Street in the Hall County Courthouse Annex basement. The telephone number is 770-531-7058.
Q: "How do I get my plat recorded?"
Minor Subdivisions: The subdivision of property is done as either a major or minor subdivision as defined in the Hall County Ordinance. Minor subdivisions are defined and a simple split of property creating no more than two lots from one piece of property within a twelve-month period. All other subdivisions are seen as major subdivisions. First, make an appointment with a planner on our staff to confirm that it is possible to make the subdivision in question. If an on-site septic system or on-site well is to be used for the primary water source you should check with the Environmental Health Department for Hall County for additional requirements and standards. They are located at 2875 Browns Bridge Road. Telephone number 770 531-3973. Next, after this is confirmed contact a certified land surveyor and have them create the new plat for the property indicating the new lots created. Then, with at least two copies, start with the Environmental Health Department for Hall County to have them stamp the plat. This approval may take some time depending on the their requirements regarding the amount of usable soils and on-site creeks, etc. (Sometimes two weeks or more). Once they have stamped the plat for recording return to our office for our stamp. Afterwards, take the plat to the Hall County Deeds and Records Room located at 116 Spring Street, the basement of the Hall County Courthouse Annex building. The telephone number is 770-531-7058. They will record the plat and retain one copy for the Department.
Major Subdivisions: The major subdivision process is more involved and most often includes the design of new roads or creation of multiple lots off an existing road right-of-way. It will in most cases involve the assistance of a certified civil engineering firm and possibly may require a special use or rezoning of the subject property.
Q: "How do I get my business license?"
The first step in getting a business license is meeting with a zoning technician. The technician will determine if the use is permitted for that zoning district and will either complete a zoning verification form for you or they will direct you to a planner for information on rezoning the property.
Businesses that involve the preparation of food will be required to obtain a food service permit from the Hall County Health Department prior to obtaining a license.
If you obtain a zoning verification and / or Food Service Permit you will then proceed to the Building Inspections Department for a Certificate of Occupancy. This may require a site inspection by that department to make certain that the existing structure meets Hall County’s currents codes. Once the Occupancy has been obtained you will receive a copy of the CO and you will proceed to the Business License Department.
The Business License Department will be the last step. The information acquired from the other departments will need to be brought to that department for the issuance of the license.
Q: "What is an overlay district?"
There are several specialized Zoning Districts, which affect areas of Hall County that have very specific requirements on development in those areas. Some examples are the Gateway Corridor Overlay District, the Airport Overlay District, the North Oconee Watershed Overlay District that may have certain challenges or specific construction requirements when building structures or for certain uses to be allowed in these areas. The Hall County Ordinance can show you the specific rules and regulations concerning these areas and it would be best to contact our office and discuss any questions after you review the material here (Municode.com). Our staff can complete further analysis if you would like to make an appointment and discuss your ideas or concerns for any development.
Q: "How do I abandon a road right-of-way?"
All road right-of-way abandonment procedures are handled through the Hall County Public Works Department. The Department is located at 300 Green Street Gainesville, GA 30501. The telephone number is 770-531-6800.
Q: "What are the rules for having a mobile home in Hall County?"
Mobile homes are allowed only in Agricultural/Residential zoning districts by right. Manufactured homes are no longer permitted in the V-C, R-1 zoning district.
Permanent Foundation – The dwelling shall be constructed on a slab or continuous masonry foundation at least 4 inches thick, penetrated only by vents and access doors.
All means of transportation must be removed – towing devices, wheels, axles and hitches, etc.
Siding must be of wood stone, stucco or lap siding of hardboard, vinyl, or vinyl-covered or painted metal, or similar materials.
Roofs – minimum of 4:12 pitch (4 inches of rise per 12 inches of run), with a minimum of 6 inches overhang (excluding gutters). Covered with asphalt or fiberglass shingles standing seam or other architectural grade metal, clay tiles, slate, or similar materials.
Size – The home must be greater than 16 feet in both length and width. This means that manufactured homes must be at least a doublewide.
Class B – manufactured homes not meeting those standards) are still permitted in recognized manufactured home parks approved for 12 units or more, (regardless of underlying zoning), and for use as hardship manufactured homes.
In recognized mobile home parks with less than 12 units, a Class B homes may be used as replacement homes only if the replacement represents an “upgrade” as discussed below.
Any existing Class B manufactured home may be replaced, (“upgraded”), with another Class B manufactured home, as long as the replacement home is no less conforming to the Class A standards than the home it is replacing. In determining this, we look at the width, roof pitch, roof and siding material and foundation. For example, a 14 foot wide home must be replaced by a 14 foot wide home or wider, a 2:12 roof must be replaced with at least the same pitch or steeper, if the old home met all the material requirements, the new home must meet them as well, etc. Note: Such replacement is NOT permitted in V-C other districts that do not allow manufactured homes, except in recognized mobile home parks.
Q: "Can I work from my home?"
Current zoning district for residential development in Hall County do allow for minimal activity through home occupations and home office affidavits but they do have several restrictions. Please check the available online forms for Planning and Zoning to see the restrictions that will be applied to the allowable use on your property.
2875 Browns Bridge Rd.
Gainesville, GA 30504-5635
P.O. Drawer 1435
Gainesville, GA 30503