Community Planning Services


The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham’s Community Planning Department provides community planning services for the Member Governments within the following counties: Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair and Walker Counties. 


Planning is a collaborative process…

Our team joins with the community to understand their needs and desires. Public outreach activities include:

  • Project Websites 

  • Visioning Surveys

  • MetroQuest Online Surveys

  • Steering Committee Meetings 

  • Pop up events

  • Public Meetings and Open Houses

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RPC’s Community Planning department builds long range plans to direct growth and redevelopment over the next 5 to 15 years. Equally as important are the strategies offered for communities to grow their tax base.

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Planning Services

Planning can help manage change in your community in a way that provides better choices for how people live, work and play. It guides quality development while promoting the health, safety and welfare of citizens.

Planning documents are meant to be a living documents that focus on a community’s overall vision and expectations for future growth and development. They provide a framework for guiding public and private investments that will affect new development as well as reinvestment in existing neighborhoods, major corridors and downtown areas. Plans are based on the citizen’s vision of how they want their city to grow in the future. It is a long-term vision – for the next 5 years, 10 years, or an even longer period of time. 


To see a full list of competed plans click here.

Zoning Codes & Overlay Districts

Zoning Codes

Independent form the planning process are zoning codes and overlay districts, which are utilized by Planning Commissions and Board of Zoning Adjustments.

A zoning ordinance is different from a comprehensive plan because the Zoning Ordinance is part of the City’s Code and regulates the type, scale and intensity of development that may occur in the specific zoning districts. To fully understand how a parcel of land can be used, you first need to know how the land is planned in a Comprehensive Plan, and then determine how the land is zoned. Just as changing the Comprehensive Plan for a parcel of land requires a Comprehensive Plan amendment, changing the zoning for that parcel requires a rezoning application.

Overlay Districts

An overlay district is a zoning tool used to establish land development standards that are placed ‘over’ the current base zoning district. It allows for standards that are stricter than the base zoning. While an overlay district establishes limits, its purpose is to ensure that design decisions complement each other and contribute to creating the quality of place envisioned in the plan.



  • Social Media Posts 

  • E-blasts 

  • Media Interviews

  • Summary Videos

  • Wiki Maps

Building Communities Program

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To help make planning accessible the Building Communities Program provides direct technical assistance to local communities along with an 80/20 match. Communities within Birmingham’s Metropolitan Planning Area that want to improve their transportation system, catalyze economic development and grow in a sustainable way only pay 20% of the cost of a plan. So if a plan costs $100,000, YOU only pay $20,000. RPCGB will serve as the project consultant team and will actively engage the community to ensure that the plan reflects the community’s aspirations.

To find out more about the Building Communities Programs click here.