Boards & Commissions
The Planning and Development Department provides the primary staff for the Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment, City Beautiful Commission, Historic District Commission, and River Market Design Review Committee.
The Little Rock Planning Commission was created by Little Rock City Code Section 23-26,27. The Little Rock Planning Commission meets the second Thursday of each month, with a filing deadline generally two months prior to the hearing date. The duties of the Commission are to promote public interest and understanding of long-range, coordinated municipal planning; to review proposed subdivisions; and to make zoning recommendations to the Board of Directors. The Planning Director functions as the secretary for the Commission and develops the minute record for the Commission. The Commission reviews Planned Zone Developments (PZD) and Subdivision, Zoning cases, Conditional Use and Special Use Permits as well as Plan changes.
The calendar for the Commission is set at the beginning of each year. The calendar establishes the filing deadlines, committee meetings and Public hearing dates for the year. The Commission's meeting agenda are posted on this site. The Commission hearings are broadcast on Cable Channel 11.
All applications to the Planning Commission must be filed at our offices, 723 West Markham Street, by the filing deadline established on the Commission's calendar.
Board of Adjustment
The Little Rock Board of Adjustment was created by Little Rock Code of Ordinances, Section 36-66 et seq. The Board of Adjustment meets once a month (typically the third Thursday of each month). The duties of the Board are to consider requests for variances from the requirements set forth in the City's Zoning Ordinance and to consider appeals of administrative decisions relating to the Zoning Ordinance. The Board of Adjustment sets their calendar at the beginning of the year. This establishes the filing deadlines and public hearing dates for the year. The Board's agenda is available one (1)-week prior to the meeting.
Applications for variances must be completed and returned to our offices, 723 West Markham Street, by the filing deadline established by the Board of Adjustment on their calendar. For additional information contact Bradley Jordan (501) 371-6817.
City Beautiful Commission
In October 1976, the City Beautiful Commission was created by Little Rock Code 15-26,27. The goal of the Commission is to 'raise the level of community expectation for the quality of its environment'. The City Beautiful Commission meets once a month. The Commission reviews requests for variances from sections of the Landscape Ordinance. The Commission's 'charge' is to also promote public interest in the general improvement of the appearance of the City; provide environmental policy direction and guidance to the Board of Directors; and establish subject to the Board of Directors approval, regulations of aesthetic quality for public and private lands and improvements.
The City Beautiful Commission adopts an annual calendar with filing deadlines and meeting dates for that year. Applications for a Landscape Variance must be completed and returned to our offices, 723 West Markham Street, by the filing deadline established by the City Beautiful Commission on their calendar. For those filing variances with the City Beautiful Commission are generally related to: the Buffer Ordinance (1/2006); Landscape Ordinance (1/2009); and Parking Ordinance (1/2006). For additional information contact Bradley Jordan (501) 371-6817.
Historic District Commission
The Little Rock Historic District Commission (HDC) and staff work with residents, property owners, neighborhood associations, local and state nonprofit organizations, and other City of Little Rock departments to protect and enhance our city’s cultural and architectural heritage for the benefit of the future. The Historic District Commission meets once a month, on the first Thursday of the month.
The HDC reviews applications within the local ordinance district, the MacArthur Park Historic District. Changes to properties within this District are managed by a public review process with consideration of historic preservation and neighborhood design goals outlined by adopted design guidelines specific to the District. Property owners are required to be issued a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) before doing work on a property within the District. A COA must be issued before a building permit or other permit can be issued. Applications will be reviewed by the Historic District Commission at a regular monthly public hearing, or administratively by City staff.
A Certificate of Appropriateness is required for the following work:
- Any restoration, alteration, addition, rehabilitation, reconstruction, demolition, or new construction of a building or structure, including accessory structures.
- Site improvements or changes visible from the public right of way, including signage, lighting, fencing, retaining walls, steps, paving or other appurtenant fixtures.
- A COA is not required for interior-only work.
Below are resources for the application process, design guidelines, commission meeting dates, and filing deadlines:
- Certificate of Appropriateness Application
- Public Hearing & Filing Deadline Calendar
- Design Guidelines
- Pre-Application – required for all infill/new construction and recommended for any major project
- Current Agenda
For additional information and to submit applications, contact Planning & Development staff, Hannah Ratzlaff at (501) 371 – 4789. Visit Little Rock’s Cultural Heritage & Historic Preservation webpage to learn more about preservation initiatives in the city.
River Market Design Review Committee
The River Market Design Review Committee meets once a month. The Committee was formed in 1996 to protect the "visual integrity" of the River Market District. The River Market Design Overlay District was created to provide a festive, pedestrian-oriented area with a quality mixture of commercial, office and residential uses. The Review Committee reviews changes to the exteriors of buildings (additions, renovations, signage, etc.) within the River Market Overlay District. If variances to the River Market Design Overlay District Ordinance are needed, the Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Adjustment on the appropriateness of variance(s). The application must be completed and returned to our offices at 723 West Markham Street by the filing deadline on the calendar. If you would like to be notified via email of the upcoming items on the agenda, please contact Hannah Ratzlaff (501) 371-4789.
For More Information
Planning and Development Department
723 West Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
Fax: (501) 399-3435