What is the Phoenix Planning Commission?

By Andrea Katsenes (Vernon Avenue)

I am fortunately to be a member of the City of Phoenix Planning Commission. Appointed by Mayor Gordon in 2006, I have served as Chairman for three years, and now am Vice Chair.  At our monthly hearings – which are typically in the City Hall Council Chambers on the first Thursday of each month (except July) – the Commission considers requests to rezone property, amendments to the General Plan and text amendments to the Zoning Ordinance.

We are comprised of nine citizens, who serve without pay, representing all areas of the City and are appointed by the City Council.  Our votes and decisions are communicated to the City Council.

We carefully review all applications. An application begins when a request is filed at the City, it is then scrutinized by professional City planning staff to evaluate the appropriateness of the request. Typically, it is then scheduled for Village Planning Committee review. After Village Planning Committee view, it is then presented to our Planning Commission.

In considering the merits of each application, the Planning Commission reviews the staff report, the Village recommendation, maps, exhibits, site visits, public letters and the public’s input. Text and General Plan amendments do not contain stipulations.

  • The cases reviewed at our Planning Commission hearings begin with a summary analysis and staff recommendation, followed by an applicant presentation.
  • The Village Planning Committee may present their recommendation followed by comments from the audience (those in support of the case, as well as those against are given an opportunity to speak if they choose).
  • Questions from the Planning Commission will follow.
  • The applicant may reserve a small part of their time for rebuttal after public comment.

Anyone wishing to speak must fill out a blue card available at the rear of the Council Chambers.

Some cases require the use of a time clock due to the number of persons wishing to speak.  The Planning Commission Chair determines the length of time for speakers. Citizen groups for or against applications are encouraged to allocate their time by choosing spokespersons.

The City Council may adopt our decision on a rezoning application without further hearing unless:

  1. A member of the public, within seven calendar days after the decision, flies an appeal with the Planning and Development Department on the 2nd Floor of City Hall at 200 West Washington Street by 5:00 p.m.
  2. A ¾ written protest is filed within seven calendar days after the decision with the Planning and Development Department on the 2nd Floor of City Hall at 200 West Washington Street by 5:00 p.m. There are strict requirements on the written protest.


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