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DCD's Planning Division promotes and guides the development of the city by preparing plans, working with the zoning code, and staffing various boards and commissions.   

If you're wondering whether your project needs a permit or would like to request a zoning letter, the place to start is the Development Center of the Department of Neighborhood Services. While the Development Center reviews all plans and proposals for conformance with the base zoning, Planning reviews properties in most Overlay Districts, in Planned Development zoning, and other specialized boundaries.

City Plan Commission

The City Plan Commission (CPC) is the City's official planning body established under State statute and is responsible for master planning activities.


Zoning Information

Permit information can be found at the Department of Neighborhood Service's Development Center.


Plan & Studies

The City prepares plans and studies which guide development in individual neighborhoods; these documents include neighborhood redevelopment and action plans.


Zoning Applications and Procedures

When regular zoning doesn't meet the need, sometimes special zoning tools and procedures are approproate.

  • Zoning Change
  • Planned Development
  • Site Plan Review Overlay Zone
  • Development Incentive Zone
  • Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Zone
  • Interim Study Overlay Zone
  • Floodplain Overlay Zone
  • Shoreland / Wetland Overlay Zone
  • Lakefront Overlay Zone
  • Master Sign Program Overlay

What We Do

Planning is composed of Long Range Planning and Planning Administration. Planning also leads the Design Review Team, which is composed of staff from Planning, as well as representatives from other DCD sections. The team reviews proposed developments and creates responses to help improve and guide design development of projects.


Zoning Topics

All properties in the City of Milwaukee have a zoning district designation. While many properties solely rely on this designation for use and design regulations, some properties also have additional requirements in the form of overlay zones. Other specialized districts such as Redevelopment Zoning (RED) also are formed based codes.


Organizations & Partners

Groups outside of DCD Planning Administration also have an active role in design/plan review, use and variance consideration, required Certificates of Appropriateness, and other discretionary approval to allow for ultimate permit issuance.


Additional Applications and Procedures

DCD Planning coordinates the review and processing of land divisions and consolidations, as well as street and alley vacations. Use the links on this page to access applications and other helpful information.



City of Milwaukee Department of City Development  

Contact Us

Planning Division
809 North Broadway
2nd Floor
Milwaukee, WI 53202


For More Information

Comprehensive Plans

City Plan Commission

Request for WHEDA LIHTC Verification Letters

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