Planning & Zoning

Department Overview


The Planning and Zoning Department oversees all aspects relating to both short-range and long-range planning and development in the Town of Carefree. The General Plan 2030 was updated in 2012, which outlines the general policies for development in the Town. The Zoning Ordinance, Town Code, Subdivision Ordinance, and Building Code provide the local regulations.

General Zoning Criteria


For information on the approved Major General Plan Amendment at the northwest corner of Tom Darlington and Carefree Hwy, click here: General Plan Amendment_12.07.2021  |  Map: Excerpt of Land Use

Design guidelines were established to give guidance on new commercial, new residential, and mountainside projects. They outline the general zoning criteria and other policies regarding the character of development in the Town. Prior to developing a property, applicants are encouraged to discuss the project with Town Staff to ensure the project and process comply with all applicable regulations.

Development Approval


Certain developments require approvals from different  review boards or the Town Council, depending on the use, size, scope, and location, depending on Town regulations.  The members of the Planning & Zoning Commission also serve on the Development Review Board and Board of Adjustment.


Special Projects


Special Pojects/Projects of Interest, in essence, are long-range planning efforts that address the vision, values, and goals of Carefree, typically as it pertains to its physical development. Often these Special Projects are in association with the Economic Development Division to assist with Economic Development initiatives that will ultimately help diversify and enhance the community's ability to provide core municipal services. 

A key component to such efforts is community outreach at every level of the planning process. Often times key stakeholder groups made up of interested citizens, property owners, and local businesses are formed to provide staff and/or consultants feedback and direction based on their perspectives and roles in the community. Staff encourages a meaningful public participation and engagement process for all projects, plans, and implementation programs.

Working in conjunction with the Stakeholders, Town Boards and Commissions, and Town Council, special projects currently underway can be viewed here: Special Projects/Projects of Interest