The Planning Department is located at 205 W. 4th Street. The Planning Department customer service counter is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For more information on Planning Department forms, permits, the development submittal process, available maps of the Madera General Plan, Zoning, other thematic maps, and the Planning Department Fee Schedule, click on the links in the tabs.
The Planning Department serves as staff to the Madera Planning Commission.
Submitting an application to the City? Use the following links to download the required forms, which can be printed out on your home or office printer.
All applications require the completion of an application form. Many applications also require submittal of an operational statement. On occasion, staff requires that an environmental checklist be provided as a component of a complete application. Before you submit an application, you may wish to contact the Planning Division to ensure that you have all of the required elements, and that you have computed fees correctly. Applications which are lacking required elements will not be accepted by the Planning Division. Please call a planner at (559) 661-5430 if you have any questions about completing the forms.
The Planning Department is responsible for the long range planning efforts of the City as well as the processing of current development requests. The Planning Department endeavors to process all entitlement applications in a timely fashion. To that end, entitlement project checklists are available in order to assist the applicant in the preparation of a complete application.
The checklists also provide additional information that helps the applicant understand the particulars of the application process.
Whether completing review of residential subdivisions, completing site plan review for an apartment complex, processing a conditional use permit, or assessing the feasibility of a variance to the zoning ordinances, Planning Department staff make every effort to provide exemplary customer service to all clients.
The Planning Commission is comprised of seven members who are individually appointed by the Mayor and each member of the Madera City Council. Appointees serve four-year terms and must reside within city limits. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month beginning at 6:00 pm.
Responsibilities include developing, maintaining, and amending the General Plan and Specific Plans as deemed appropriate; discretionary approval of development proposals, including subdivisions, use permits, and variances; and discussion of overall planning for the City, including ordinances, special studies, zoning, subdivisions, and signs, with recommendations to the Madera City Council.
On November 8, 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana (“AUMA”) Act. This law legalizes nonmedical, recreational marijuana, subject to the regulation of local government jurisdictions in the State of California.
For information related to the City of Madera's Cannabis Ordinance, please visit our Cannabis Resources page.
The Housing Element is one of the 10 State-mandated “elements” or chapters of a local jurisdiction’s General Plan. It identifies policies and programs to meet existing and projected housing needs for all segments of the community, including various household types, special needs populations, and all income levels of the jurisdiction.
Madera is currently updating its 6th cycle Housing Element for the years 2024-2032 and invites community participation through outreach meetings, providing input, and staying up to date on progress. The Housing Element is subject to detailed statutory requirements and mandatory review by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).
Housing Element Community Meeting #1:
March 21, 2023 (View Recording)
The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) is mandated by State Housing Law as part of the periodic process of updating local Housing Elements. The State Office of Housing and Community Development (HCD) projects population growth by geographic region and designates the regional Councils of Government (COGs) as the agencies responsible for determining how the potential growth is to be allocated among the jurisdictions within the regions. The Housing Element must identify “adequate sites” to accommodate estimated growth. The City is also required to provide the programs, policies, and appropriate zoning to incentivize this growth.
It is important to note that, while the City may assist with the development of affordable housing through various programs and funding sources, it is not the direct role of the City to construct housing. Rather, the City is responsible for ensuring that adequate opportunities exist for housing development through zoning and by removing regulatory impediments to housing production.
The update process provides an in-depth analysis of the City’s population, economy, and housing stock characteristics, as well as a comprehensive evaluation of programs and regulations related to housing. Through this analysis and evaluation, the City identifies priority goals, policies, and programs that directly address the housing needs of the City’s current and future residents.
The Housing Element Update must also provide specific site analysis to demonstrate that the numbers and affordability levels specified in the RHNA can be met. If the number and affordability levels can not be met, the Update must also indicate specific properties that will be rezoned to meet the City’s RHNA within the required time limit.
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) is a set of federal and state laws which require jurisdictions to combat housing discrimination, eliminate racial bias, undo historic patterns of segregation, and lift barriers that restrict access in order to foster inclusive communities, achieve racial equity, and guarantee fair housing choice. The 6th Cycle Housing Element Update is required by AFFH to: 1) study whether the City meets these AFFH principles, and 2) facilitate deliberate action to explicitly address, combat, and relieve disparities resulting from past patterns of segregation to foster more inclusive communities. More information about AFFH can be found on HCD’s website.
Community engagement is an important part of the success of the Housing Element Update. The Madera community will have multiple opportunities to collaborate throughout the update process by participating in community workshops, focus groups, surveys, and Planning Commission/City Council public meetings. Please stay tuned for upcoming participation opportunities – all will be posted to this webpage as they become available. The community is also encouraged to submit comments or questions to Planning Manager Gary Conte at firstname.lastname@example.org.