Frequently Asked Questions

What is Planning?

Planning is the process of looking at how an area has developed over time, identifying the area’s future growth, determining how to arrive at that growth in an orderly fashion, and implementing the necessary infrastructure and resources to make that growth a reality. Planning allows local officials to identify what residents want or need related to land use and development, as well as types of land uses that can be located close together and those that should be separated. 


What does Planning have to do with how I can use my property?

Property owners believe they ought to be able to do anything they want on their own property, but they should also recognize that changes in the way property is used can impact their neighbors, communities and beyond. To that end, appointed boards and elected officials are charged with making decisions in the public interest (and only in the public interest). The U.S. Constitution and laws of Arkansas protect all individuals’ property rights (including those of adjacent property owners). The Benton County Development ordinance, (O-98-53) adopted in 1998, helps guide decisions about where, how much and under what conditions changes in land use can occur in unincorporated Benton County.


What is the difference between a lot split and a tract split?

A lot split is the (covenant permitting) division of a lot within a platted subdivision into two lots; a tract split is the division of tract land (not part of a platted subdivision) into two tracts.


How is my property zoned?

If your residence is within the corporate limits of a city, please contact the city administration offices for assistance. If your residence is located in unincorporated Benton County, there is currently no zoning, but if you propose to start a business or develop a subdivision, your proposed development must be reviewed by the Benton County Development Board.


What should do if I want to conduct business from my home? 

Any use which is conducted entirely within the dwelling or an accessory building which is clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the dwelling and which does not change the residential character of the building and the surrounding area is classified as a Home Occupation. This type of use requires the completion of a Home & Rural Based Occupation Application. To find out if you meet the criteria for this level of review please visit section 7.6 of the Benton County Planning and Development Regulations. All other commercial uses require a Site Plan Review and are subject to the provisions of Chapter 6 of the Benton County Planning and Development Regulations. 

Please call our office at (479) 464-6166 for assistance.