Development Services Overview

Development Services focuses on current planning matters, including the review of site plans, subdivision plats, zoning map amendments and text amendments to the zoning ordinance. Staff also serves the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for the City of Savannah and Chatham County. The ZBA reviews variances, special uses, appeals of decisions and extensions of nonconforming uses. Additionally, staff assigns street addresses for new developments.

The City and County have separate zoning and subdivision ordinances; however most review procedures are similar.

  • Site Plans. The MPC reviews site plans for all non-residential uses and multifamily uses (3 or more units).
  • Subdivisions. A minor subdivision plat consists of one to three lots, and is a staff level review. A major plat consists of four or more lots, and requires review by the Planning Commission.
  • Map and Text Amendments. All proposed amendments to the official zoning map or zoning ordinance require a recommendation from the Planning Commission to the local governing body (i.e., the City of Savannah Mayor and Aldermen or the Board of Chatham County Commissioners). The amendment process typically requires at least eight weeks.
If you require assistance with your project, please contact Development Services staff at 651-1440.

Frequently Asked Questions -- Answered

1. In what areas does the MPC have jurisdiction? The MPC provides planning services only to the City of Savannah and unincorporated Chatham County. The incorporated towns within Chatham County are listed below with the planning contact information listed for each.

  • Bloomingdale: 912-748-0970
  • Garden City: 912-966-7777
  • Pooler: 912-748-7261
  • Port Wentworth: 912-964-4379
  • Thunderbolt: 912-354-5533
  • Tybee Island: 912-786-4573
  • Vernonburg: 912-790-7660

2. How do I get an address assigned for a property? Contact Development Services staff to obtain an address for an existing property. You will need to provide the (Property Identification Number (PIN) for that property. There is no fee or application for this service.

3. What is a Development of Regional Impact (DRI)? Developments of Regional Impact (DRIs) are large-scale developments that are likely to have an impact beyond the jurisdiction in which they are located. The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is required to review these large-scale projects. Review procedures are designed to improve communication between affected governments and to provide a means of revealing and assessing potential impacts of large-scale developments.The local government maintains the authority to make the final decision on whether a proposed development will or will not go forward. For information on what qualifies a project as a DRI, click here.

4. How do I determine the zoning of my property? There are several ways to find out how a property is zoned. You will need the address or Property Identification Number (PIN) for the property. You can:

a) Go to and enter in either the PIN or address of the property in the property search column. When the property is mapped, information about the property, including the zoning, will be listed on the left side of the page.

b) Call or visit the MPC Information Services & Mapping Department or a Development Services Planner.

c) Only the Zoning Administrators in the City of Savannah Development Services Department and the Chatham County Building Safety and Regulatory Services Department can issue/state the "official" zoning of a property. These departments also issue zoning verification letters.

If you require additional assistance, please contact Development Services staff at 651-1440.