In consultation with Public Health Madison and Dane County, the Mayor has closed most City of Madison offices to public visitors in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Planning employees are continuing to support critical public services remotely and are responding to emails and voicemails. (Zoning is open by appointment only, see below for more information). For general planning assistance, please email or call (608) 266-4635. A date has not been set to reopen offices to public visitors, but Public Health continues to closely monitor the conditions in our community.  Thank you for your understanding as we all work to keep Madison safe and healthy.


October 30, 2020 Update:

The Planning Division would like to provide the community with important updates on the development review processes that we help to coordinate. The Planning office is currently closed to the public and many staff are working remotely due to COVID-19. The Zoning office is open by appointment only (to schedule a Zoning Review Counter appointment, please visit this page.) Regardless, we are still available to answer questions and schedule remote meetings, so please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will updating this page as new information is available.

Here is a summary of key changes:

Staff are currently only accepting digital (PDF) submittals - not paper - for all Land Use, Subdivision, and Urban Design Commission (UDC) applications. While the required submittal format has changed, the list of required submittal materials for the relevant application(s) has not. The same submittal deadlines apply, as noted on the current Development Review Schedule. Note: the 2021 version is now available online. Deadlines remain on designated Wednesdays at 12:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

Land Use Applications: See Page 5 of the Land Use Application. All submittal materials shall be emailed to Final “Sign-Off” plans (i.e. plans submitted after project has received approval from all required review bodies, as required by M.G.O.), shall be emailed to Note: there are now additional submittal requirements for PDFs. Please review Pages 3 & 4 of the Land Use Application before submitting.

Urban Design Commission (UDC) Applications: See Page 2 of the UDC Application. All submittal materials shall be sent to UDCapplications@cityofmadison.comFinal “Sign-Off” plans (i.e. for projects which have received final approval from the UDC), shall also be emailed to

Landmarks Commission Applications: See Page 2 of the Landmarks Commission Application. All submittal materials, shall be sent to

Subdivision/Land Division Applications: See Page 2 of the Subdivision Application. All submittal materials shall be emailed to Note: PDFs of the letter of intent and Plat/CSM must be created from source data (Word, CAD, etc.). Scans of anything - except the signed application form - will not be accepted. Please contact with questions.

File Size: Please note that an individual email cannot exceed 20 MB. It is the responsibility of the applicant to present files in a manner that can be accepted. If dividing the submittal materials into multiple, smaller components (in order to meet the email size limit), please clearly indicate the total number of email components in the subject line (e.g.: “Land Use Application for 123 Elm Street - email 1 of 4”, “…2 of 4”, etc.) and label the email attachments accordingly (e.g.: “Site Plan 1 of 3”, “…2 of 3”, etc.). Please email regarding questions on this submittal or alternative filing options.

Review Fee Payments. Fees may be submitted as a check, made out to "City Treasurer", and mailed to City Building Inspection (see address below). Arrangements can also be made with Zoning staff to process credit card payments. If mailing a check for the application fee, please do the following:
  1. Include a cover page with the check which includes the project address, brief description of the project, and contact information.
  2. Mail it to the following address:
City of Madison Building Inspection
P.O. Box 2984
Madison, WI 53701-2984

Update regarding the 2020 Urban Design Commission (UDC) meeting schedule:

While the Landmarks Commission, Plan Commission, and Common Council meetings are currently proceeding as scheduled, regarding the Urban Design Commission, as far as the remainder of 2020 is concerned, only the November 4 and December 2, 2020 meetings have been scheduled. The full meeting schedule for all four committees is anticipated to resume in January 2021, albeit virtually unless notified otherwise. 


Madison helps implement our plans through the review of development proposals. There are different development processes, based on the type of request. The City's Zoning Ordinance establishes the permitted land uses, as well as design and development standards such as height and density. Wisconsin state law requires that zoning must be consistent with adopted plans. Many development proposals are permitted under the Zoning Ordinance. These permitted uses do not require any type of public review. In such instances, the property owner, developer or builder submits plans to the City. If the proposal complies with all applicable codes and ordinances, it may be approved administratively and construction may begin following the issuance of building permits.

Other new developments in the City of Madison require approvals by City boards (i.e. Plan Commission, Urban Design Commission, Landmarks Commission) and/or the Common Council. Such proposals may include subdivisions, rezonings, conditional uses, and/or demolitions. Development proposals of this nature are reviewed for their consistency with adopted plans and are reviewed by City agencies for conformance with applicable requirements and guidelines. To determine what level of permitting and reviews a project needs, visit the City of Madison's Development Services Center. Of note, the following is the list of project types (with links to follow for more information) that the Planning Division coordinates the review of:


To view projects currently under review and in control of the Plan Commission, visit the Current Development Proposals page.

(Note: A redesigned Current Development Proposals page is currently under development)


To view the previously reviewed projects dating back to 2013, please visit the appropriate link below:

(Note: A redesigned Past Development Proposals page is currently under development)

Student housing building under construction near the UW Campus


Last Updated: 11/06/2020


Development Resources

  • Development Services Center - Site with information related to the City's Development Review process including: Conditional Uses, Demolition Permits, Rezonings, Subdivisions, Annexation of Land, Zoning Variances, Landmarks & Construction in Historic Districts, and Urban Design Approvals.







  • Chapter 16 - General Planning - Ordinance outlining the Plan Commission's composition, powers and duties; Land Subdivision Regulations (including Extraterritorial reviews); Plats & Certified Surveys (CSMs); and Condominium Instrument reviews.
  • Chapter 28 - The Zoning Code - Specifies how and for what purpose each parcel of private real estate may be used. Includes the definitions of and associated regulations of the City's various land use districts; proceedures and approval standards associated with several types of land use development requests (Conditional Uses, Demolitions, Rezonings, etc.), etc.
  • Chapter 31 - The Sign Ordinance - Ordinance outlining the City's regulation of the various signs displayed within the city limits.
  • Section 33.19 - The Landmarks Commission - Ordinance outlining the Commission's composition, powers and duties.
  • Section 33.24 - The Urban Design Commission - Ordinance outlining the Commission's composition, powers and duties.



Contact Us

Kevin Firchow - Principal Planner, Development Review, 608-267-1150

Tim Parks - Planner, Development Review, 608-261-9632

Chris Wells - Planner, Development Review, 608-261-9135

Colin Punt - Planner, Development Review, 608-243-0455

Sydney Prusak - Planner, Development Review, 608-243-0554

Heather Bailey - Landmarks Commission Secretary, 608-266-6552

Janine Glaeser - Urban Design Commission Secretary, 608-267-8740