The Hanford Planning Commission was established in 1945. The Commission consists of five members appointed by the City Council. One member of the City Council, appointed by the mayor, and the Director of the Community Development Department (or designee) serve as nonvoting ex-officio members. 

The Planning Commission has the principal duty of establishing and maintaining the General Plan of the community and advising on physical development, zoning, subdivision proposals, and special studies so that community values are maintained and protected. Any proposed changes to the General Plan or Zoning Ordinance must be reviewed by the Commission and a recommendation made to the City Council. The Commission shall also perform any other functions which may be assigned by the City Council. City residency is required for Commissioners. Terms are 4 years. There is no compensation given to the Commissioners.

Unless appealed, the Commission has final authority on Conditional Use Permits, Planned Unit Developments, Variances, Tentative Parcel Maps and Tentative Tract (Subdivision) Maps. The Commission makes recommendations to the Council for Annexations, Pre-zoning and Rezoning projects, General Plan Amendments, and Zone Text (Municipal Code) Amendments.

Key policies/documents that serve as the framework/backbone for the review and analysis of projects that come before the Commission

The General Plan Policies, Goals and Objectives and the Zoning Ordinance regulations are used for the analysis of projects. Staff includes the appropriate General Plan policies and/or zoning regulations, when appropriate, in the staff report on each project. The Subdivision Ordinance and the Subdivision Map Act (the applicable provisions of the Government Code of the state governing the subdivision of land in the state) regulate both parcel maps and tract maps.

Nuts and bolts of the Commission—Schedule of Meetings, Roberts Rules of Order, Chair and Vice Chair selection

The Planning Commission meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers of the Civic Auditorium, 400 N. Douty Street, Hanford, California. All meetings of the Commission are open to the public, in accordance with the public meeting laws of the State of California.

The Council established Robert’s Rules of Order for the conduct of its proceedings.  

The Commission elects a chair and vice-chairperson from among its members in January of each year.