The current Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) was adopted on December 19, 2019 and became effective on January 15, 2020. For copies of previous development ordinances, please contact the Planning, Development, and Sustainability Department.

Johnson County Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)

Click Here to download the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).

  • IMPORTANT - this document shows the ordinance as originally adopted. It does not include any amendments that have been adopted by the Board of Supervisors since January of 2020. All individual amendments to the UDO adopted since January 2020 can be found below. The Ordinance Number at the beginning of each bullet indicates the date of adoption (e.g. Ordinance 12-22-20-01 was adopted December 22, 2020).
  • NOTE: On December 21, 2021, the Board of Supervisors enacted a temporary moratorium on the issuance of permits for certain types of Utility Scale Solar Energy SystemsClick here for more information on the moratorium. You may also call the Planning, Development & Sustainability office at 319-356-6083 for more information

Amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)

Zoning is a method of land use regulation designed to minimize the negative impacts of certain types of land use by separating them from one another. This is achieved by restricting uses to classified districts, such as residential, agricultural, commercial, and industrial zones. The regulations are intended to allow these different land uses to be located and organized in a manner that promotes the public health, safety, comfort and general welfare, to conserve property values, and to facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewage, schools, parks, and other public requirements.

Most of the laws and regulations we live by are determined at the Federal and State level. States recognize, however, that the regulation of land-use is better understood and controlled at the local level. Therefore, under State-delegated authority, Johnson County has its own Code of Ordinances which contains the "Property and Land Use" zoning regulations.

The County Unified Development is a legal document, but it will not be upheld in a court of law unless its regulations show a direct relationship to a "rational planning process." As a result, most municipal governments develop living comprehensive planning documents.

The Planning, Development & Sustainability Department has two primary purposes: to administrate the regulations contained within the Zoning Ordinance, and to maintain a planning process that reflects the evolving needs of Johnson County.

The unincorporated area of Johnson County is divided into 5 land use areas: Agricultural/Rural, North Corridor, Unincorporated villages, Fringe Areas, and Cities. The County has zoning responsibility in all but the cities. There are 5 zoning districts:

  • A Districts – Rural
  • R Districts – Residential
  • C Districts – Commercial
  • M Districts – Industrial
  • ERP – Environmental Preservation
  • P Districts - Public
  • SWDRR Districts - Solid Waste

These general district types are further divided into more specific sub-districts (e.g. C-Commercial, CH-Highway Commercial, C-Ag-Agri-Business, etc.).

Any parcel of land, with the exception of farms, which is not zoned to allow for a residential or commercial use must be rezoned before a building permit can be issued for construction of a building for that parcel. Please visit the Planning, Development & Sustainability Department for information on zoning and rezoning applications.


If you have any issues accessing the application files linked on this page, please call our office at 319-356-6083 for assistance.