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Planning & Zoning Office

Director

Shontrell Roque

P.O. Box 37
700 Second Street
Natchitoches, La. 71457
(318) 357-3840
Fax: (318) 357-3837

The Planning & Zoning Department is responsible for and directs activities in the areas of land development, housing and urban design and building code enforcement.  These activities include the research and implementation of policies and procedures and the coordination of special and long range planning projects. Project reviews for single/multi-family development proposals, commercial and industrial projects and mobile home parks/subdivisions ensure compliance with zoning & building code requirements.  The City of Natchitoches through its development standards promotes harmonious and attractive growth and protects the health, safety and welfare of all citizens of the community. The department also serves as the liaison for the Planning Commission and Historic District Commission.

Ordinances administered by the department include:

  • Comprehensive Land Use Zoning
  • Subdivision Development
  • Landscape
  • Flood Damage Prevention
  • Telecommunications
  • Historic District
  • Permits & Code Enforcement
  • Abatement of Dangerous Structures
  • Health & Sanitation
  • Certificates of Occupancy

To receive additional information regarding applications contact the office.
 
 

USEFUL LINKS

LA Dept. of Public Safety – Fire Marshal’s Office
Natchitoches Tax Commission
Natchitoches Parish Tax Assessor
LA Dept. of Health & Hospitals
LA Dept. of Transportation & Development 

The Planning Commission appointed by the Mayor and City Council reviews land use zoning requests and applications for variances. The Commission meets at the Natchitoches Arts Center, 716 Second Street on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. Applications that require consideration by the City Council are presented as recommendations by the Planning Commission.  The City Council meets the 2nd & 4th Monday of each month at the same location.

 
PLANNING COMMISSION MEMBERS

Ethel Blake
Ron Brown
Bobby Claiborne
Anita Dubois
Jamie Flanagan
Isaac Lewis
Michael Lewis
Ricky McCalister
Charles Whitehead, III – Chairman

PURPOSE

“The preservation of all structures in the historic district section of the city which have architectural and historical value and which should be preserved for the benefit of the people of the city and state.”

The Natchitoches Historic District was so designated in 1977 by the City of Natchitoches and earned designation as a National Landmark in 1988 by the United States Department of the Interior. This designation identified and recognizes nationally significant sites and encourages owners to preserve them.  Landmarks are chosen after careful study by the National Park Service. Properties in the landmark district are automatically placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Historic District Commission reviews development proposals for compliance with design standard.  The Commission works to preserve the integrity of properties within the 33-block National Landmark Historic District and recent 14-block extension of the Historic District.  Meetings are held on the 1st Monday of each month at 5:00 p.m. at the Natchitoches Arts Center, 716 Second St.  The meetings are open to the public.

HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION MEMBERS

Virginia Crossno
Jared Dunahoe
Sharon Gahagan, Chairman
Steve Horton
Drake Owens
Melissa Robinson
Marion Salter

Civic source

ADJUDICATION SALES

Properties that failed to sell at a tax sale are adjudicated to the governing authority. Adjudicated property auctions are conducted online and allow investors to acquire full ownership with clear title and title insurance. Purchase property for $0 plus closing costs. Visit CivicSource.com to view a list of available adjudicated properties and to initiate an auction.

PURPOSE

This guide represents the information generally needed to apply for a building permit within Bossier Parish. A permit is issued only after a comprehensive review of development and construction plans have been completed and checked for compliance with Parish’s ordinances, policies, building codes, regulations and standards for land use, development, and construction. The number of processes you will need depends on your development plans and the existing circumstances of your property. At the earliest stages of planning your project, you should be aware of what information is required and where each process should be initiated. Please note that this guide is not intended to provide every technical detail of each review that makes up the development review process.

WHEN IS A BUILDING PERMIT REQUIRED?

Any owner, authorized agent, or contractor who desires to erect, construct, enlarge, add to, alter, repair, replace, move, improve, remove, install, convert, demolish, equip, use, occupy, or maintain a building, structure, or building service equipment, must apply for a building permit.

If you are uncertain about the need for a building permit, please call the Office of Planning and Zoning for assistance at (318)-357-3840.

WHO APPLIES FOR THE PERMIT? 

If you hire a contractor for your project, it is customary for the contractor to arrange for, or in contractor lingo, “pull” the permit. Typically, the person who pulls the permit is responsible for the construction and following the applicable codes.

If the property owner pulls the permit, the property owner will be considered the contractor (at least in the eyes of the Parish) and will be liable if there is a construction problem. All the responsibility for the project and the project staff, then falls on the property owner.

DO I NEED TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL?

The Planning and Zoning Office is committed to explaining the process as clearly and concisely as possible. However, the permit process can be complex, even for those experienced with it. Depending on the size and type of your project, you may need the services of a licensed professional. In fact, State law may require that a portion or your entire project be prepared by a licensed architect or engineer. You may contact the Planning and Zoning Office or the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors to determine if the services of a licensed professional will be needed.

HOW DO I CHECK TO SEE IF MY CONTRACTOR IS LICENSED?

Visit the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors at https://lslbc.louisiana.gov/, to see if your contractor is licensed and for other helpful information.

WHAT IF I SKIP GETTING A PERMIT? 

If your project requires a permit, get a permit. If you are working with a contractor who suggests skipping this step, consider moving on to another contractor. If work commences without the proper permits, a stop work order will be issued and additional fees will be assessed. A stop work order will shut down your project and may require you to tear down your work (for example, remove a wall to see what’s behind it). It is not worth the risk and is against the law.

RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION SUBMITTAL DOCUMENTS

(All documents must be submitted digitally)

  1. Completed building permit application (Online)
    1. Make Payment 
  2. Site Plan
    1. The following items must be on your site plan;
      1. Scale
      2. North arrow
      3. property lines with dimensions
      4. street(s) or drives bordering the property
      5. Site address
      6. Subdivision unit and lot number
      7. Building setbacks
      8. Proposed structures
      9. Servitudes/ easements
      10. Parking/driveways
      11. Elevation or drainage flow patterns
      12. Finished floor elevation and road elevation
    2. Plans must show the roof line as well as the foundation. Roof lines may not encroach into or over drainage easements.
    3. If the property is adjacent to Cypress-Black Bayou, the flowage easement must be graphically shown and the property must be staked for inspections.
  3. Building Plans
  4. Foundation Plans
  5. Pre & Post Elevation Certificates
    1. (Required when property is in a flood zone)
  6. Septic Permit (If applicable)
  7. Culvert Permit (If applicable)
  8. Mailbox Permit (If speed limit is 35mph or greater)

COMMERICAL CONSTRUCTION SUBMITTAL DOCUMENTS

(All documents must be submitted digitally)

  1. Completed building permit application (Online)
    1. Payment 
  2. Building Plans
  3. Foundation Plans
  4. Site Plan
    1. Site plans must be drawn to scale, show all property lines, building setbacks, proposed/existing structures, servitudes, easements, parking, driveways, and culverts if needed.
    2. Landscaping Plan (Bossier MPC Jurisdiction)
      1. Identify species, size, and quantity
    3. Dumpster Elevation (Bossier MPC Jurisdiction)
    4. On Premise and Building Signs (Bossier MPC Jurisdiction)
    5. Building Elevations (all sides)
      1. Color building elevations are required if within the Bossier MPC Jurisdiction)
    6. Exterior Lighting Plan (Bossier MPC Jurisdiction)
    7. Elevation or drainage flow patterns
    8. Finished floor elevation and road elevation
  5. Fire Marshal Letter
  6. Pre & Post Elevation Certificates
    1. Required when property is in a flood zone
  7. Septic Permit (if applicable)
  8. Culvert Permit (If applicable)
  9. Mailbox Permit (If speed limit is 35mph or greater)
  10. Drainage Impact Study (If applicable- Verify with Engineer Office) 
  11. Traffic Impact Study (If applicable- Verify with Engineer Office)

TOP REASONS RESIDENTIAL PLANS ARE NOT APPROVED OR DELAYED

  1. Plans not drawn to a standard scale/plans not legible.
  2. Site plan does not match plat or site has existing problems.
  3. Missing building code requirements: (i.e. Emergency window egress from bedrooms (too small, fixed instead of operable), lack of egress from habitable attic, stair headroom or width, fire hydrant location)
  4. Missing information on plans; inconsistent plans (Elevation & floor plan not matching, window/door schedule missing, structural members not called out and sized, building cross sections not provided)
  5. Haven’t obtained all required permits. (i.e. Health Department, LADOT, Bossier Levee District, Cypress – Black Bayou)

TOP REASONS COMMERCIAL PLANS ARE NOT APPROVED OR DELAYED

  1. Plans not drawn to a standard scale/plans not legible.
  2. Floor plans do not show existing conditions – remodel.
  3. Uses of rooms/spaces not labeled.
  4. Fire Marshal Letter not uploaded.
  5. Missing information on plans; inconsistent plans (Elevation & floor plan not matching, window/door schedule missing, missing foundation plans)
  6. Haven’t obtained all required permits. (i.e. Health Department, LADOT, Bossier Levee District, Cypress Black Bayou)

HOW LONG WILL PERMIT REVIEW TAKE?

Permit applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, however, we are committed to processing your plans as quickly and efficiently as possible. The building permit process for commercial plans can average two (2) weeks and one (1) week for residential plans. Please be advised that missing information, additional reviews and required re-submittals, can add time to the review process and could extend this estimated review time frame.

ISSUING THE PERMIT 

Once all agencies involved determine all requirements have been met, the applicant will be notified of the approval and asked to pay all remaining fees. Upon payment, the building permit will be issued. Construction may now begin!

WHY IS THE PERMIT PROCESS SO COMPLEX? 

The process of reviewing and issuing a building permit is complex. It involves many departments and outside agencies, and it may include a separate Planning and Zoning process. The City of Natchitoches Planning and Zoning Office and other agencies involved are required by law to enforce numerous Federal, State and local construction and development regulations to ensure that your project complies with building, construction, and zoning codes.

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