Planning & Zoning

Ron Melbye

Zoning Administrator

The Comprehensive Plan was prepared under the direction of the Harlan County Planning Commission as a guide for the future development of the County.  The Plan and Zoning regulations were approved and adopted by the Harlan County Board of Supervisors on February 20, 2001.  The Harlan County Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Regulations apply only to Harlan County Residents that live outside of any city, (in Harlan County), or their 1 mile zoning jurisdiction.

No building or structure shall be erected, moved, added to, or structurally altered without a Zoning Application (building permit) having first been issued by the Harlan County Zoning Administrator.

All Zoning applications shall include a plot plan showing the location, ground area, the bulk of all present and proposed structures, additions and/or site improvements, the actual dimensions, the property lines and the building lines of the proposed structure or additions to the property; or any other reasonable and pertinent information as may be required by the County Zoning Administrator for the proper enforcement of the Zoning Regulations.

Zoning Districts

  1. AG-1 - Agriculture District
  2. RC - Rural Conservation District
  3. AGR - Agriculture Residential District
  4. HC - Highway Commercial District
  5. I - Industrial District

Application Fees

Zoning application (building permit) $25.00
Zoning Variance Application $125.00
Special Use Permit $125.00
Subdivision Application $250.00

(Effective March 6, 2012)

Planning Commission

The Planning Commission is made up of 7 members.  The Chairman of the Commission calls for a meeting when there needs to be any action taken by the Commission.

Board of Zoning Adjustment

The Board has 5 members, plus one alternate.  One member must be a member of the Planning Commission.  This quasi-judicial body's powers include hearing and deciding appeals, map interpretations and granting variances from the Zoning Regulations.  They meet when a Variance Application has been submitted to the Zoning Administrator for the consideration.


The owner or agent of a building or premises in or upon which a violation of any provisions of the Comprehensive Plan has been committed, (building, moving or destroying any structure without the proper permit), shall be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor. Each and every day that such violation continues after notification shall constitute a separate offence.

Nothing herein contained shall prevent the County from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.

If you have any questions or need to obtain a Zoning Application, please contact the County Clerks office or call Ron Melbye, County Zoning Administrator at (402) 432-0777.