Welcome to the Zoning Homepage. The Zoning Department assists residents with zoning requests, questions, applications for variances, rezoning and special use permits, as well as investigating complaints regarding zoning violations and overseeing regulations.
Most people wonder "What is zoning?" The Supreme Court upheld the authority of governments to enforce zoning regulations in 1926 in the landmark case of Village of Euclid, Ohio v. Ambler Realty. Since then, almost every major city and county has adopted a zoning code. Zoning regulates land use, including the size, shape and permitted uses of lots and structures. Zoning dictates where people live and where they work. It controls the size of our houses and the location of stores. In most cities, it is the primary tool that guides land use. This is one of the major factors in helping to maintain property values.
What Does Zoning Affect?
Local governments in Illinois are granted extensive powers from the state via home rule ordinances. One of those powers is to create and enforce regulations that promote public safety, health and general welfare. In 2000 Rock Island County adopted the Quad City Unified Ordinance. Since then we have made some minor changes to the ordinance, you can find a digital copy in our downloads section. Below you will find some common topics.
Zoning can preserve natural features, promote infill development and mixed-use development, minimize dependence on the car, provide public community spaces and otherwise help make cities and towns more livable.
Uncoordinated development at the suburban fringe can permanently destroy farmland and wildlife habitats and exacerbate traffic gridlock. Regional and local policies to promote infill development can direct new jobs and housing to mature communities that have the necessary infrastructure to support them. Zoning, for instance, can prohibit new development on certain parcels and encourage more compact development on others.
Zoning must also consider the market demand for land uses, since a zoning map essentially allocates the amount of land available for industry, commerce and housing within the city. The zoning code should have the flexibility to adapt to changes in the market's demand for space.
Zoning will rarely be the only sensible growth tool communities use, but it can help communities reach their land-use goals when combined with effective planning.
The Zoning Investigator is in the office from 8 am to 10 am and 3 pm to 4:30 pm.
Typically, if you contact staff by 10 am we can perform the inspection the same day.
Find their contact information in the Staff Directory.
- How can I find you?
The Rock Island County Zoning and Building Office is located at 1504 Third Avenue, Room 305, Rock Island IL, 61201. Office hours are 8 to 10 am and 3 to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday excluding holidays. From 10 am to 3 pm, inspectors are in the field.
- When is the best time to call?
The Zoning Investigator's normal office hours are between 8 to 10 am and 3 to 4:30 pm. Questions and permits may be handled all day, but specific requests for these persons should be made during the hours shown, otherwise, inspectors are in the field daily
- What codes has Rock Island County adopted?
See the Codes section on the Building Safety page.
- How much land do I need to build a house?
This varies depending on where the property is located. The smallest parcels may be 20,000 square feet (just shy of 1/2 acre). If you are looking at a property that is in the extreme outlying areas, Rock Island County may require a minimum of 40 acres for a building site. Your best bet is to email Greg Thorpe.