Master Development Plans


Master development plans (MDPs) are a useful tool for both developers and County planners to reach consensus and agreement about the way an area is developed, where a variety of uses and impacts may be proposed on one property. They differ from site plans in that they address the bigger picture, rather than the minutia of a detailed site plan. An MDP should depict the larger planning issues such as basic densities, open space, access, internal circulation, water use, topography, drainage, access, and the general location of uses while giving the developer some leeway to address building placement, driveways, the number of parking spaces further along at the building permit stage should an applicant's MDP be approved.

Approved MDPs are considered amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, like a new growth area and its subsequent designations. Any proposed zoning districts or special uses within a master development plan area must conform with that plan. Specific zoning districts within the proposed area may be requested and processed simultaneously.

Public Input

Prior to submitting an application for a Master Development Plan, potential applicants are required to have a pre-application meeting with Planning staff to discuss their proposal as well as go over the Public Participation requirements - a process to notify neighbors of the proposal required of applicants before they submit their application.

Once an application is submitted, adjacent property owners are notified of the proposed MDP by the Planning Division. Notice shall be sent by first-class mail to each owner of real property within a radius of no less than 300 feet of the subject parcel(s), as shown on the most recent available records of the last property tax assessment. Where there are potential compatibility concerns, the County Zoning Inspector may expand the mailed notification area to greater than a 300-foot radius at the time of application acceptance. A legal notice is placed in the local newspaper and posted on the property at least 15 days before the Commission meeting.

A public hearing will be held by the Planning and Zoning Commission to accept input from people who support, oppose, or simply have questions about the project. After the hearing is closed, the Commission votes to recommend approval, to recommend approval with conditions, recommend disapproval to the Board of Supervisors, or to table the request. If it is not tabled by the Commission, then the request goes to the Board of Supervisors, in another public hearing, for a final decision.

Submission Requirements

Applicants must submit a master development plan map, which includes information such as:

  • Adjacent Zoning
  • Boundary Lines
  • Circulation
  • Drainage
  • General Location of Utilities 
  • General Topography
  • Proposed Density
  • Locations of Existing and Proposed Structures
  • Proposed Improvements

In addition, applicants must submit supporting documentation regarding traffic, screening, open space provisions, water supply, population projections, the phasing of the project, and a public participation report.  For a complete list of requirements, please refer to Section 2.09.060 of the Zoning Regulations.

Meeting Information

Planning and Zoning Commission meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 4:00 p.m. located in the:
Board of Supervisors Hearing Room
Building G
1415 Melody Lane
Bisbee, AZ 85603

The Board of Supervisors meets every Tuesday of the month (except the 5th Tuesday) at 10:00 am at the same location.  Pre-application meetings with Planning staff can be arranged at a time convenient to all parties concerned. At a minimum, applicants should be able to provide a draft concept of the proposed master development plan and public participation process at the pre-application meeting.