Regional County Planner

Regional County Planner
Laura Olbers, MPH
Phone: 740-447-5890
1 S. Court St. Rm 122, Athens OH 45701
*Due to low staff number, please call before visiting the office to ensure assistance*

County Planner
The County Planner supervises and reviews applications pertaining to subdivision and lot splits, floodplain development, and other land use projects in the county. The planner also implements goals and policies outlined in the adopted comprehensive land use plan. Other work includes oversight of the natural hazard mitigation plan and involvement in grant applications and administration.

Although Athens County does not have adopted Zoning Regulations, the County does have Subdivision and Floodplain regulations that apply to property splits and any development that occurs in the flood hazard area.

Floodplain Regulations:
Please be aware that any development in the floodplain requires a permit. Development includes residential and non-residential building construction, installation of manufactured homes, substantial rehabilitation or alteration of structures, accessory building construction, materials storage, filling and grading, mining and dredging, and watercourse alteration. Anyone considering development in floodplain areas should consult with the planning office prior to starting a project. The planning office can help determine whether someone’s property is affected by the flood damage prevention regulations.

Subdivision Regulations:
In order to subdivide property, a permit is required from the County Planner’s office. Please contact the Planner’s office to determine if your subdivision is minor or major.

A subdivision is the division of land into parcels, any one of which is less than five acres in size. A subdivision also exists if all the parcels are greater than five acres in size, but need a new street or easement of access. A transfer of land between adjoining property owners, which is not a building site, is not a subdivision. A building site is defined as a parcel under separate deed or description containing less than five acres and having road frontage.

Athens County Plans
Athens County has adopted two significant Planning Documents: The Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan and the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. These Plans are essential for protecting residents and property as well as guiding development in a responsible manner. 

The Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan was adopted in 2019.

The Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the County Commissioners in 2016.