What Does the Planning Commission Do

The Planning Commission is charged with maintaining a comprehensive and continuous planning program within either a County or Municipality through the establishment of Planning Districts. The Planning Commission serves in an advisory capacity to the County Commission or City Council by making recommendations concerning land use and land development planning. It is responsible for the general supervision of administrative staff, fiscal affairs, and tasks signed by the County Commission.

Planning Commissions are enabled through West Virginia State Code Chapter 8A, Article 2.

Commissioner Duties

Generally Speaking, being a member of a Planning Commission comes with a host of duties:

  1. Be present for all meetings. We understand that this is a voluntary position, but you must be able to attend meetings. At the very least this allows us to meet quorum requirements.
  2. Review any packet information prior to meetings. This will usually be sent out a week in advance of the meeting.
  3. Approve or deny items based on what is best for the county or municipality, not a specific group, ie. What is great for a developer might have huge negative impacts for county or municipality infrastructure.


Planning Commissions sometimes include subcommittees to ensure the smooth operation of the commission. Such possible committees include:

  • Director or Planning Staff Committee: The Director/Planning Staff committee will help development goals for the Director/Staff and do the performance review of the Director/Staff.
  • Comprehensive Plan Committee: The comprehensive plan committee will help to facilitate future updates of plans and ordinances.
  • Zoning Committee: The zoning committee will help to facilitate future updates of plans and ordinances.
  • Budget Committee: The budget committee reviews the budget with the Director/Staff and does preliminary proposed changes and approval of each year’s budget for the planning commission.
  • Executive Committee: The executive committee usually consists of the President, Vice-President, and three (3) members of the Commission.

WV 8A Requirements

Within West Virginia, State Code 8A - Land Use Planning, outlines the requirements of the County Planning Commission. Per their requirements:

  1. Members must reside within County or Municipal Jurisdiction.
  2. The Commission must consist of between 5 to 15 members.
  3. At least 3/5ths of all members must be residents for 3 plus years prior to joining the commission.
  4. Planning Commission members must meet at least quarterly.
  5. Planning Commissions must elect a president and vice president to act in the president’s stead.
  6. An Annual Report must be made to the County Commission/City Council.
  7. Keep accurate/complete record of proceedings.
  8. Prepare and submit an annual budget to the County Commission/City Council.