In June 1992 the Garfield City Council created the Planning Commission by passing Ordinance 30. The first meeting of the Commission was held on July 7, 1992. In attendance at the first meeting was a representative of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, who advised the nascent Commission regarding first steps and the work program ahead for the Planning Commission of Garfield.
According to the Rules and Regulations of the Garfield Planning Commission, the purpose of the Commission is five-fold:
- Prepare, or have prepared, a plan of the municipality
- Receive and make recommendations on public and private proposals for development
- Prepare and administer planning regulations
- Prepare and transmit to the legislative body (City Council) recommended ordinances to implement the plans
- Advise and counsel the city government and other public bodies
Included in the work program for the Garfield Planning Commission was the development of a zoning ordinance for the City. The City of Garfield Zoning Ordinance was passed by the City Council in 2013. In 2017, both a City of Garfield Zoning Map and, in coordination with the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, the Garfield Planning Area Boundary Map were completed.
The Garfield Planning Commission for 2019 consists of five members: Chairman Jeffery Dodson, Co-Chairman Patricia Lee, Secretary Debbie Rambo, Commissioner Ellen King, and Commissioner Keith Kingston. This year’s Commission brings over 30 years of combined experience to the business of guarding and developing the municipal area of Garfield. Co-Chairman Lee has served on the Commission since 2005, and previously held the offices of Secretary and Chairman. Commissioner King began her service on the Planning Commission in 2006 and has served as Secretary. Chairman Dodson and Secretary Rambo have both served on the Commission for two years. Commissioner Kingston is the newest member of the Commission, having begun his service in March 2019.
To better serve the citizens of Garfield, the Planning Commission has called public hearings or forums to allow individuals in the community to express their comments about issues under review by the Commission. These meetings are held at City Hall and provide the Commission with helpful input from the public as decisions are made that will impact land use in the City of Garfield.
Coordination between the Planning Commission and the Garfield City Council, as well as the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, has served the Garfield community for 27 years and provides a framework for future progress in preserving and developing a well-planned, safe, and enjoyable municipality for residents and visitors.