The department’s governing committee is the Committee on Planning and Development. Other committees and commissions the department reports to include the Committee on Judiciary and Law Enforcement, the Land Conservation Commission, the Housing Authority, the Industrial Development Agency, the Board of Land Use Appeals, the Local Emergency Planning Committee, the Emergency Medical Services Council, the Groundwater Advisory Committee and the Land Records Modernization Council.

The Department of Planning and Development was created in 1982 through a combination of the Zoning and Real Property Description departments and the Housing Authority. Contracted planners were also made county employees in 1982. In 1982 the Land Conservation Department was added, and in 1986 the Emergency Government office was added.

The department is now organized into five divisions: the Land Information Division is responsible for listing and mapping property for real estate tax purposes; managing the Public Land Survey System, database management and GIS; the Land Conservation Division administers land and water conservation programs; the Land Use Controls Division enforces zoning, subdivision, building, and floodplain regulations; the Planning Division is responsible for grant writing, land use planning, solid waste planning and special project planning; the Housing Division administers Housing Authority programs. The department is also responsible for administration of Emergency Management programs.

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