Town Structure

Many of you have asked for additional information about our town government and how it operates. Resident Lisa Cheraskin compiled a summary to help simplify the structure:

In 2014 the Town of Zionsville undertook a reorganization which modified the local government structure of the Town.  This included the creation of the position of Mayor and vested the Mayor with the executive powers of the Town and clarified the Town Council’s role would be legislative in nature.  Following is a brief overview of the key positions and boards involved in the government of the Town.  For detailed information, please see http://www.zionsville-in.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2966/Town-of-Zionsville-Government-Elected-Officials-and-Commissions.    


Responsibilities of the office of the Mayor include enforcing the ordinances of the Town and the statutes of the state and appointing the heads of each department (except for the superintendent of parks and recreation), the chief of the fire department, the chief of the police department and other officers, employees, boards and commissions required by statute. 

Town Council

The Town Council is responsible for adopting ordinances and resolutions for the performance of the Town and for purchasing property for the use of the Town. 

The Mayor and Town Council members are elected by the registered voters of the Town; members of Boards and Commission are appointed by the mayor, Town Council, or members of other Boards.  Seven town council members serve simultaneously, one per each of five districts and two “at-large” candidates elected by the entire town.

Statutorily created Boards and Commissions

  • The Board of Zoning Appeals is empowered to consider granting relief from the requirements of the Town’s zoning ordinances.
  • The Economic Development Commission has the goal of improving the economic well-being of the community through the efforts of job creation, job retention, and tax base enhancements.
  • The Redevelopment Commission investigates, selects, and acquires areas needing redevelopment or economic development.
  • The Park Board oversees the development and maintenance of Parks and Recreation in the Town.
  • The Plan Commission responsibilities include preparing a comprehensive plan; preparing a zoning ordinance and a subdivision control ordinance; making recommendations to the legislative body about amending zoning and subdivision ordinances; amending the zoning map; and approving development plans.
  • The Zionsville Safety Board administers the police and fire departments of the Town.
  • The Board of Police Commissioner appoints people to serve in the Police Department.

Board and Commissions created by Town Council Ordinance

  • The People of Zionsville for Aesthetics of Zionsville (PZAZ) is a volunteer group to promote urban forestry and streetscape beautification.
  • The Zionsville Architectural Review Committee (ZARC) administers the Downtown Façade rehabilitation program, which offers monies to property owners as an incentive to rehabilitate their building facades.
  • The Non-Discriminatory Practices Review Committee assists in ensuring the Town does not discriminate in the provision of its services or programs

Many of these commissions and boards overlap in their review and approval of projects.

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