The Planning Division is responsible for the processing of amendments to the Ventura County General Plan and Ventura County Coastal and Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinances, including zone changes, text changes, development agreements, and specific plans. All applications for General Plan and Zoning Ordinance amendments are subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors, require an analysis by the Planning Division and various County Departments and Agencies, and entail public hearings before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. Findings for the approval of these legislative amendments are derived from State Planning and Zoning Laws, Board of Supervisor's General Plan Amendment Screening Guidelines, and the provisions of the respective Zoning Ordinances. Any General Plan Amendment must be consistent with the Guidelines for Orderly Development adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 1969 and revised in 1996.

Privately-initiated legislative amendments must complete a screening hearing before the Board of Supervisors prior to further processing by the Planning Division. Screening hearings are held twice yearly, as needed. Complete application materials must be received by February 1 (spring/summer screening hearing) or August 1 (fall/winter screening hearing) to participate in a screening hearing.