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Conditional Land Use

Sometimes the proposed use of a piece of property is permitted by the land district that the parcel is located in, but conditions may need to be placed on the intended use to limit the impact on the neighborhood. In such cases, the owner must fill out a "Conditional Use Application" before proceeding with the plans for the property.

When must an application for conditional use be filed? The Planning Department usually determines its need at the time a property owner requests a building permit. It may take several weeks for the three stages of the conditional use process (shown below) to be completed:

  • Application: Through the Building and Planning Department
  • Review: By the Planning Commission
  • Hearing: By the Board of Commissioners

The goal of the permit is to allow structured growth while fostering the overall welfare of the neighborhood. With that purpose in mind, the Planning Commission (a board specializing in planning and zoning issues) and the Board of Commissioners (the governing body authorized to make the final decision) will take into account any relevant factors, in addition to the following (reprinted from the Comprehensive Land Development Resolution which is available online on this website or for $15 per copy from the Planning Department):

  1. The location of off-street parking and loading facilities.
  2. The number, size and type of signs proposed.
  3. The amount and location of open space and the provision of screening.
  4. Ingress and egress to the property and the effect of the proposed activity on traffic flow along adjoining streets.
  5. Location and intensity of outdoor lighting.
  6. Hours and manner of operation of the proposed use.

During the hearing, the Planning Commission's recommendation, the opinions of neighbors, and the property owner's views are all weighed carefully by the Commissioners before making a decision. Based on what has been presented, the conditional use application may be approved, disapproved, or tabled for later consideration.

For more information, see The Planning Commission.


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