Last time, we began speaking about zoning exemptions. Zoning regulations, of course, have the purpose of regulating land use planning to meet the goals of urban planning. As we’ve noted, real estate developers business often have to deal with zoning matters before they are able to move forward with projects or expansions.
Here in Orange County, there are a number of things that must be done to file a thorough and complete application for both zoning variances and special exceptions. These include providing a detailed written explanation of the request, required maps of the property and business documents, as well as other required submissions. For both variances and special exceptions, unique criteria laid out by the Orange County Code are considered.
With zoning variances, the Board of Zoning Adjustment must find that a number of criteria are satisfied for approval to be granted. First of all, a variance cannot be granted unless there are special conditions and circumstances that are peculiar to the land, structure or building at issue and which make a variance necessary. The fact that there surrounding properties are in violation of zoning rules does not serve as adequate grounds for a variance, so an applicant really must be able to justify a variance on the merits of the property in question.
Two other requirements for a zoning variance to be granted are that the special condition must not have been created by the applicant and that a variance must not give the applicant any special rights that other properties in the same zoning district do not have.
In our next post, we’ll look at the other requirements for zoning variances, as well as special exceptions, and why it is so important to have the assistance of an experienced advocate when pursuing such action before the zoning board.