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Special Permits are permitted uses which, by their nature of operation, may have special impacts on the land or neighborhood (such as noise, traffic, fumes and visibility). The Planning and Zoning Commission has a high degree of discretion in whether or not they grant approval of a Special Permit on a particular piece of property. In order to determine whether a Special Permit Use is appropriate in an area, it must be found to comply with the Special Permit Criteria. In approving a Special Permit use, the Commission may issue conditions of approval intended to eliminate or lessen potential impacts.
If the Planning and Zoning Commission can not find that the Special Permit criteria has been met, the application will be denied. (Before submitting a Special Permit application, please review the advisory staff memorandum “Legal Considerations for Special Permit Approval.”
In order to obtain approval of a Special Permit use, the property must also have an approved Site Development Plan demonstrating how such use would function on the site.
All Special Permit applications require Public Hearing. The Planning and Zoning Commission has up to 65 days from receipt (the day of the next regular meeting of the Commission from the Day it was submitted to the land use office, or 35 days from the date it was submitted, whichever is earlier) to open a Public Hearing. Once the Public Hearing is open, the Commission has up to 35 days to close it. Once the Public Hearing is closed, the Commission has up to 65 days to make a decision. (At any time during the process, the applicant can grant an additional 65 days (called extension time) at any point in the process.
Special permits must be recorded on the land records in order for them to become effective.
Appropriate Notices must also be filed in order to process the Application.