about Zoning Changes & Reliefs
Restricted by Zoning?
In the event that the required Zoning Regulations restrict an aspect of development and the necessary adjustments can not be met, zoning relief may be required in one form or another.
Contact us at (803) 545-3333 or at the zoning counter for specific information concerning the following:
Nonconforming Uses or Structures
If a current use or structure in the City does not meet the regulations in the Code of Ordinance, it is considered a nonconforming use or structure.
The intent of the Zoning Ordinance is to permit these nonconformities to continue until removed, but not to encourage survival. Any nonconforming use or structure must have a Certificate of Nonconformity on file with zoning staff.
If the nonconformity is vacant for more than 12 consecutive months, the nonconformity loses its status and must conform to City Code.
In the case that a proposed use or action is prohibited in a certain district, seeking a rezoning may be an option.
Rezonings, officially known as Map Amendments, are changes to the official zoning of a specific property. Certain minimal requirements must be met in order to be eligibility for a rezoning.
In the case that a project requires a rezoning, it is highly recommended to contact the department to set up a pre-application meeting. At the minimum a rezoning requires a hearing before Planning Commission, followed by Zoning Public Hearing, and two readings before City Council.
Applications and additional information can be found at Boards, Commissions, & Committees.
Board of Zoning Appeals
The Board of Zoning Appeals serves as a pseudo-judicial body that assists the City in decision-making regarding zoning issues. The Board consists of 7 City Council appointed members and vote to approve or deny cases based on testimonies of applicants and members of the community.
The Board hears applications for the following:
The Board of Zoning Appeals may grant a variance to certain provisions of the Zoning Ordinance where a literal enforcement of the provisions of the Ordinance would result in an unnecessary hardship. For the Board to approve such a request, certain criteria must be met. See Chapter 17, Article III, Division 4, Section 17-112 of the City Code for a complete description of the variance process.
Certain uses are permitted in zoning districts with permission from the Board of Zoning Appeals. These permissions are called Special Exceptions.
The Board of Zoning Appeals approves or denies applications for Special Exceptions based on the appropriateness of the use in the district and surrounding community and whether or not the use meets the required minimum criteria.
In the event that an alleged error in order, requirement, decision or determination is made by the Zoning Administrator in enforcement of the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, an application for Administrative Appeal or Review can be made, provided the appeal is made within 30 days of the order, requirement, decision or determination.Applications and additional information can be obtained at the Board of Zoning Appeals webpage, at the zoning counter or by email.
Contact our office at (803) 545-3333 to confirm zoning or to obtain additional information