Municipalities can use Cloudpermit to offer applicants various land use permits, including zoning permits, special use permits, and conditional use permits.
Zoning permits: what are they?
A zoning permit is a document issued by a local authority or a local (municipal) government that allows a parcel of land to be used for the prescribed use.
A zoning permit authorizes a particular use of the building or ground, for example, changing the use of the property or planning new construction or additions. A zoning permit must also be obtained, for example, for creating new off-street parking, installing signs, adjusting property lines, modifying a property, or demolishing it.
In general terms, zoning has to do with the legislative process of separating the land into zones for different purposes. Zoning laws regulate the ground and control the permission behind what structures are and are not allowed to be built on the land.
What is a Special Use Permit?
Special use permits relate to uses allowed in specific zoning districts, provided they meet certain conditions in the municipal ordinance. Those conditions are generally associated with avoiding adverse impacts on the neighboring area.
Some examples are drive-thru restaurants and airport-related uses in areas with a lot of noise or where accidents might happen.
Applicants will focus on showing that the proposed use meets the conditions that are already in the municipal ordinance.
What is a Conditional Use Permit?
Conditional Use Permits are permits that require discretionary approval from the municipality. These types of permits give consent to use not allowed by law in a particular zone. As the name implies, the permit application is approved under a set of conditions. Those conditions are set forth by the jurisdiction that the land falls within.
One typical example of a conditional use permit is if a citizen wants to allow a home-based business operation in a residential district. Running a business in a residential community often violates zoning laws because of the need for parking, signage, etc., which may negatively impact a residential area.