Frequently Asked Questions
When do I need a zoning certificate?
Whenever you are improving your property. This includes any new construction, building additions or alterations.
What if my proposed improvement isn't allowed by the Zoning Ordinance?
If the project you are undertaking does not comply with the county's ordinance there are 2 ways of dealing with it. 1) you may need to change your plans to reflect compliance with the ordinance, or 2) you can apply for a variance. A variance is a relaxation in the conditions or rules of the ordinance to allow an applicant to proceed with the project. This can only be done if the Zoning Board of Adjustment approves such variance.
What is the difference between an permitted use and and conditional use?
A permitted use means that the proposed project meets to desired purpose and intent of the particular zoning district and the owner of the property need only apply for the certificate. A conditional use must be approved by the Zoning Board of Adjustment and they can put certain conditions on the construction project as they see fit to best meet the purpose and intent of the ordinance.
What is the Zoning Commission and the Board of Adjustment?
The Zoning Commission is a 7 member board appointed by the Board of Supervisors that is responsible for the language and content of the zoning ordinance. They also have to approve any subdivision plats submitted before they can be legally approved by the Board of Supervisors and recorded. The Board of Adjustment is primarily the judicial part of the zoning process. They are comprised of 5 members appointed by the Board of Supervisors and are the body that translates the language of the ordinance into actual uses.
What does Ag Exempt mean?
Any improvement to a property that is a part of a farming operation or an extension of an agricultural operation is exempt from zoning control. A permit is preferred but not required by county ordinance.
How long does it take to get a zoning certificate?
It depends on the type of application submitted. A permitted use application is approved by the zoning administrator upon its receipt as long as the application is properly submitted. A conditional use application or requests for a variance or district change take a bit longer. In those cases a meeting of either the Board of Adjustment or the Zoning Commission has to be scheduled. Before the meeting can be held a public notice must appear in the Garner Leader and the Britt News-Tribune. The notice must be published not less than 4 days before the meeting and not more than 20 days before the meeting. So a lot depends on the date of publication and the availability of the Board or Commission.