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Thread: Conditional zoning

  1. #1

    Conditional zoning

    Our entire historic district is on the National Reg. of Historic Places. It is being infiltrated with Bed and Breakfasts. All are being issued CUP's. At this time when the business is sold, the use is ended, insuring that the residential neighborhood is intact.

    Our planning commission is rewriting ordinances and want to keep the "Use" with the land, making the non-conforming business permit. The neighborhoods/homeowners want the right to revert the house back to a residience.

    It was noted in an article of "usa today" that our little town of 1,900 has more bed and breakfasts than any other city, to give you an idea of the portion of the problem.

    As a planning and zoning commissioner and a board member of the Preservation Society, I'm really ready to stop all condional use permits until a viable solution can be reached, but have been told, one can not stop the right to business, or free enterprise.

    Any compromises out there ?

  2. #2

    Sep 2005
    East St. Paul, Manitoba

    conditional use permits

    What are the issues? In our area cond uses run with the land. How many rooms are you allowing? Do you have any parking criteria? Does the building require an inspection by the zoning officer or fire department. What additional taxes are you charging? If you want to have the use curbed then develop criteria that reflect the issues.

    Parking, hours of operation, no signage, number of rooms, yearly inspections, charge business taxes and more important what does the community not like, then develop the criteria.

    Good luck.

    If you develop the criteria then you have be prepared to enforce.

  3. #3

    May 1997
    Williston, VT

    conditional use permits

    It varies from state to state, but in most places CUPs must run with the land! That is because you can legitimately regulate only land use, not tenancy. I suspect that the problem here is with the nature of the conditions being imposed on B&Bs. Are there size limits? Parking requirements? You could even have spacing requirements …

  4. #4
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Feb 1998
    Greensburg, Kansas

    conditional use permits

    You can not prohibit a legitimate business from your community. You can regulate business to the extent of your state statutes and local community interests. A CUP should have a set of standards (conditions) to be met. They can be as stringient as needed for your area so long as they are based on a legitimate interest. Rather than voiding a CUP when the property is sold, I suggest that you periodically review each permit to see that the conditions are being met. Coupling closure with change of ownership is risky. Your agreed upon conditions are the key. You may consider a limit on the number of total beds permitted, the number of conversioins allowable per year, etc. But such limits should be based on a plan setting forth the reasons for such action.

  5. #5

    conditional use permits

    We do have parking requirements. The new B & B's are inspected by the fire and building inspector.

    The most unfortunate part of this issue is the sheer number of businesses in R-1, Victorian Res. The majority of people bought residences, but now have a business next door that will always be a business unless they want to be adveserial and show cause in public forum why the B&B owner, their neighbor, should loose their CUP.

    This is a town of 1900 people, built in 1880's and tucked into the mountainsides. We just need to have a place for folks to live without being reminded next door that they live in a tourist town.

    It has also inflated the value of the B & B property, selling them at 10% commission for commercial real estate agents, and banks get commercial loans 40% down instead of the regular home down payment. So their are definitely two groups in town who would like the use to go with the land.

  6. #6

    Conditional zoning

    Which states enable conditional zoning, and just what restrictions are allowed under conditional zoning?

    Here in Kentucky it is explicitly permitted for merged city/county governments, but questionable outside of that. The conditional zoning allows for restrictions on use and density, screening and buffering, and for areas with historic zoning, architectural or visual requirements. It does get used in other areas, but has never been challenged.

  7. #7

    Conditional zoning

    Georgia allows for conditional zoning but courts have ruled contract zoning unconstitutional. The difference between the two is a fine line. Generally, conditions relating to mitigation of off-site impacts, and limiting some of the permitted uses, are valid, and others may be too, such as right-of-way dedications.

    Washington state specifically does not allow conditional zoning, but it does provide for development agreements.

    Jerry Weitz

  8. #8

    Conditional and contract zoning

    Can you explain more about these? Are you writing about placing conditions on a change in zoning and not on a use within the zoning? Also, what is contract zoning? This term is new to me.


  9. #9

    Conditional and contract zoning

    The meaning of these terms, and their legality, vary from state to state. However...

    Conditional zoning is the imposition of conditions on a rezoning to mitigate adverse effects on adjacent properties or to protect some other public interests. Sometimes, these include right of way dedications and improvements (exactions). Conditional zoning is only practiced and legal in certain states.

    Contract zoning is considered unlawful in most states. It implies an agreement of the local government to give a zoning classification in exchange for something from the developer or that he/she will comply with certain things. A fine line from conditional zoning, admittedly.

    To have real insight into these issues you should consult court cases in your state. Jerry Weitz

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