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Admin / process How to eliminate conditional use permits


Does your jurisdiction have several uses listed as a CUP? A previous city I worked for eliminated all but a few CUPs in the code. Made it much easier on staff. In my current city, a "light industrial" use is a CUP in the Industrial zone. Makes sense and such a generic term. I would love to get rid of many of the CUPs in my city and wonder if any here have gone through similar and what the obstacles were and how did your council/commission get on board? CUPs are hard to deny based on state code so they really become permitted with reasonable conditions.
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"Permitted with Standards and Conditions". This is the model we are moving to. In most cases, the use is applicable to the zone anyways.

I DESPISE conditional uses in general. They are completely abused and in most situations, they don't make any sense. In your case, why is "light industrial" a CU in an industrial district? It's already designated for industrial! If you want to differentiate between the two types and drive density or business creation, create a new district, don't force them to the whole CU process. You lose economic development that way. Your neighbor has a site ready pad sitting there waiting for a light industry in their industrial district, while you bog the applicant down in a bureaucratic process and delay their construction.

The conditional use process really just brings more liability on the jurisdiction, at least in my mind. It pits the generally well prepared and well versed industry applying for the CU, against the public who generally do not understand the legal process and burden of proof requirements of a CU. Who is an elected board more likely to listen to? The constituents who keep their butts in a seat, or the industry? Evidence gets ignored and the vote goes the wrong way, and you end up in court wasting tax payer dollars. Force the approval to an administrator of the code, insulate your elected officials from these things. Let the jurisdiction take the hit for approval, not the BOC.

Go through previous CU approvals, see what conditions those warranted, and roll them into a new use category.