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What is a special exception in zoning?

Local zoning laws determine how you can use property you have purchased. Zoning divides up communities into districts and restricts the properties in each district to certain uses. Still, you might want to use your property in a way that does not conform to zoning regulations.

According to the Cape Coral website, it is possible for property owners to seek a special exception from the zoning requirements of a district.

Defining a special exception

Zoning laws make sure that properties in a particular area have a common use so that occupants in the area do not suffer problems. For example, if there are too many businesses in a residential area, it could increase the traffic and pollution levels and make the residents uncomfortable or even cause health problems.

However, even though your property use could impact nearby properties, it does not mean your neighbors will suffer harm. This is why Cape Coral allows for additional review of properties that do not meet zoning requirements to see if they qualify for an exception.

The special exception process

Getting a special exception should last about three months. During this time, a public hearing will take place before the city Planning and Zoning Commission. People who have properties 500 feet from your property will receive notices from the city. The hearing will allow these individuals to come and comment on your potential use of your property.

There is no guarantee that you will receive approval for your exemption. You should prepare to make the best possible case that your property use will not disrupt the local community and be to its benefit.

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