Office of License Commissioners/Zoning Appeals
Frequently Asked Questions
- How and where do I apply for a public hearing?
- The application process begins in the Board's office located at the County Office Building, 225 North Center Street, Room 113. Staff is available daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to explain the process, answer questions, and offer assistance on the completion of the required forms.
- What is a variance?
- A variance is a relaxation of the terms of a zoning regulation when, due to conditions peculiar to the property and not the result of actions by the applicant, a literal enforcement of the regulation would result in practical difficulty or unreasonable hardship.
- What is a conditional use?
- A conditional use is a use that is permitted in a particular zone only after the BZA has conducted a public hearing, applied specified criteria, and imposed conditions when appropriate. In other counties, this may be called a "special exception".
- What occurs at a public hearing?
- A public hearing is your opportunity to present your request to the BZA. You may present documents/exhibits to support your request. If the case is complicated, you may wish to use experts to establish substantial competent evidence. The County official/agency may testify regarding their decision. Other interested parties attending the hearing are also given an opportunity to speak regarding your application. The BZA will make an oral decision (approval, approval with conditions or denial) at the conclusion of the public hearing. It will be followed up with an "official" written decision within thirty (30) days of the oral decision.
- Do I need an attorney to present my case to the BZA?
- The presence of an attorney is not required. An applicant may present his or her own case. However, if the matter is complex, you may wish to be represented by an attorney.
- How may I prepare myself for an appearance before the BZA?
- You may wish to attend a hearing before your case is heard. By listening to the presentations and questions asked by the BZA, you will get a sense of the workings of the Board.
- How do I get a zoning change (rezoning) for my property?
- The BZA does not have the authority to change the zoning designation of your property. Only the Board of County Commissioners can rezone property. You may contact the Planning Department to obtain the Rezoning procedures.
- May I appeal a BZA decision to the Board of County Commissioners?
- No. An appeal of a BZA decision must be filed within thirty (30) days of issuance of the written decision to the Circuit Court for Carroll County.