May 8, 2020: City officials and staff are taking the following steps to protect public safety in response to the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Updates will be provided as conditions evolve. Please visit the City of Charleston’s webpage for more information on the City’s response to COVID-19.
BOARD MEETINGS: Board meetings will be conducted via Zoom beginning on June 2nd, 2020. Click here for the Agenda to the upcoming BZA-Z meeting. For an image overview of documents submitted for the upcoming BZA-Z agenda, click here.
BOARD SUBMITTALS: Plans for future BZA-Z meeting agendas will be accepted digitally; paper submittals will not be accepted. Applications and plans in PDF format should be submitted directly to the board administrator, Pennye Ashby, via email.
STAFF REVIEW SUBMITTALS: Simple zoning review requests such as fences, minor modifications, etc. may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be distributed to Zoning staff. Please include other applicable applications, site plans, photographs, and valuation of request. The Permit Center is also conducting modified operations.
For the Board to approve variance requests, applicants must be able to explain how their request satisfies the legal test for a variance.
For the Board to approve special exception requests, applicants must be able to show the Board how their request satisfies specific requirements listed in the Zoning Ordinance for the exception being requested.
Application and Hearing
To apply, submit a completed application (PDF), the required information listed on the application form, and fee to the Permit Center Zoning Desk. Applications are due by Noon on the deadline date. Public notice of the application is given through the newspaper, and an agenda that is published on this website and mailed to subscribers. In addition, a sign noticing the public hearing will be placed on the property by the City. The Board meeting is a public hearing. Applicants should be prepared to present their case to the Board and answer questions.
Motions to Reconsider
An appeal for reconsideration of a decision of the Board must be filed within five (5) business days from the date of the Board’s decision, order, requirement or determination by delivery of BZA-Z application, BZA-Z appeal form and fee to the Zoning Division office. To grant the appeal for reconsideration, the Board must find that it misapprehended or misconceived the question or questions involved, or that it erred in its finding or disposition of the appeal, application or matter. If such appeal is granted by the Board, the decision shall be withdrawn and the matter heard and considered de novo, as if no hearing, consideration or determination had been previously made or heard. For a use variance, the Mayor or a city councilmember may request an appeal to City Council within 15 days of the decision. Permits cannot be issued until the applicable period in which to file a motion to reconsider or appeal has expired. An appeal to the Board or to City Council stays all further action on the application, including issuance of permits.
A person who may have a substantial interest in any decision of the Board or an officer or agent of the appropriate governing authority may appeal from a decision of the Board to the circuit court in the county by filing with the clerk of court a petition in writing setting forth plainly, fully, and distinctly why the decision is contrary to law. The appeal must be filed within thirty days after the decision of the Board is mailed.
A property owner whose land is the subject of a decision of the board of appeals may alternatively appeal by filing a notice of appeal with the circuit court accompanied by a request for pre-litigation mediation in accordance with state law. Any notice of appeal and request for pre-litigation mediation must be filed within thirty days after the decision of the board is postmarked.