Orange County Government, Florida

Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA)

Variances and Special Exceptions

Committee Purpose

The Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) consists of seven (7) board members who are appointed by each District Commissioner and an at-large member appointed by the Mayor. The BZA makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) on Variances, Special Exceptions, and Appeals of the Zoning Manager’s Determination.

Submittal Dates

2018 Board of Zoning Adjustment Public Hearing Schedule*

BZA Schedule 2018

Filing Deadline Date Public Hearing Date
Nov. 15, 2017 Jan. 4, 2018
Dec. 13, 2017 Feb. 1, 2018
Jan. 17, 2018 Mar. 1, 2018
Feb. 14, 2018 April 5, 2018
Mar. 14, 2018 May 3, 2018
April 18, 2018 June. 7, 2018
May 16, 2018 July 5, 2018
June 13, 2018 Aug. 2, 2018
July 18, 2018 Sept. 6, 2018
Aug. 15, 2018 Oct. 4, 2018
Sept. 12, 2018 Nov. 1, 2018
Oct. 17, 2018 Dec. 6, 2018
*Important: Due to legal deadlines there are no exceptions to these deadline dates. It is highly advisable not to wait until the filing deadline date listed below to submit your application as revisions to your application may be required.

Schedule | PDF

Meetings / Meeting Results

Board of Zoning Adjustment meeting results are attached to original meeting notices in the County Calendar. BZA meeting minutes may also be viewed by visiting the Advisory Boards page.


Variances are required if you need to depart from the provisions of the zoning ordinance. Variances relate to setbacks, lot size and frontage requirements, but do not involve the actual use or structure. (Use Variances are prohibited.) You must demonstrate the hardship is unique to your property and not to other properties in the same zoning district. Each Variance must meet the criteria listed below.

Variance Criteria | PDF

Special Conditions and Circumstances

Special conditions and circumstances exist that are peculiar to the land, structure, or building involved and that are not applicable to other lands, structures or buildings in the same zoning district. Zoning violations or nonconformities on neighboring properties shall not constitute grounds for approval of a proposed zoning variance.

Not Self-Created

The special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant. A self-created or self-imposed hardship shall not justify a zoning variance (i.e., when the applicant himself by his own conduct creates the hardship that he alleges to exist, he is not entitled to relief).

No Special Privilage Conferred

Approval of the zoning variance requested will not confer on the applicant any special privilege that is denied by this Chapter to other lands, building or structures in the same zoning district.

Deprivation of Rights

Literal interpretation of the provisions contained in this Chapter would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same zoning district under the terms of this Chapter and would put unnecessary and undue hardship on the applicant. Financial loss or business competition or purchase of property with intent to develop in violation of the restrictions of this Chapter shall not constitute grounds for approval or objection.

Minimum Possible Variance

The zoning variance approved is the minimum variance that will make possible the reasonable use of the land, building or structure.

Purpose and Intent

Approval of the zoning variance will be in harmony with the purpose and intent of the Zoning Regulations and such zoning variance will not be injurious to the neighborhood or otherwise detrimental to the public welfare.

Special Exceptions

The County Code includes some uses that would be allowed only by special exception. Applications for special exceptions follow the same process as variances — the request is heard by BZA, which makes a recommendation to the BCC for final approval. In making its decision, the BZA will determine whether the requested use is deemed compatible with the surrounding area and uses. Restrictions and conditions may be imposed by the BZA as part of its recommendation. Each special exception must meet the criteria shown below.

Special Exception Criteria | PDF

Special Exceptions

  1. The use shall be consistent with the Comprehensive Policy Plan.
  2. The use shall be similar and compatible with the surrounding area and shall be consistent with the pattern of surrounding development.
  3. The use shall not act as a detrimental intrusion into a surrounding area.
  4. The use shall meet the performance standards of the district in which the use is permitted.
  5. The use shall be similar in noise, vibration, dust, odor, glare, heat producing and other characteristics that are associated with the majority of uses currently permitted in the zoning district.
  6. Landscape buffer yards shall be in accordance with section 24-5 of the Orange County Code. Buffer yard types shall track the district in which the use is permitted.

Contact Us

Zoning Division

Phone: 407-836-5806

To check on the status of an application, please visit Orange County Fast Track Zoning Review.