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.
Board of Zoning Adjustment Public Hearing Schedule*
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 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.
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).
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.
The zoning variance approved is the minimum variance that will make possible the reasonable use of the land, building or structure.
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.
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
Discuss consistency with pertinent Comprehensive Plan goals, objectives and policies.
Discuss how the proposed use will be similar and compatible with the surrounding area.
Discuss the proposed use and how it will not negatively impact the surrounding area.
Discuss how the proposed meets the performance standards of the district.
Discuss how the proposed activities on the property that would not generate noise, vibration, dust, odor, glare, or heat that is not similar to majority of uses permitted in the zoning district.
Discuss how the proposed use will be consistent with the Landscape Code and required landscape buffers, if applicable.
To check on the status of an application, please visit Orange County Fast Track Zoning Review.