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Conditional Use Permits

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Understanding Conditional Use Permits

What is a Conditional Use Permit (CUP)?
Conditional uses are those types of uses that are considered to be desirable, necessary or convenient to the community, but which by their nature can create:

  • The potential to create additional traffic volume
  • Additional need for parking
  • Detrimental impacts on adjacent or neighboring properties due to noise, pollutants and other nuances associated with that particular use

To ensure that detrimental impacts are mitigated, each request for a conditional use permit must be reviewed and approved by the Plan Commission and Board of Aldermen.

What types of projects require a Conditional Use Permit?
Conditional use permits are required for uses designated by the Zoning Ordinance to require review and consideration greater than other uses in the same district. An amendment is necessary for enlargement, alteration or extension of existing conditional uses. A CUP may be transferred provided that the use remains substantially the same. Examples are new ownership for an approved business, change of name of the business or change of hours. Under the above situations, a separate application and fee for a CUP transfer is required.

Are Conditional Use Permits applied uniformly in every area within the city limits?
No, the designated conditional uses vary in each zoning district, except for restaurants and educational uses which require CUPs in every district.

How do I apply for approval of a Conditional Use Permit?
A Conditional Use Permit application form, application fee, and 25 copies of signed and sealed plans must be submitted to the Department of Planning and Development Services. Refer to the application for a checklist and other materials necessary for a complete submission. The application and materials must be submitted a minimum of 14 days in advance of the Plan Commission meeting in order for the application to be considered on the Plan Commission agenda. If the project is in association with new construction, the site plan review and architectural review procedures will also apply and may extend the review time.

When does the Plan Commission meet?
The Plan Commission generally meets on the first and third Monday of the month. In case of a city holiday, the meetings are moved to the following Wednesday. The application and supporting material must be submitted at least 14 days in advance of the next available Plan Commission meeting. If the project requires other city approvals, the time line for submittal may be greater than 14 days.

What happens at the Plan Commission meeting?
The Plan Commission will hear requests for a conditional use permit at a meeting which is open to the public and will weigh the positive impacts against possible nuisance factors.

How long will it take for the Plan Commission to make a decision?
The Plan Commission must render a recommendation on a conditional use permit application within 60 days from the date the Commission first considers the application, unless a request for a waiver is submitted by the applicant. After a positive recommendation by the Plan Commission, the application, plans (revised if required) and a written report are forwarded to the Board of Aldermen for approval.

What happens after the application is submitted to the Board of Aldermen?
Under a positive recommendation by the Plan Commission, the proposal is advertised for a public hearing at the Board of Aldermen at least 15 days prior to the meeting. After consideration of public input, the Board may attach conditions and limitations as deemed necessary or appropriate to minimize adverse effects upon other property or the city as a whole. A Conditional Use Permit is approved by resolution of a positive majority vote of Board members.

If my Conditional Use Permit application is approved, how do I obtain my permit?
The City Clerk mails the CUP to the applicant once approved by the Board of Aldermen. The applicant must notify the City Clerk in writing within 30 days that the conditional use permit is accepted and that the conditions set forth will be complied with.