A "Conditional Use Permit" is a type of permit that requires a higher level of review than a use permitted as a matter of right. This is necessary when a proposed use may or may not be appropriate for a particular site, despite the zoning being suitable.
For instance, if you own a property zoned for business use and want to start an automobile painting business, your proposal might be suitable if the property is in an area generally used for similar businesses. However, if the property is near a subdivision or next to a school, it might not be considered appropriate due to potential impacts like odors and noise. Yet, if these issues can be mitigated through conditions of approval (such as using screening and buffering), the use may still be approved.
Application for a Conditional Use Permit
To apply for a Conditional Use Permit, visit the Planning Department to obtain an application form and consult the Zoning Map with the staff. After completing the forms and paying the application fee, the staff will review the request and make a recommendation. The application is then forwarded to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors for public hearings and a final decision.
During the Planning Commission's public hearing, you have the opportunity to explain why your request is suitable for your specific site. Your neighbors are also allowed to comment on the application. The Commission makes a recommendation, which could be for approval, approval subject to conditions, or denial. This recommendation is forwarded to the Board of Supervisors, who will also hold a public hearing and make the final decision regarding the request.
To apply for a Conditional Use Permit, you will need:
- A completed application, providing all requested information.
- A plat (a recorded drawing) of the subject property.
- A sketch plan of the subject property, showing the boundaries, topography, proposed buildings, etc.
- A statement of justification.
- An environmental and community impact statement if applicable.
- The necessary application fee.
- Any other information deemed necessary for reviewing the application.
Applications should be filed by 12:00 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at the Warren County Planning Department, located at 220 North Commerce Avenue, Suite 400, Front Royal, Virginia 22630.
The Planning staff is always ready to assist you. It's beneficial to schedule a meeting with the staff before applying for the Conditional Use Permit. They can help you in filling out the forms, answering questions, and understanding the procedure. They will also be available throughout the time the request is being processed. For any questions, please visit the Planning Department at 220 North Commerce Avenue, or call (540) 636-3354.