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Purpose: Some land uses, buildings or structures are not appropriate under all circumstances in a given zoning district, but may be appropriate if adequate precautions are taken to assure compatibility with surrounding uses, public need, and the City as a whole. This section allows those uses by granting a special use permit, subject to the procedures that are similar to rezoning, as stated below.

Note: a rezoning and a special use permit have the same process. However, a rezoning approves a zoning district, while a special use permit approves an individual use within a zoning district.

A. Applicability

1. This section applies to any use, building or structure that is designated as a special use in Chapter 18.20 by the Use Matrix (see Chapter 18.20).

2. An applicant may combine a special use permit application and rezoning application, and the City may process both applications concurrently. However, if the special use is not allowed in the zoning district that applies to the property when the application is filed, the City will not approve the special use permit unless it also approves the zoning district.

3. Before any special use is constructed, reconstructed, established, or expanded, the Governing Body must approve a special use permit for the use. The special use must also comply with all applicable development, performance and special standards in this title, and any applicable conditions of special use permit approval.

4. A special use permit is restricted to the zoning district and land where the permit is approved.

B. Initiation

1. A special use permit application may be filed by the landowner or the landowner’s agent.

2. Preapplication is required (see Section 18.40.020).

3. A neighborhood meeting is required (see Section 18.40.030).

Cross-Reference: 18.40.020 (Preapplication)

C. Completeness Review

See Section 18.40.040, Completeness Review.

D. Decision

1. Notice to surrounding property owners is required (see Section 18.40.050.B).

2. The Planning Commission shall conduct a public hearing and submit a recommendation and the Governing Body renders a final decision, as provided in Section 18.40.060.B. The Governing Body approves a special use permit by resolution.

E. Protest Petition

Protest petitions may be filed as provided in Section 18.40.090.E.

F. Approval Criteria

The criteria that apply to a rezoning also apply to a special use permit (see Section 18.40.090.G), and:

1. The Planning Commission and the Governing Body may consider other factors which may be relevant to a particular application.

2. When a special use permit is approved, the Governing Body may impose restrictions upon height or bulk of buildings or structures, or impose requirements relative to yard and lot area, parking, open space or landscaping, duration of the permit, or other requirements determined to be reasonably necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood and the community.

3. The Governing Body may require that the applicant submit a final development plan for approval by the staff, Planning Commission or Governing Body prior to the issuance of any building permit.

4. Except where a longer or shorter time is required by this title or a condition of approval for a specific special use, the Planning Commission may recommend and Governing Body shall grant or extend a permit for any period as is warranted under the circumstances. If the Governing Body does not designate a time period, the special use permit is valid for five (5) years from the date of approval. The applicant shall submit an annual report for review by the Planning Official that documents its compliance with this title and any conditions of special use permit approval.

G. Subsequent Applications

1. When an application for a special use permit is withdrawn by the applicant or denied by the Planning Commission or the Governing Body, the same application for the same property shall not be resubmitted for a period of one (1) year from the date of withdrawal or denial.

2. An application for a different special use permit request can be submitted at any time. In addition, a new application showing major modifications and/or revisions to the withdrawn or denied application may be submitted at any time.

H. Appeals of Final Decisions

Any person, official or agency aggrieved by a final decision on a special use permit application shall file any appeal in the District Court of Johnson County within thirty (30) days of the final decision.

I. Scope of Approval

1. Subsequent Approvals and Development

A special use permit does not authorize development. Any development that occurs after the special use permit is approved requires additional approval, which may include subdivision plat or site development plan approval, if applicable, and building permits and certificates of occupancy.

2. Transfer of Special Use Permits

The applicant is designated the permittee for purposes of this section. The use authorized by the permit, however, relates to the land and not the permittee, and permits may therefore be transferred. Any person desiring to operate a special use on property by transfer of the special use permit shall apply to the Planning Official to be substituted as permittee. The applicant shall furnish any information that is reasonably required to satisfy the Planning Official that the applicant is the owner of the property subject to the special use permit, or is otherwise authorized by the owner of the property to conduct the use on the property and to comply with any conditions of approval, and is otherwise qualified to be designated as permittee. No person may use property for a special use without being designated as permittee. Unauthorized use of the property is grounds for revocation of the special use permit.

3. Time Limits

a. A special use shall commence (see subsection c below) within one (1) year from the date of approval. The Governing Body may extend this time limit as a condition of approval.

b. A special use loses its nonconforming status when the time limit expires.

c. Commencement of a special use occurs upon the initial issuance of a building permit, or land clearing permit, or upon the initiation of significant action to satisfy requirements for improvements contained in the conditions of special use approval, or other regulatory documents relating to the special use.

4. Extension of Time Limits

a. Only one (1) time extension is permitted and shall not exceed six (6) months.

b. The owner shall request the extension prior to the expiration of the special use.

c. The request is to be made to the Planning Official.

d. The Planning Official shall review the proposed time extension to determine if any modifications have been made to the special use site, and if changes have occurred to this title or other development regulations that affect the original approval. If the Planning Official finds that no substantial modifications are proposed, the time extension is deemed approved subject to conditions. If the Planning Official finds that substantial modifications are proposed, the time extension is processed under Section 18.40.120. “Substantial modifications” are defined in Section 18.40.120.A.

e. The applicant may appeal any decision of the Planning Official regarding the time extension to the Governing Body.

J. Recordkeeping

The City Clerk maintains a record of all resolutions approving a special use permit. (Ord. 17-52 §§ 21, 41, 2017; Ord. 02-54 § 2, 2002)