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If some aspect of a proposed project does not conform with the development standards for the zone, it is possible to apply for a Variance. The purpose of issuing variances is not to allow exceptions to the development standards but rather to help achieve equal treatment for owners who would be disadvantaged by strict application of these standards. For more information on variances contact the Building and Zoning Department.
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The only way to identify the zoning district that an individual piece of property lies within is by locating the property on the Official Zoning District Map of Wise County, Virginia. A representative of the Building and Zoning Department will be able to assist you in locating your property.
If the use planned is prohibited in the zone which applies to the site, it is possible to apply for rezoning. The likelihood of successfully changing the zoning designation for a site varies greatly. The primary consideration is the compatibility of the proposed change with surrounding uses. Zoning changes require a public hearing and the approval of the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors (PDF).
The purpose of the Special Use Permit procedure is to provide a means for the Board of Supervisors to authorize, after review and subject to appropriate conditions, certain specified uses which, although generally appropriate in the district in which they are permitted by the Zoning Ordinance, have a potentially greater impact on neighboring properties that those uses which are permitted by right in the district.
The special use procedure is intended to provide the opportunity for the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors (PDF) to review of each proposed special use and its potential impacts on surrounding properties and land uses, with special regard for the particular circumstances of each use. It is also intended to provide an opportunity for the Planning Commission to recommend and for the Board of Supervisors to impose such conditions as are necessary to ensure that the use will be compatible with the surrounding area and consistent with the intent of the particular district and the purpose of the Zoning Ordinance.
The Board of Zoning Appeals (PDF) is a four member Board that makes recommendations related to the application and enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance, as well as variation requests.