What is a Special Exception use?

A special exception is a use that is generally compatible with other uses permitted in a zoning district, but something about its nature, such as its potential impacts on neighboring properties, means that it must receive special approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals before it is allowed. One reason that such requests go before the Zoning Board of Appeals is so the people who would be most affected by the approval or denial of the request (such as nearby property owners) may participate in a public hearing and make comments for or against the request before the Board decides whether to approve or deny it.

How will I know if the use I want to have requires special exception approval at a particular location?

Land uses that are permitted through a special exception approval process are shown in the Table of Primary Uses in Chapter 4 of the Zoning Ordinance. Each use type has a line in the table that shows in which zoning districts, if any, the use type is allowed by special exception. Special exception uses must meet any conditions that the Zoning Board of Appeals places on the proposed use, as well as any use-specific standards that are listed in the Zoning Ordinance, as well as all other zoning regulations and regulations from other codes.

The City's Zoning Maps show the zoning district for each property.

Zoning Ordinance   GIS Map Search GIS Maps 

The fact sheet that is part of the Special Exception Application explains the process for applying for a special exception.

For further information on requesting a special exception, please call Melody Kearse at 803-329-7088.

Related Information:

Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)

Zoning plan reviews

Open for Business Program


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