Zoning Code | Procedures - Special Exception

Description: Upon written petition, the Plan Commission may, on a case-by-case basis, grant a special exception for those development standards specifically noted as special exceptions in the zoning code.
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Application fee: None

Submittal deadline: The zoning administrator must determine the application is complete and ready for review at least 4 weeks before the Plan Commission meeting, which is typically held the first Monday of the month.

Decision maker(s): Plan Commission

Basis of decision: The Plan Commission in making its decision shall consider the following factors:
  1. the size of the property in comparison to other properties in the area;
  2. the extent to which the issuance of the special exception permit would be in keeping with the overall intent of the this code;
  3. whether there are any unique circumstances and the nature of those circumstances that warrant the issuance of the special exception permit;
  4. the nature and extent of anticipated impacts to the natural environment that could potentially occur if the special exception permit was granted;
  5. the nature and extent of anticipated positive and negative effects on properties in the area;
  6. actions the applicant will undertake to mitigate the negative effects, if any, of the proposed special exception;
  7. a factor specifically listed under a section of this code authorizing the issuance of a special exception permit; and
  8. any other factor that relates to the purposes of this code as set forth in s. 500.05 or as allowed by state law.

Review process:
  1. Submittal of application materials. The applicant shall submit a completed application and other required materials to the zoning administrator along with the application fee as may be established by the Town Board.
  2. Staff review. Within 10 days of receiving the application and other required materials, the zoning administrator shall either place the matter on the agenda for the meeting at which the matter will be considered allowing for proper public notice or make a determination that the application is incomplete and notify the applicant in writing of the deficiencies and that the applicant has 3 months from the date of such determination to resubmit the application or forfeit the application fee, if any. The zoning administrator shall take no further steps to process the application until the deficiencies are remedied. The incomplete application shall be retained as a public record.
  3. Staff report preparation and distribution. The zoning administrator shall prepare a written staff report as described in this division and provide a copy of it to each member of the Plan Commission and the applicant prior to the meeting at which the matter will be considered. The zoning administrator shall also provide a copy to interested people upon request.
  4. General notice. Consistent with division 2 of article 5, the zoning administrator shall place the matter on the meeting agenda of the Plan Commission.
  5. Meeting. Allowing for proper notice, the Plan Commission shall consider the application at a regular or special meeting.
  6. Decision. The Plan Commission shall (i) approve the application, (ii) approve the application with conditions, or (iii) deny the application. The Plan Commission may render its decision at the same meeting the matter was initially considered or at a subsequent meeting, but no later than 40 days after the public meeting unless the applicant agrees to an extension of a specified duration.
  7. Preparation of decision notice. Based on the action of the Plan Commission, the zoning administrator shall prepare a decision notice consistent with this division.
  8. Applicant notification. Within a reasonable time following the Plan Commission’s decision, the zoning administrator shall mail the decision notice to the applicant by regular mail.
  9. Acceptance by property owner required. If an approval includes one or more condition of approval, the property owner shall sign the decision notice to acknowledge the imposition of such condition or conditions and return the same to the zoning administrator within 6 months of the decision. Prior to the expiration of the previously specified time period, the property owner may submit a petition to the town clerk requesting an extension and the town board may, with cause, extend the period within which the decision notice must be signed. If the signed decision notice is not returned within the initial or extended time period, if any, the decision shall become null and void without any further action by the town. The decision notice shall only become effective  when all required signatures have been obtained and the original signature copy is returned to the town clerk.
  10. Public record copy. A duplicate copy of the decision notice shall be retained as a public record.