Zoning Permit Application

When to Apply for a Zoning Permit

There are essentially four types of zoning applications that the Planning Commission uses.

  • Rezoning - Permanently changes the way the land and/or structures on this land may be used. For example, Mr. Smith owns property on the edge of town zoned B-3. This property is located adjacent to other B-3 Zoned Property (general business district) and I-1 Zoned Property (industrial zoned property). Mr. Smith would like to construct a building and operate a pop bottle manufacturing facility on his parcel of land. Mr. Smith would need to apply for "rezoning" of his B-3 land to I-1 to accommodate his proposed use because manufacturing is not permitted in a B-3 District.
  • Special Use Permit - A permit issued that allows for uses in a certain district which are not typically allowed in that district. Special Use criteria for each zoning district are outlined in the St. James zoning ordinance. For example, Mr. Smith owns property located in the B-2 Service Business District. This building was once used as a clothing store. Mr. Smith would like to operate a 1950s drive-in restaurant out of the existing building on his property. Mr. Smith would need to apply for a special use permit.
  • Variance Request - Variances are limited to "height, bulk, and density." Variances typically relate to lot-layout and are granted by the Planning Commission when following the zoning ordinance would create an undue hardship on the property owner. For example, the porch on Mr. Smith’s historic home was destroyed by fire. His home is located in an area with many other historic homes. The zoning ordinance only allows porches to extend up to 6 feet into the front yard setback area. However, all of the other homes located on Mr. Smith’s street have porches that extend 10 feet into the setback area. Mr. Smith would like to build his porch even with the other houses. He would have to apply for a variance to gain permission to reconstruct his porch.
  • Ordinance Amendment - From time to time, the Planning Commission may find that they need to update or change certain aspects of the zoning ordinance.

For More Information

Learn more about zoning in St. James by contacting the Zoning Administrator at (507) 375-1289.