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Planning & Zoning Frequently Asked Questions

What is a variance?

A Variance is a deviation from a specific requirement of the Franklin County Zoning Resolution

Who grants variances?

The Franklin County Board of Zoning Appeals is responsible for hearing and acting upon variance requests. The Board has five members who are appointed by the Franklin County Commissioners. A
variance request requires a public hearing before the Board. All property owners within 300 feet are notified of the hearing and will have an opportunity to comment on the request. The applicant must
appear at the public hearing to justify the request.

What is a conditional use?

The purpose of a conditional use is to permit a use that would not be appropriate generally, but may be allowed with appropriate restrictions upon a finding that 1) the proposed use meets the required
conditions as stated in the zoning resolution, 2) the proposed development is in accordance with applicable plans or policies, and 3) the use or development will be in keeping with the existing land use character and physical development of the area.

Who grants a conditional use?

The Franklin County Board of Zoning Appeals is responsible for hearing and acting upon Conditional Use requests. The Board has five members who are appointed by the Franklin County Commissioners. A conditional use request requires a public hearing before the Board.  All property owners within 300 feet are notified of the hearing and will have an opportunity to comment on the request. The applicant must appear at the public hearing to justify the request.

When do I need to obtain a Certificate of Zoning Compliance?

Any disturbance of land and/or change in use requires a zoning permit.  Typically, anything that requires a building permit will also require a zoning permit.   Certificate of Zoning Compliances are required for new home construction, additions to homes, swimming pools, storage sheds, detached garages, fences, home occupations, commercial buildings, change in use and signs. This list is not inclusive, but does indicate the most common projects that will require a zoning permit.

How do I obtain a Certificate of Zoning Compliance?

To obtain a Certificate of Zoning Compliance you must complete an application form. Applications are available in our office or on-line at our website. This form provides the basic information on the
proposed project. In addition to the application form, you must provide two (2) copies of the site plan.  There is an application fee required for each application.

How long does it take to get a Certificate of Zoning Compliance?

Most Certificate of Zoning Compliances can be issued within seven (7) business days provided the application is considered complete.

What is the rezoning process?

A Rezoning request requires three public meetings. The process may take 3-5 months to complete depending on the complexity of the request.

  • Franklin County Planning Commission - The first meeting is before the Franklin County Planning Commission. The Planning Commission typically meets the second Wednesday of each month. The Planning Commission makes a recommendation to the Franklin County Rural Zoning Commission.
  • Franklin County Rural Zoning Commission - The second meeting is a public hearing before the Franklin County Rural Zoning Commission. The Rural Zoning Commission typically meets the third Thursday of each month. The Rural Zoning Commission makes a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners.
  • Franklin County Board of Commissioners - The third meeting is public hearing before the Commissioners. The Commissioners take final action on the rezoning request.
    • If your request is approved by the Board of County Commissioners, a 30 day waiting period is required by state law before the zoning becomes effective.
John O'Grady President
Marilyn Brown
Kevin L. Boyce