Special Exception Review
How to apply for a Special Exception:
Complete the following form:
When to apply?
Complete applications must be submitted at least 45 days before the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) meeting. See the BZA schedule for meetings and application deadlines.
An application for special exception review shall consist of information necessary for the Board of Zoning Appeals to make a determination regarding the special exception request, including, but not limited to the following:
- A sketch plan showing the preliminary proposed siting of structures or use on the subject property.
- The proposed density of such special exception use, expressed in terms of dwelling units or hotel/motel rooms per net acre or total square footage per net acre.
- A narrative addressing the consistency of the proposed special exception use with the character and purpose of the zoning district in which it would be located.
- Any relevant information regarding the traffic impact of such proposed use.
- The consistency of the proposed use with the Comprehensive Plan.
- In cases where a use is considered an adult entertainment use or business, the application shall contain any relevant information addressing the special location restrictions as described in Section 16-4-1203 of the LMO
- Schedule an application check-in meeting with the Community Development Department to submit application and discuss your project. (843)341-4757
Staff at Town Hall will assist with the following:
- Check the application for completeness. Note: The application must be complete before it is accepted.
- Assign a Project Manager to handle and process the application.
- Contact the applicant to let you know the Public Hearing date.
- Notify the public of the Board of Zoning Appeals Public Hearing by:
- placing an advertisement in the Island Packet newspaper; and,
- placing a sign on the property to notify passersby.
- Prepare a report listing Staff's recommendation to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
- Contact the applicant throughout the process to notify you of the progress.
The Applicant is responsible for and is required by law to...
- Send a Notice to property owners within 350 feet of the property under consideration. Addresses are listed with the Beaufort County Tax Assessor's office in Beaufort (843)470-2522.
- The notice must be mailed at least 30 days before the public hearing; and,
- The notice must include the date, time and location of the public hearing. It is also recommended that details of the request be included.
- Submit to the Community Development Department, at least seven days before the public hearing, an affidavit of compliance stating that the notice to property owners has been sent via certified mail.
- Notify appropriate property owners' associations (if applicable) and solicit any comments in writing to be sent to the Community Development Department and the applicant within 14 days of receipt of notification.
Special Exception Review Criteria
The Board of Zoning Appeals shall approve an application for use by special exception if and only if the applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed use and any associated development:
- will be in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Hilton Head Island; and
- will be consistent with the "character and purpose" statement of the applicable district; and
- will be compatible with the existing uses adjacent to and near the property; and
- will not be hazardous, detrimental or disturbing to present surrounding land uses due to noise, glare, smoke, dust, odor, fumes, water pollution or general nuisance; and
- will not otherwise adversely affect the development of the general neighborhood or of the district in which the use is proposed; and
- will be consistent with existing and planned pedestrian and vehicular circulation adjacent to and near the property; and
- will have adequate water and sewer supply, stormwater facilities, waste disposal and other public services (which the Board may find either because the location already has such services or because the applicant demonstrates that the suppliers of such services will make them available to the proposed use); and
- will be developed in a way that will preserve and incorporate any important natural features that are a part of the site; and
- will conform to any specific criteria or conditions specified for that use by special exception in the applicable district or for the proposed use; and
- will not be contrary to the public health, safety and welfare, provided that a denial based exclusively on this language shall include explicit findings regarding the way in which granting the special exception would be contrary to the public health, safety and welfare.
Action by the Board of Zoning Appeals
- The Board of Zoning Appeals shall hold a public hearing on the special exception application.
- After review of the special exception application and the public hearing, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall make a written finding and give its approval;approval with modifications or conditions; or disapproval to the special exception request.
- If approved, or approval with modifications or conditions is granted, the decision shall be communicated in writing to the applicant; and the applicant shall thereby be authorized to submit a development plan application consistent with Article XVII of the LMO or, alternatively, if the review is to approve the establishment of an Adult Entertainment use or business, the proposed license shall be authorized to make proper application for a business license or permit as specified within Section 10-7-31 of the Town Code.
Please refer to Chapter 3, Article XVII of the LMO for more details.