Board Of Adjustment

Special Exception Process & Requirements

The Seminole County Board of Adjustment (BOA) is a group consisting of five (5) regular members and two (2) alternate members, all of which are appointed by the Seminole County Board of County Commissioners (BCC). It is empowered to hear and decide matters related to the following types of applications:

SPECIAL EXCEPTION – A use that would not be appropriate generally in the particular zoning district but which, if controlled as to number, area, location, or relation to the neighborhood, would protect the public interest.

The Board will consider the compatibility of the proposed use with surrounding land uses and development patterns in the area. Before granting a Special Exception, the Board must first determine that the proposed use:

  1. Is not detrimental to the character of the area or neighborhood or inconsistent with trends of development in the area; and
  2. Does not have an unduly adverse effect on existing traffic patterns, movements and volumes; and
  3. Is consistent with the county’s Vision 2020 Comprehensive Plan; and
  4. Meets any additional requirements specified in the code section authorizing the use in a particular zoning district or classification; and
  5. Will not adversely affect the public interest.
    Seminole County Land Development Code 30.43 Board of Adjustment

SUMMARY OF THE PROCESS AND REQUIREMENTS FOR A SPECIAL EXCEPTION

1. APPLICATION PROCEDURE: 

Prior to submitting an application for Special Exception, the applicant must have a Pre-application Review. Consistency with the County’s Comprehensive Plan will also be evaluated with the pre-application review. If the proposed Special Exception is not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, an alternative course of action, if available, will be discussed with the applicant.

*Special Exception Application (PDF)


Link to required forms:

Owners Disclosure Form
Owners Authorization Form (if needed)

Applications are also available from the Planning Division located at:
County Services Building
Room 2201
1101 East First Street
Sanford, FL  32771
(407) 665-7444

2. APPLICATION DEADLINE:

Applicant submits a complete application for variance prior to application deadline. 
Please review the calendar link for deadline schedule.

Board of Adjustment Calendar

ALL SUBMITTALS MUST BE RECEIVED, ALONG WITH APPROPRIATE FEES, BY 5:00 PM ON THE DEADLINE DATES.

3. PROCESS:

  • After receipt of a complete application, your Special Exception request will be scheduled for the next available Board of Adjustment meeting.
  • If an application is found to be incomplete, staff will contact the applicant and request revisions or additional information.

A Special Exception is a three step process:

  1. Pre-application review.
  2. Special Exception Approval: Application submitted to the Planning Division. This approval is based on a detailed conceptual site plan.  Generally, a DRC meeting is held to discuss the project comments and the BOA meeting schedule is determined at that time.
  3. Site Plan Approval: Application submitted to the Development Review Division.  Following approval of the Special Exception a final engineered site plan is required to be submitted to Development Review.  View Site Plan Review information

4. PUBLIC NOTIFICATION:

Planning Division will provide public notice to affected homeowners.

  • No less than ten (10) days before the Board of Adjustment meeting, the Planning Division staff will mail a letter of notification to abutting owners.
  • The Planning Division staff will also prepare an 11” x 17” public notice placard for posting on the subject property.  The applicant must post their property at least fifteen (15) days in advance of the Board of Adjustment meeting.
  • The applicant will pick up and post the placard in a conspicuous location on the property where it shall remain until final action has occurred on the request.  Maintenance of the placard shall be the responsibility of the applicant.  THE NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING IS MANDATORY; THE PROPERTY MUST BE POSTED.  Failure to comply may result in a minimum delay of thirty (30) days with additional costs for advertising.
  • The applicant must return a notarized affidavit certifying the posting of the placard.  This must be submitted to the Planning & Development Division prior to the Board of Adjustment meeting.
  • The Planning & Development Division staff also prepares a legal advertisement for publication in the Orlando Sentinel which is published at least ten (10) days in advance of the Board of Adjustment meeting.

THE BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT CANNOT CONSIDER AN APPLICATION UNLESS ALL PUBLIC NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED.

5. DEVELOPMENT REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING:

DRC staff will meet with the applicant to address issues, respond to questions and discuss recommendations based on the submitted application and site plan.

  • The Special Exception site plan is reviewed by staff to ensure that the proposed development complies with the County’s development policies and/or technical requirements. Prior to the DRC meeting a Comments Document (COMDOC) is sent to the applicant, which outlines staff comments. The applicant may be requested to submit additional information or revise the proposal as a result of this review. County staff and the applicant meets to address issues, respond to questions by the applicant and discuss recommendations.

6. RECOMMENDATION:

Staff will prepare a written staff report and recommendation.

  • The Planning & Development Division staff prepares a written staff report for consideration by the Board of Adjustment.  The report presents factual information concerning the applicant’s request based on existing circumstances, consistency with the Seminole County Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code: future & existing land use, zoning, traffic & environmental impacts, public services availability, etc.
  • The meeting agenda along with the staff report is available online approximately one week before the Board of Adjustment meeting.  A Copy will also be sent to the applicant

7. BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT REGULAR MEETING:

The Board of Adjustment will conduct a public hearing.

  • The Board of Adjustment meets on the fourth Monday of each month except in May and December, where the regular meetings occur on the third Monday.  The Board meets in the Board Chambers (Room 1028) at 6:00 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) on the first floor of the Seminole County Services Building, located at 1101 East First Street in downtown Sanford, FL.
  • An authorized representative or the applicant must appear at the public hearing in order to present the application.  The representative should be familiar with the request and be able to make statements and commitments on behalf of the applicant.
  • Following the presentation by the Planning Division staff, the presentation by the applicant, and public comment, the Board of Adjustment will discuss and vote to decide the outcome of the request for a Mobile Home Special Exception.  The Board may approve, deny or continue a request until a date certain.
  • After the hearing, the applicant will receive a letter stating the decision of the Board with information regarding the date within which the decision can be appealed

A short video clip of a Board of Adjustment hearing is available online. This shows a typical presentation by an applicant; it is recommended that you review this before you come to the meeting.

8. TIME LIMIT: 

Special Exceptions have an imposed time limit.

  • Any special exception granted shall expire one (1) year after the effective date of approval unless a building permit incorporating the special exception is obtained.
  • An extension of six (6) months may be granted, provided good cause is shown and request for extension is filed. The extension must be submitted at least thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of the Special Exception

9. APPEALS: 

An applicant may appeal a decision of the Board of Adjustment to the Board of County Commissioners.

  • Any aggrieved party can appeal a Board of Adjustment decision within fifteen (15) calendar days of the meeting.  A letter must be submitted to the Planning & Development Division stating the grounds for appeal along with the appropriate fee.
  • The Seminole County Board of Commissioners will hear and decide the case.  During the fifteen (15) day appeal period, no permits incorporating the decision of the Board of Adjustment will be issued.

Fees: On February 11, 2014, the Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution to adjust application and building permit fees. The new fees start March 13, 2014.  A summary of development fees can be found here.  For the Fee Resolution please click here.