What are Special Use Permits?

The commercial real estate development process can take you into some complicated legal areas. Take, for example, special use permits. As you plan your commercial real estate project, you may not be familiar with what these permits are, how they are obtained, or why they might be needed—yet you may learn fairly quickly that you actually have to acquire some in order to get your project off the ground.

This is where having a seasoned commercial real estate developer can be invaluable. At Kuester CRE, we know the most expedient ways to procure the permits our clients need, ensuring their projects are completed according to schedule.

In this post, we’ll briefly highlight some points about special use permits—but as always, don’t hesitate to contact us with any specific questions or concerns!

Understanding Special Use Permits

Most communities are split into different “zones” by the local zoning commission, with each zone being approved for a different use—for instance, in broad terms, you may have certain zones that are cleared for retail, others that are for residential housing, etc.

A special use permit is simply a special approval to purchase a tract of land and use it for purposes other than what it’s zoned for. In other words, a special use permit allows you to develop a tract of land for your intended purpose—regardless of what the zoning restrictions say.

Special use permits are actually used quite often, especially for types of real estate that don’t fit neatly into a pre-assigned category. For example, local zoning commissions often don’t encompass things like funeral homes, hospitals, schools, or cemeteries—so a special use permit is needed to build any of these structures.

The process for getting a special use permit can vary, but generally it requires the landowner to approach the zoning commission in a public forum. Technically, members of the community may object to what you’re proposing, especially if your intended real estate development would bring a lot of noise, pollution, traffic, or general disruption to the community—but this isn’t the norm. These hearings are usually more seamless.

A commercial real estate development company can advise on whether you actually need a special use permit—and if you do, your development team can help you get one, even appearing with you at the hearing to make sure it goes smoothly. This is something the Kuester CRE team does for clients throughout the Carolinas, and we’re happy to offer this service to you! Contact us today to learn more: You can call us at our toll-free number: 855-723-2500.

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