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Conditional use permits: Guide for businesses and property owners

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | Business Law

Businesses or property owners may need a conditional use permit (CUP) to use their property in a way not typically allowed by the zoning ordinance. 

If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to understand CUPs and how they work. .

What is a conditional use permit?

A CUP is a special permit that grants permission to use a property in a specific manner, typically requiring approval from the local zoning board.

It allows for land use that’s not permitted under current zoning regulations but acceptable under certain conditions.

Pre-application meeting

The first step in the process is the pre-application meeting. Meet with local zoning officials to discuss your proposal and determine if you need a CUP.

Complete the application

Complete the necessary forms and provide any required documentation, such as site plans and impact studies.

Public hearing

Attend a public hearing where the zoning board will review your application and gather input from the community.


The zoning board will decide whether to approve, deny, or conditionally approve your application based on local regulations and community feedback.

Factors considered in CUP approval

Several key factors influence the zoning board’s decision when reviewing applications for conditional use permits.

  • Impact on surrounding properties: The zoning board will assess how the proposed use may affect neighboring properties regarding noise, traffic, and aesthetics.
  • Consistency with zoning ordinance: The proposed use must align with the goals and objectives outlined in the local zoning ordinance.
  • Public interest: The zoning board will consider the public interest and whether the proposed use meets the community’s needs.

If you’re not sure about the requirements or need assistance with your CUP application, seeking guidance can clarify and ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.