Sidebar Developers Guide to the Development Process-

ZONE CHANGE PROCESS

Development Option: You wish to develop you property for a use which is not allowed for in the zone in which your parcel or parcels are currently located. For this reason you either need a use variance or a zone change. You do not feel you can meet the hardship requirements of a variance, so you decide to apply for a zone change.

What is Recommended? It is strongly recommended that the applicant consult with the Planning Staff prior to making formal application.

What is a zone change and what is it's Purpose? A zone change entails an actual change of boundaries on the Zoning Map from one zone, and it's accompanying regulations, to another zone. A zone change can also entail the amendment of the Zoning Code's text with no actual change on the map. The Planning and Zoning Commission, in granting a zone change, must determine that the proposed change is for the good of the community as a whole and not exclusively for the benefit of an individual or a select group of individuals. The Planning and Zoning Commission must also determine that the proposed change is consistent with the existing comprehensive plan for the City.

What is Spot Zoning? Spot Zoning is an action by the Planning and Zoning Commission which gives to a single parcel or a small area privileges which are not extended to other land in the area, to the benefit of an individual or a select group of individuals. Spot Zoning is clearly an illegal process. Small areas can be zoned or re-zoned if the change is designed to serve the best interests of a community as a whole. In the Middletown Zoning Code, Section 71, it states that as a general policy the Commission should not establish any zone with a geographic area of less than twenty acres.

How long will it take? The Planning and Zoning Commission must provide adequate notice prior to the required public hearing (refer to flow chart) and then hold the hearing within sixty-five (65) days from the day of receipt. A decision from the Planning and Zoning Commission must come within sixty-five (65) days from the close of the hearing. The hearing must close thirty (30) days after it commences and notice of decision must come within fifteen (15) days of the decision. you or any concerned parties have a fifteen (15) day appeal period to Superior Court from the day the notice of decision appeared in the paper.

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