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Board of Zoning Appeals

​​​​Meeting Schedule: The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) meets every second Wednesday of the month in Room 119, 18500 Murdock Circle, County Administration Center, Port Charlotte at 9:00 a.m.

Background: The BZA is a five member independent board appointed by the Board of County Commissioners from each of the five County commission districts.

Roles and Responsibilities: The Board of Zoning Appeals meetings include public hearings where they primarily consider and make decisions on three types of applications:
  • Special Exceptions: The Board of Zoning Appeals may, based on competent substantial evidence, grant a Special Exception for a specific use in a given zoning district. Mainly, the requested special use must be listed as a "Special Exception" in the zoning district for the involved property, and not be detrimental to traffic, public welfare or public safety.
  • Variances: A variance is a site-specific approval for the relaxation of a land development standard (setbacks, building heights, yards, parking requirements, etc.). To approve a variance, the Board of Zoning Appeals must have an affirmative finding for all five (5) criteria contained in the Zoning Code. Variances are far less common than special exceptions, since the criteria to obtain a variance is much more restrictive.
  • Appeal from a Zoning Official Determination: From time to time, the Zoning Official issues determinations which are binding in nature, and provide guidelines for staff to follow in the implementation of the zoning code. Occasionally, an entity will disagree with a zoning official determination. That entity has the option to have a hearing before the Board of Zoning Appeals. The Board may, based on competent substantial evidence, affirm or reverse the zoning official determination.

Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) Filing Deadlines & Hearing Dates

Public Hearing Comments During the COVID-19 Restrictions:

Public input and comments on zoning applications are allowed and welcomed as part of the decision-making process.  If you wish to support or object to an application that is on the agenda, you should appear and take an oath at the public hearing to be heard if that is possible under the COVID-19 restrictions.  Sworn testimony (meaning testimony from those who have taken an oath to tell only the truth) may be given additional weight by the decision-makers than to testimony from those who have not sworn an oath. A decision to approve or deny a quasi-judicial application must be based upon competent substantial evidence or expert opinions and individuals presenting testimony should be available for cross examination and questions for proper weight to be given to the testimony.  Written testimony may be submitted and may contain a written oath given before a notary.  Written testimony without an oath may be submitted to the board which will grant the testimony the appropriate weight. All written testimony, whether sworn or unsworn, will receive less weight due to the inability of the board to allow cross-examination of the witness.  All emailed comments should be sent to the following email address, PZ_PublicComment@charlottecountyfl.gov,  these comments will then be read individually into the record by County staff at the hearing.  All comments should be received no later than 9 AM on the hearing date.  

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