Last time, we began discussing the topic of zoning and the impending update of Atlanta’s zoning codes. Zoning regulations can have a significant impact on both private residents and businesses in any industry, as they impact how land is developed, what uses land have, and the height, size, and placement of buildings on lots, as well as building density and number of parking spaces per building.
Administration of Atlanta’s zoning ordinance is in the care of several groups. First of all, there is the Zoning Review Board, a nine-member board appointed by the Mayor and City Council to consider property rezoning and special use permits. There is also the Board of Zoning Adjustment, a five-member body which meets two times per month to consider applications for zoning variances and special exceptions from the zoning ordinance.
Both the Zoning Review Board and the Board of Zoning Adjustments take into account the recommendations of neighborhood planning units and staff members of the Office of Planning. When navigating issues with either body, understanding the law is critical, but it is also critical to know how to handle each group involved in and impacted by the process. Failure to meet the requirements or to address concerns raised in the process can render an application for rezoning, special use permits, special exceptions or variances a failure.
The third group responsible for administering the zoning ordinance is the Office of Buildings Zoning Division. This office interprets and enforces the ordinance, verifies zoning classifications for property, handles zoning complaints related to permits, and approves sign permits, as well as business and liquor licenses.
When issues come up with any aspect of zoning law, it is important to work with an experienced advocate to navigate the process. Our firm is committed to zealously representing our clients interests in this area, and to working for the best possible outcome in each case.