Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.

Revocation of special exception measure proposed

  • 0

Amherst County officials are working on a planned measure that will allow special exception uses to be revoked if they are found to be out of compliance with previously approved conditions.

Jeremy Bryant, director of community development, said the draft ordinance would allow the Amherst County Board of Supervisors to revoke any special exception permits that the county staff determines does not comply with the conditions the county sets during the public hearing process.

“Staff does a fair amount of work trying to get people to comply,” Bryant said to the Amherst County Planning Commission at its November meeting. “It’s a tool that would allow staff to come to you with concerns. If there are conditions that are out of compliance… this process is a tool in the county’s toolbox to revoke a permit.”

The commission gave formal direction to Bryant and county staff to send the proposed text to the county attorney for an ordinance that would come to the commission for review and a public hearing. The board of supervisors also will hold a public hearing on the matter.

“If someone is frankly not complying … they run out of money or resources… there’s not so much we can do,” Bryant said of the need for the revocation measure. “From a staff perspective, I would recommend this would help us.”

Bryant said the special exception is tied to the land use and not the landowner. If the land use stops for whatever reason, then applicants can reapply, he explained. Oftentimes questions arise on properties on when a specific land use stops or resumes, Bryant said.

“A lot of times the burden of proof is on the applicant,” said Bryant. “It is important people document what they are doing if they are running a business.”

Bryant was asked during the meeting what would happen if a new landowner is not notified of special exceptions on the property upon purchase. He said in response if it’s part of a rezoning, legal proffers are recorded in the county courthouse but in the cases of special exceptions a buyer may not know unless they are continuing a specific use.

“If they are running a business, we hope they would be savvy enough to know that,” Bryant said.

He explained if a new owner for whatever reason isn’t aware of a specific special exception when property changes hands, “the buck stops” at the Commissioner of the Revenue Office in regard to certain required documentation in making that person informed of the land use.

Proposed draft language states grounds for revoking a special exception permit includes, but is not limited to, the following:

A change in conditions affecting the public health, safety and welfare since the adoption of the special exception permit.

Repeated violations, including any conditions attached to the previously granted permit, by the owner/operator of the use.

Fraudulent, false or misleading information, or an error or mistake in fact supplied by the applicant, or his or her agent, during the special exception permit process.

The commission reviewed 10 special exception requests in 2020 and all but one was recommended for approval, according to panel’s annual report on planning and zoning-related activities. The one permit the commission recommended for denial last year was a county-initiated request for a solid waste convenience center that drew protests from more than a dozen residents on Riverview Road, which led the county to withdraw the application.


Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Breaking News

News Alert