Zoning Business License

A Zoning Business License is issued by the Zoning Administrator and authorizes a lot and/or structure to be used for commercial purposes (including home occupations), whether temporarily, seasonal, or permanently, in a manner permitted by the Zoning Ordinance, as detailed in Section 15-1 of the Zoning Ordinance. Zoning Business Licenses are reviewed through an administrative process for any establishment of a commercial use or change in commercial use for a building, structure, or parcel, including the relocation of an existing commercial use. For some commercial uses, establishment may also require approval from the Board of Supervisors (BOS) through a Rezoning or Conditional Use Permit (CUP) or Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) through a Special Exception (SE).

Administrative Review Process

A Zoning Business License application can be submitted to the Department of Planning and Zoning for review by the Zoning Division staff. Zoning Business Licenses applications should include, at a minimum, the application form and the $35 review fee. Applications for home occupations must also meet the requirements of Section 9-9 of the Zoning Ordinance and home occupations with employee and/or customer traffic requires Special Exception approval by the BZA.

Within 30 days of receipt of an application, Zoning Division staff will review the contents of the application and either approve or deny the Zoning Business License application. If an application is determined to be incomplete or insufficient information is provided to perform a full review, staff will notify the applicant of the necessary steps required to enable staff to perform a full review. If the applicant resolves all inadequacies in the application within the 30-day review period, staff will perform the review and either approve or deny the application. If any inadequacies are not resolved within this time frame, staff will deny the Zoning Business License application. If an application is denied and the applicant wishes to submit another application, the applicant shall provide a separate application with all appropriate materials (including the review fee) and staff will review the materials as if it is a new application. Similarly, relocation of an existing commercial use previously permitted shall submit a new application with all appropriate materials (including the review fee).

Establishment of a commercial use permitted by the Department of Planning and Zoning shall begin within 1 year of issuance of a Zoning Business License. Unlike the Commissioner of Revenue’s Business Licenses, once a commercial use is established, a Zoning Business license does not need to be renewed annually. However, if a commercial use is discontinued for over 2 years, a new Zoning Business License will need to be permitted through the Department of Planning and Zoning.

Forms for the Zoning Business License application can be found on the department’s Forms and Policies page.