2 CITY OF RICHMOND | SUP Application | Last Revised September 7, 2018
In instances where it has been determined that underlying zoning regulations cannot be met, a special use permit
may be granted by City Council to provide relief from zoning regulations.
Special use permit applications are reviewed for compliance with the City's Master Plan to ensure the proposal is
compatible with the surrounding area and that it is an appropriate use for the site. Speciﬁ cally, applications are
reviewed to ensure that the City Charter conditions for granting special use permits have been met. The City
Charter requires that prior to City Council approval; it must be shown that the proposed special use will not:
1. be detrimental to the safety, health, morals and general welfare of the community involved;
2. create congestion in streets, roads, alleys and other public ways and places in the area involved;
3. create hazards from ﬁ re, panic or other dangers;
4. tend to cause overcrowding of land and an undue concentration of population;
5. adversely a ect or interfere with public or private schools, parks, playgrounds, water supplies, sewage
disposal, transportation or other public requirements, conveniences and improvements; or
6. interfere with adequate light and air.
Applicants are encouraged to schedule a pre-application conference with the Division of Land Use Administration
sta to review related Master Plan, land use and other issues that may be involved prior to making application.
Please call (804) 646-6304 to schedule an appointment with the sta . Sta will review submitted applications to
ensure all required materials and information are provided. If the application is not acceptable, the required
information must be provided prior to formal sta review.
Applicants should also discuss the proposed special use permit with area civic associations, property owners,
residents, and the area Council Representative prior to submitting an application. Letters from the associations
and property owners stating their position in regards to the request should be submitted with the application.
The Division of Land Use Administration circulates the special use permit application materials to appropriate City
agencies as determined necessary. City agencies reviewing the proposal may include: Public Works, Building
Permits & Inspections, Public Utilities, Water Resources, Zoning Administration, and Fire and Emergency Services.
The Division of Land Use Administration will coordinate responses by City agencies. Written comments will be
provided generally within 30 days of the application submittal date.
After review by these agencies and by the Division of Land Use Administration, the sta will confer with the
applicant regarding suggested conditions to be included in the ordinance and any suggested changes to the plans.
If the property is located in a City Old and Historic District and the request involves exterior alterations, additions
or new construction, the plans should also be reviewed by the Commission of Architectural Review prior to an
ordinance being introduced in City Council. Once the plans are in ﬁ nal form, an ordinance is drafted and the plans
are attached to and are made a part of the ordinance. The sta will forward a copy of the ordinance to the
applicant for review and approval.
The ordinance is then reviewed by the City Attorney’s o ce and the City Administration. Once their review is
complete, the ordinance is introduced to City Council and a public hearing is scheduled, usually thirty days after
introduction. During this thirty-day period, public notice of the hearing is posted on the site and in a daily
newspaper. Notices are also mailed to the owners of all properties within 150 feet of the subject property. One
week prior to the City Council public hearing, the Planning Commission, after receiving a report from the
Department of Planning and Development Review, considers the proposed special use permit and forwards a
recommendation to City Council. The Planning Commission welcomes information submitted prior to the meeting
and may ask questions of proponents and opponents during the course of its deliberation on the ordinance. Six
a rmative votes of City Council are required to adopt a special use ordinance. Please note that there is a fee of
$250 for each continuance caused by the applicant.
If the special use ordinance is adopted by City Council, the applicant has a speciﬁ ed time period in which to apply
for a building permit to implement the special use permit. Building permit plans must be substantially in
accordance with the adopted special use permit plans, otherwise a building permit will not be issued. In general,
the approval process for special use permits takes between 120 to 180 days. However, depending on the
complexity of the proposed special use permit, more or less time may be required. The City Planning Commission
considers approval of special use permits at its regular meetings on the ﬁ rst and third Monday of each month.
Incomplete submissions or major modiﬁ cations to the plan during the review process may cause delays in the
Review & Approval process for
SPECIAL USE PERMIT