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City of Bristol
300 Lee Street
Bristol, VA 24201

Ph: (276) 645-7300

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Special Exceptions
Requesting a Special Exception
Sometimes a rezoning is not appropriate for a piece of property but the property owner would like to conduct a use not specifically permitted within the zoning designation. In these cases, a property owner may request a special exception. The following is required to request a special exception:
  • Complete a Special Exception Application
  • Pay a review fee
  • Have a site plan prepared by an architect, engineer, or surveyor licensed to do business in the Commonwealth of Virginia

Special exception requests must be considered by the Planning Commission and approved by the City Council. Unlike rezonings, special exceptions do not require two readings and there is not a 30-day wait after council's consideration.

Special Exception Requests

All special exception applications and their associated site plans must be received at least 10 days prior to the Planning Commission meeting.

Applicable Fees

A $100.00 review fee is required at the time the application is made. Code requires requests be advertised twice prior to a public hearing. It is the City's policy to place such advertisements in the Bristol Herald Courier. The Community Development and Planning Office will prepare the advertisement. It is the applicant's responsibility to take the advertisement to the Herald Courier and pay for the ad prior to publication. If the advertisement is not placed in the Herald Courier on the dates specified on the ad, the public hearing may be cancelled.

Additionally, code requires that written notifications are sent to adjoining property owners. These notifications will be written and mailed by Community Development and Planning staff. However, the petitioner must (according to code) pay for the mailing.

For More Information

If you have any questions, please call the Community Development and Planning Office at (276) 645-7470 and staff will be glad to assist you.