A Special Exception or Minor Special Exception application is a request to permit certain uses not allowed "by-right". These uses may not be permitted "by-right" because of the potential for adverse impacts upon adjacent properties and the health, safety or welfare of the community due to their nature, design or location. Special Exception applications are initially reviewed by staff, with a recommendation to the Town Council made by the Planning Commission; however, the Minor Special Exception process does not require review by the Planning Commission prior to the Town Council public hearing. The Town Council has discretionary power to approve or deny any application.
Please refer to the Special Exception Application Procedural Manual for more detail regarding the review process for special exception applications. The manual is currently being updated to include information regarding the Minor Special Exception process and a revised version will be posed once completed. Additional information may be found in our frequently asked questions or by contacting the Department of Planning & Zoning at 703-771-2765.