Deep Creek Board of Zoning Appeals

Upon review of your project it may be determined that you are in need of either a Variance or a Special Exception. Both these actions are appeals to the Deep Creek Board of Zoning Appeals, a quasi-judicial Board whose job it is to decide on applications by landowners to permit buildings or uses that vary from the zoning regulations.

A Variance is a request to vary or adapt the strict application of any requirements of the Deep Creek Watershed Zoning Ordinance in the case of exceptionally irregular, narrow, shallow or steep lots, or other exceptional physical conditions whereby such strict applications would result in practical difficulty and unnecessary hardship depriving the owner of the reasonable use of land or building involved. NOTE: The applicant must prove to the Board that a true hardship exists and the hardship cannot be self-created or based on a desire for greater profit. The power to authorize a variance shall be sparingly exercised.

A Special Exception is required for any use listed in the Table of Use Regulations as allowable only if allowed following a Special Exception hearing. The Board of Appeals may grant zoning approval following a public hearing and findings of fact consistent with the provisions of the Ordinance, and provided the use complies with conditions and standards in the Ordinance and any additional conditions the Board sees fit to require.

The Board also entertains requests for an Interpretation where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the Department of Planning & Land Management pursuant to Section 157.164. Appeals concerning an interpretation shall exactly set forth the interpretation that is claimed by the applicant to be the more correct interpretation.

To file for an appeal applicants must submit the following application to the department:  Document Appeal Application (21.25 KB)

The fee for a Special Exception, Variance or Interpretive Hearing is $250. The fee covers administrative costs and is non-refundable. An additional fee of $250 will be charged for each application or if a hearing is continued.

Appeals for a variance must include a statement containing any relevant supporting arguments regarding the requirements listed in Section 157.165 of the Zoning Ordinance. Applications for special exceptions must include a statement with any supporting data describing the merits of the proposed use at the proposed location and showing the proposal complies with the general and specific requirements of the Zoning Ordinance. 

Meeting Dates & Application Deadlines

The Board of Zoning Appeals generally meets on the third Thursday of every month. Meetings are live streamed to

Meeting DateApplication Deadline
November 16, 2023October 19, 2023
December 21, 2023November 16, 2023

Members of the Board

The Board consists of five (5) members appointed by the County Commissioners. The term of office for each member is three (3) years. Current members of the Board of Zoning Appeals are:

  • Bruce Swift (Chairman)
  • William Ingram (Vice Chairman)
  • Steven Gnegy
  • Bob Hoffmann
  • Michael Beard
  • Russell T. Sines (alternate)

Public Meeting Archive