For questions on setbacks and other related zoning questions, please email zoningpermits@fmbgov.com


Zoning Procedures

 There are several processes for zoning review that may be  required depending on the type such as zoning variances, planned developments, rezone request and other land-use issues.


Request an administrative in of the land development code, not a ZVL, to answer a question where you are uncertain about how the land development code applies to a situation.


A zoning letter is a letter which informs property owners, lenders and prospective buyers of zoning laws related to the particular property based on the municipalities current zoning codes and even includes available history of the site.

A zoning verification letter will provide a general description of the zoning district, references to any applicable zoning and development standards. It can provide information on allowable land uses, zoning,  and history.


If you have a question you would like answered about the general application of specific provisions of the Land Development Code (LDC) or about the application of specific LDC provisions to one or more specific pieces of property, you can apply for an administrative interpretation of the LDC using the administrative action form and the LDC interpretation supplementary form. An administrative interpretation is a written finding that can be appealed to the Town Council.

The speed of this process depends upon the completeness of your application, the availability of staff to complete the reviews and any additional research needed. 


Many decisions can only be made by the Town Council through public hearings. To apply, use the application for Public Hearing form and the appropriate supplemental form, as follows. In general, it is best to speak to Town Community Development Staff to determine which procedure to follow.

The LDC allows some land uses only if granted a special exception, which is a public hearing process that allows the Town Council to weigh the appropriateness of the requested use on a case-by-case basis and attach conditions that may be necessary to mitigate the impacts on the neighborhood.

A variance is a departure from the exact provisions of the LDC or any other Town ordinance that provides setbacks, lot dimensions, building heights, open space or buffering requirements, parking or loading requirements, floor area ratio, design, landscaping, or similar regulations. Variances may be granted by the Town Council through public hearings, but may not involve the actual use of property, procedural requirements, or definitions.

Rezonings are two types, both of which use the application for public hearing and the corresponding supplemental form:

  • 1.  A conventional rezoning changes the zoning for a specific property or group of properties from the present zoning to another of the Town’s standard zoning districts.
  • 2.  A planned development rezoning rezones a specific property under unified control to allow a specific, planned project to be developed. This process can permit a degree of flexibility from the provisions of the LDC for development projects that the Town Council finds to comply with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan under specified conditions. If some planned development submittal requirements seem to be unrelated to your specific proposal, you can request a waiver of submittal requirements to allow you to omit them, but planned development rezoning typically requires considerable detail to be provided regarding a specific development project proposed.

The public hearing process usually takes considerably longer than the administrative action process:

  1. In addition to the review of your application to see that it contains enough information, staff must prepare a written report that becomes available to the public and to elected and appointed officials, summarizing your request and making recommendations. The report explains the application of the regulations to your request and recommends findings that relate the facts to the regulations, to provide a basis for the recommended decision.
  2. All of the public hearings described above, except appeals, must be heard publicly at a meeting of the Local Planning Agency (an appointed board of community members), which makes a recommendation.
  3. After the LPA makes a recommendation, the Town Council holds a public hearing at which it makes a final decision on the request.
  4. Notices of the LPA hearing are published in advance, and the LPA’s recommendation is transmitted to the Town Council afterward. Notices of the Town Council hearing are also published in advance.
  5. LPA and Town Council operating policies call for information to pass from the LPA to Town Council by resolution and by means of the approved minutes of the LPA meeting. The LPA normally meets once per month, and usually has the opportunity to review and approve the minutes of its previous meeting at each regular meeting.
  6. Thus the LPA and Town Council hearings ordinarily add at least three months at the end of the public hearing process after most staff work is done.
  7. Sometimes LPA and Town Council hearings are continued for further consideration at a later date; continuances can lead to much longer delays.