A Special Exception is “the grant of a specific use that would not be appropriate generally or without restriction, which must be based on a finding that certain conditions governing Special Exceptions as detailed in Article 50-G of the Montgomery County Zoning Ordinance exist, that the use is consistent with the applicable master plan and the petition is compatible with the existing neighborhood.”
Special Exceptions are granted for uses such as gas stations, car washes, group homes, drive-in restaurants, antique shops, veterinary hospitals, charitable and philanthropic institutions as well as other establishments and uses. The Board of Appeals has the authority for granting Special Exceptions. The filing procedures and hearing process can be found at the Board of Appeals.
The Department of Permitting Services inspects the Special Exceptions that have been approved by the Board of Appeals. Special Exception Inspections are performed periodically as designated by the use and on a complaint basis. The Special Exception inspectors verify that the site complies with the Board of Appeals Opinions, Resolutions, terms and conditions, and exhibits of record. The Department of Permitting Services does not inspect Accessory Apartments; the Department of Housing and Community Affairs inspect those cases.
The Board of Appeals charges an application fee to file for a Special Exception. These fees are determined by the Board of Appeals.
The Department of Permitting Services charges an additional annual fee to cover the cost of the inspections. Bills are mailed to all Special Exception holders annually, and the fees are due July 31st. The annual fees include the Department of Permitting Services inspection fee and a Board of Appeals Administrative Fee.
As of July 1, 2008 the total fee for a Special Exception inspection is $319.00. This fee includes an inspection fee of $290.00 and a 10% Automation Enhancement Fee of $29.00.
The total fee for the Board of Appeals Administrative Fee is $103.00. Fees are subject to change with each new fiscal year (July 1).