Zoning is a commonly used land use management tool in planning. Traditionally, zoning is the process by which a community is divided into districts or "zones." It separates incompatible land uses and limits industrial, commercial, and residential development to specific "zones". Each "zone" has a different set of uses, densities, dimensional requirements, and other development standards. Zoning helps protect public and private interests, preserve critical areas, promote orderly growth, and encourage development at a rate and manner that reflects the community's desires and vision.

A rezoning is required when a property owner proposes to use his/her land for purposes other than what is allowed by the zoning classification. Rezoning requests are submitted to the Planning Department and reviewed for recommendation by the Planning Staff. The Planning Staff then forwards the rezoning request to the Brunswick County Planning Board for a final determination. This determination can be appealed to the County Manager, in written form, within 15 days of Planning Board approval, which will be heard by the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners.

All rezonings must be consistent with the Brunswick County CAMA Land Use Plan Map or a change to the Land Use Plan Map must be done. If an applicant can demonstrate a change in the community that justifies a departure from the adopted Land Use Plan then the map can be changed. For more information, download a rezoning brochure and a rezoning application.

For the outline of rezoning deadlines and meetings refer to the rezoning deadline schedule.

For A Rezoning

  1. Schedule a Pre-Project Planning Session with a Planning Staff Member. Bring the address of the property, the owner's name, the tax parcel ID number for the property (available from the tax office on the tax statement or deed), and desired land use.
  2. Submit a formal rezoning application to the Planning Department. If the request is not consistent with the Brunswick County CAMA Land Use Plan then the Land Use Plan must be changed. An applicant must justify the change by demonstrating a change in the conditions of the community by filling out the Land Use Plan Consistency section on the rezoning application. For more information on fees refer to the Planning Department's Fee Schedule.
  3. Staff will review the application, prepare a staff report and recommendation, and schedule a public hearing at a Planning Board meeting. Staff will present the application, the applicant or property owner will explain the plans, and area property owners or other interested parties will be allowed to speak. Following the Planning Board decision, the Planning Board Chair or Zoning Administrator shall announce that any person with standing may appeal the decision of the Planning Board by providing written notice to the County Manager within 15 days of the decision.
  4. If appealed, the Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing and hear it de novo. The Commissioners will either approve the rezoning as submitted, approve with changes/conditions, deny the rezoning, send it back to Planning Director/Planning Board for additional information, or table the rezoning to a later meeting.

If a rezoning request is not approved, the Board of Commissioners must wait one year to act on another request on the same parcel of land unless there has been a substantial change as outlined in Section 3.8.12 of the Brunswick County Unified Development Ordinance.