Board of Zoning Appeals - Site Design (BZA-SD)



May 8, 2020: City officials and staff are taking the following steps to protect public safety in response to the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Updates will be provided as conditions evolve.  Please visit the City of Charleston’s webpage for more information on the City’s response to COVID-19.

BOARD MEETINGS: Board meetings will be conducted via Zoom beginning on June 3rd, 2020.  Click here for the Agenda to the upcoming BZA-SD meeting.  For an image overview of documents submitted for the upcoming BZA-SD agenda, click here.

BOARD SUBMITTALS: Plans for future BZA-SD meeting agendas will be accepted digitally; paper submittals will not be accepted. Applications and plans in PDF format should be submitted directly to the board administrator, Eric Schultz, via email.   Please note, 50MB is the maximum file size that can be received via email; contact staff directly to discuss larger files.

STAFF REVIEW SUBMITTALS:  Simple zoning review requests such as fences, minor modifications, etc. may be sent to and will be distributed to Zoning staff. Please include other applicable applications, site plans, photographs, and valuation of request.  The Permit Center is also conducting modified operations.

OTHER ITEMS: For all other department related inquiries, please continue communicating with staff via email and phone.



Regular Meetings

  • 1st Wednesday of every month
  • 2 George Street
    1st Floor, Public Meeting Room 1403
    Charleston, SC 29401

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings and results are available following the meetings.
View all agendas and results


The Board hears zoning variance and special exception requests and appeals to staff decisions concerning site design regulations such as the protection of trees, landscaping requirements, parking lot design and street design standards.

Zoning variance requests must meet the variance test set by the State of South Carolina. To approve special exceptions, the board must determine whether a specific proposal satisfies conditions set forth in the zoning ordinance.


To apply, submit a completed application (PDF), along with the required information and fee, to the Zoning Division office. Applications are due by Noon on the deadline date. A sign will be posted on the property, and the request will be reviewed at a public hearing conducted by the Board of Zoning Appeals - Site Design, before the board makes its decision.

Motions to Reconsider

An appeal for reconsideration of a decision of the Board must be filed within five (5) business days from the date of the Board’s decision, order, requirement or determination by delivery of the BZA-SD application , BZA-SD appeal form and fee to the Zoning Division office. To grant the appeal for reconsideration, the Board must find that it misapprehended or misconceived the question or questions involved, or that it erred in its finding or disposition of the appeal, application or matter. If such appeal is granted by the Board, the decision shall be withdrawn and the matter heard and considered de novo, as if no hearing, consideration or determination had been previously made or heard. For a use variance, the Mayor or a city councilmember may request an appeal to City Council within 15 days of the decision. Permits cannot be issued until the applicable period in which to file a motion to reconsider or appeal has expired. An appeal to the Board or to City Council stays all further action on the application, including issuance of permits. 


A person who may have a substantial interest in any decision of the Board or an officer or agent of the appropriate governing authority may appeal from a decision of the Board to the circuit court in the county by filing with the clerk of court a petition in writing setting forth plainly, fully, and distinctly why the decision is contrary to law. The appeal must be filed within thirty days after the decision of the Board is mailed. 

 Pre-litigation Mediation

A property owner whose land is the subject of a decision of the board of appeals may alternatively appeal by filing a notice of appeal with the circuit court accompanied by a request for pre-litigation mediation in accordance with state law. Any notice of appeal and request for pre-litigation mediation must be filed within thirty days after the decision of the board is postmarked.

Related Documents