Questions & Answers About Zoning

Cliftondale Community Club Presents

Q & A About Zoning…



A conversation with Harold Reid, Cliftondale Community Club Zoning Chairman, about zoning:



Question: What do the different zoning sign colors signify?


Answer: Having gotten several different explanations of color significance I no longer concern myself with colors. The sign itself is the most important thing as it indicates a requested change.



Question: Which is more important, the location of a zoning sign or it’s color?

Answer: The location is the key issue because it identifies the location of a requested change.



Question: How long does a zoning change stay posted?


Answer: The sign must stay posted until a decision on the change has been reached.



Question: Who can request a zoning change?


Answer: The property owner or their designated proxy.



Question: What are the steps for zoning approval/disapproval?


Answer: Generally speaking, the steps are: Filing, Posting, CZIM, CZB and Board of Commissioners. This applies to re-zoning cases.



Question: Who has the final say in zoning cases?


Answer: Generally speaking, the Board of Commissioners but adverse decisions can be appealed through the judicial system.



Question: What is the difference between CZIM and CZB? Is one more important than the other?


Answer: CZIM (Citizens Zoning Information Meeting) is when proposed zoning changes/modifications are introduced to the public. CZB (Citizens Zoning Board) is the first step in the decision process before a Board of Citizens appointed by the BOC, who make recommendations to the BOC which are non-binding.



Question: Can a County Commission zoning decision be appealed? How?


Answer: Yes, through the Court system. First Superior Court, then State Court.



Question: Are county zoning regulations the same for all counties in Georgia?


Answer: No.



Question: Are there exceptions to zoning regulations?


Answer: Yes, but exceptions are decided on a case by case basis.



Question: Different communities in Fulton County (most importantly Unincorporated South Fulton) have approved overlays and vision plans, how important are these? How resilient are they?


Answer: Visions and overlays are very important because they set the tone and tenor for development in any given area.

I know that the County Commissioners, County Employees and different committees are not to let person opinions enter into decisions relating to zoning cases.  With this in mind can the residents of Fulton County feel assured that decisions in zoning cases are made in the best interest of the residents/voters?

In a word, NO. Citizens must make sure their best interests are being covered in zoning/re-zoning cases.



Question: Please explain the difference between a zoning modification and a zoning variance?


Answer: A modification requests a change to existing conditions of zoning. A variance requests a change to the existing zoning rules governing a zoning classification.


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