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 Frequently Asked Questions
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Below are frequently asked questions that the Planning & Zoning Division has provided. For more information, call the Planning & Zoning at 352-343-9641.
  1. Where can I find information on Land Development Regulations?
  2. When do I need a Development Application?
  3. Is there a limit on the number of dogs I can have on my property?
  4. Do I need a permit for a driveway apron?
  5. Can I have horses on my property?
  6. What do I need to do to establish a kennel?
  7. How can I obtain a copy of the Lake County Land Use Map?
  8. Can I have a mobile home on my property?
  9. What is required for a pre-owned/replacement mobile home?
  10. I have heard that you do not need a building permit to construct an agriculture building?
  11. What do I need to do if I want to have an open-air gathering (temporary event)?
  12. Can I do an open air vendor stand in Lake County?
  13. What is a Variance?
  14. What is my zoning?
  15. How do I use the Lake County GIS Web site to find out the zoning of a property?
  16. How do I get a Zoning permit?
  17. Do I need Zoning Clearance for a shed?
  18. What types of activities do not require a Zoning Clearance for permitting?
  19. What if I Want to Change the Zoning of My Property?
 

Where can I find information on Land Development Regulations?

Lake County Land Development Regulations can be found at Municode.com.


When do I need a Development Application?

When the proposed development involves any of the following, a Development Application will need to be filled out:

  • Planned unit development (PUD)
  • PUD amendment
  • Preliminary plat
  • Master park plan for mobile home and RV parks
  • Commercial of industrial site plan
  • Site plan amendment
  • Mining site plan

When applying for preliminary development plan approval, a Preliminary Plat Submittal Requirements Checklist provides a list of the required information that will need to be submitted with the plans.

Site plan review is required for all commercial, industrial, community facility, vertical utilities (cell towers, etc.) and multi-family residential (apartments, multiple duplex, etc.). A Site Plan Submittal Requirements Checklist provides a list of required information that will need to be submitted when applying for site plan approval.

Two fee checklists are provided depending on the type of development proposed. There is the DRI/PUD/Subdivision/Master Park Plan/Developer’s Agreement Fee Checklist and for all other commercial developments, there is the Site Plan Application Fee Checklist.

According to Lake County Land Development Regualtions Concurrency management shall be relevant to all development located within the area for which Lake County has authority to issue Development Orders and Permits. A Concurrency Application will be required for all development approval requests unless found to be exempt.


Is there a limit on the number of dogs I can have on my property?

Yes, Lake County has limitations for both dogs and cats based on the size of the property. A property owner may have up to four dogs/cats on property less than five acres in size. A property owner can have up to nine dogs/cats on parcels more than five acres but less than 20 acres. On parcels more than 20 acres in size, the property owner can have up to 19 dogs/cats on your property. Any number over these limits will require a rezoning for a kennel/cattery.


Do I need a permit for a driveway apron?

Yes, a driveway permit for the apron is required for properties located on County-maintained roads. The cost for residential is $25. The cost for commercial is $60. The minimum setback (residential) from a side property line is 4 feet. You will need to go to the Zoning Division to be sure your driveway meets the required set backs; and then to the Building Services Division for the driveway apron permit..


Can I have horses on my property?

Horses and other farm animals are permitted in the “A” Agricultural, “AR” Agricultural Residential, “RA” Ranchette District and “R-1” Rural Residential zoning districts. Setbacks for barns intended for livestock are 200 feet from the property line and centered on the lot as closely as possible.


What do I need to do to establish a kennel?

A property owner must have either agriculture or commercial zoning and have sufficient acreage (five plus acres) for 200-foot setbacks in all directions. In agriculture zoning, the property owner must obtain a Conditional Use Permit. In commercial and agriculture zoning, the property owner will have to go through the Site Plan approval process.


How can I obtain a copy of the Lake County Future Land Use Map?

The proposed and current future land use map can be seen on the Comprehensive Plan 2030 web site.


Can I have a mobile home on my property?

Mobile homes are permitted in residential zoning districts. If there are deed restrictions prohibiting mobile homes on the property, then those restrictions would apply. The following apply to all single-family dwelling units in Lake County including modular and mobile homes.

  • Must have a minimum width of 23 feet 4 inches at the narrowest point, excluding any attached screened room, garages, carports or utility area.
  • The pitch of the main roof shall not be less than one foot of rise for each four feet of horizontal run and a minimal overhang of six inches (including installed gutters).
  • A solid foundation or permanent skirting is required around the perimeter of the unit.
  • Any wheels, tongue or any transportation apparatus must be removed or enclosed.

What is required for a pre-owned/replacement mobile home?

Prior to any move and the set-up permit, the owner will need to obtain a Zoning Clearance and a “Pre-Inspection Permit.” The purpose of the “Pre-Inspection Permit” is to inspect the home to ensure that it is a safe, habitable home. The mobile home has to be located in Lake County.


I have heard that you do not need a building permit to construct an agriculture/farm building?

If it is a currently existing producing farm, the owner will need to fill out a Non-Residential Structure Waiver Packet. The fee is $100 and the owner will need to bring a copy of the recorded deed/tax bill or property record card, parcel ID number, completed site plan and the completed application.

For structures more than 5,000 square feet, a stormwater permit is required from the St. Johns River Water Management District. Non-residential agricultural buildings are not exempt from County codes and/or Land Development Regulations such as zoning, setbacks, site planning, stormwater, driveway and signage requirements.


What do I need to do if I want to have an open-air gathering (temporary event)?

The event may not exceed 30 days and will require approval from the County Manager or designee. The following items are required:

  • A letter from the property owner indicating that sanitary facilities are available to those in attendance at the gathering.
  • A site plan showing the location of the gathering site, parking and site entrance.
  • If a tent is used, it must meet fire approval.

Proceed to the Zoning counter for review.


Can I do an open-air vendor stand in Lake County?

Open air vendors must meet the following requirements:

  • Allowed in commercial districts only.
  • This applies to all open air vendors within the County, with the exception of roadside stands selling produce raised or produced on the farmland of which they are a part and are composed of a minimum structure.
  • The County Manager or designee may approve the sale of merchandise or food by an open-air vendor for a period not to exceed 30 days upon receipt of the following:
  • A valid occupational license.
  • A letter from the owner of the property upon which the vendor proposes to locate giving permission to locate on said property and indicating that sanitary facilities shall be available to vendor customers.
  • A site plan showing the proposed location of the vendor.
  • Open-air vendors shall be located only in areas of commercial zoning.
  • The vendor stall or area shall be placed only in areas where there is sufficient parking to accommodate customers, and shall not be located in an area that will interrupt the normal flow of traffic.
  • All pyrotechnical items sold must be consistent with state laws regulating same, and the State Fire Marshall must license all persons selling pyrotechnical merchandise.
  • The County Fire Marshall must approve the location and sales of proposed sale of pyrotechnical items.
  • Electrical hook-up or fixtures shall meet the County adopted National Electrical Code.

What is a Variance?

Variances shall be granted when a person, subject to the Land Development Regulations (LDR), demonstrates that the purpose of the LDR will be or has been achieved by other means, and when application of a LDR would create a substantial hardship or would violate principles of fairness.

"Substantial hardship" means a demonstrated economic, technological, legal, or other type of hardship to the person requesting the variance. "Principles of fairness" are violated when the literal application of a LDR affects a particular person in a manner significantly different from the way it affects other similarly situated persons who are subject to the LDR.

Variances may also be granted to allow for the reconstruction, rehabilitation or restoration of structures listed on, or classified as contributing to a district listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Florida Master Site File or local surveys of historical resources. In such instance, a variance shall be the minimum necessary to protect the historical integrity of the structure and its site.

The Board of Adjustment (BOA) is authorized to grant variances to requirements of the LDRs. This section does not authorize the BOA to grant variances inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan nor to grant a variance to permit uses not generally permitted in the zoning district involved or any use expressly or by implication prohibited by the terms of the LDRs in the zoning district. In addition, the existence of nonconforming use of neighboring lands or unpermitted use of neighboring lands shall not be considered grounds for authorization of a variance.

To apply for a variance, complete an Variance Application. Use the Variance Application Submittal Guide for detailed instructions. For more information or assistance on the variance process, call 352-343-9641 or email planning@lakecountyfl.gov.



What is my zoning?

The zoning for a specific piece of property should be the first question asked and every day the Lake County Zoning Division answers this question. Do you know what information is needed to ensure that you get the right answer?

Call (352) 343-9641 to obtain the zoning for a piece of property. Please have the alternate key number, parcel ID number and a complete legal description of the property. Zoning Division staff will take the information and call back with the zoning for the property.

By completing a Zoning Conformance Request and attaching a letter with specific questions regarding the property in question, the applicant will receive a written response with the information they requested ($100 fee is required), which may include:

  • Current zoning and land use designation
  • Is the parcel recognized on the zoning maps
  • Is the parcel size consistent with the zoning district
  • Is zoning consistent/not consistent with the Future Land Use Map
  • If the parcel is recognized and the size and land use are consistent the following will be provided:
    • A table of permitted and conditional uses for the specific zoning district only
    • A chart of required setbacks (including wetlands) for the specific zoning district only
    • Minimum square footage for residential structures
    • Minimum lot width
    • A copy of the zoning map with the appropriate parcel highlighted
    • Additional information as requested

All of the above information is important in determining the potential use of a piece of property.

The Lake County zoning maps are based on the legal description of land as recognized by the Department of Growth Management. These maps are not always the same as the maps used by the Lake County Property Appraiser's Office. While different, both maps are correct. The maps used by the Property Appraiser track ownership of land. The zoning maps recognize parcels created through a variety of processes such as lot splits and platting.


How do I use the Lake County GIS Web site to find out the zoning of a property?

Go to the Geographic Information Services (GIS) home.

  1. Click on the County Zoning Map.
  2. Click OK on "This could take several minutes..." prompt.
  3. You will see the map of Lake County come up.
  4. Go to the bottom of the page and click on either Owner name or Alternate Key and put in the appropriate information.
  5. A box will come up on the screen with data on your parcel. Wait a few seconds, then a parcel will show up in yellow with the zoning behind the box. You can either delete the box or move it so you can see the parcel.

For more information, call at (352) 343-9641


How do I get a Zoning permit?

Before beginning any type of construction on a property, an Application for Building Permit must be filled out and approved by Lake County Zoning.

In addition, a copy of the current tax receipt or property record card and a copy of the current recorded warranty deed is needed. A plot plan drawn to scale is required and shall include the following:

  • All property lines.
  • All road rights-of-way with road names labeled, if applicable.
  • All easements.
  • The location of the proposed building or structure that is to be occupied, the location of the proposed accessory building or structure, or the proposed location of the boat dock, including all setbacks.
  • The location of all existing buildings or structures, including proposed additions.
  • The location of all adjacent surface water bodies, wetlands, jurisdictional wetland line or high water line when necessary to establish a setback distance that is not available with the current information possessed by staff.
  • The location of special flood hazard areas showing base flood elevation and lowest adjacent grade to proposed structure.
  • The location of the septic tank, drain field and well.
  • For stormwater drainage, either (i) a signed notation from both the owner and contractor stating that neither existing or permitted drainage systems shall be altered and that construction improvements shall not adversely impact adjoining property or (ii) in the case of alteration or impacts, a professional engineer or landscape architect signature and seal on the plot plan certifying that proposed changes to existing drainage patterns are in conformance with approved subdivision construction plans and the proposed improvements meet all applicable local and state regulations for the management of stormwater runoff. If the lot is not within an approved subdivision construction plan, such as being within a lot split or historical subdivision without approved plans, it shall also state that the proposed drainage or earthwork changes will meet code and do not adversely affect adjacent, upstream or downstream properties.

The applicant must depict the above submittal requirements on the plot plan so that it may be determined whether the development complies with county ordinances and regulations.

Zoning permits expire and become null and void within 30 calendar days from the date of issuance of the permit, unless a completed application for a building permit has been submitted within the 30 calendar days.

Only six (6) applications may be processed at one time

Note: There may be additional requirements for the issuance of a Zoning Permit (see Lot of Record Determination, Lot Line Deviation and Lot Split)


Do I need Zoning Clearance for a shed?

Yes, it must meet all setback and jurisdictional wetland line requirements.


What types of activities do not require a Zoning Clearance for permitting?

The following items do require a building permit:

  • Replacement windows
  • Siding
  • Soffit
  • Fascia
  • Re-roof
  • Upgrade/relocate existing electrical service
  • Mechanical upgrades
  • Window awnings
  • Fire sprinklers
  • Roof-overs (with no more than a 6” overhang)
  • Insulation of a roof
  • Entryway screen-ins under existing/original permitted roofline and floor
  • Fencing (wood or chain link under 6’ high)
  • Changing the lettering on a sign
  • Real estate signs not exceeding six square feet
  • Real estate signs less than 32 square feet in size on 10 acres or more
  • Solar panels
  • Lawn Irrigation

What if I Want to Change the Zoning of My Property?

A meeting should be set with a Planner from the Planing and Community Design Division to discuss the need and applicability of a rezoning for the use and the property. Please call 352/343-9739 to set up a meeting.

An Application for Rezoning will need to be completed. After review and processing by staff, the rezoning request must go before the Planning & Zoning Board and then go before the Board of County Commissioners. In reviewing the application for a rezoning, the Board of County Commissioners and the Planning & Zoning Board shall consider:

  • Whether the rezoning is in conflict with any applicable provisions of the Code
  • Whether the proposed amendment is consistent with all elements of the Lake County Comprehensive Plan
  • Whether and the extent to which the proposed rezoning is inconsistent with existing and proposed land uses
  • Whether there have been changed conditions that require a rezoning
  • Whether and the extent to which the proposed rezoning would result in demands on public facilities, and whether or to the extent to which the proposed rezoning would exceed the capacity of such public facilities, including, but not limited to roads, sewage facilities, water supply, drainage, solid waste, parks and recreation, schools, and emergency medical facilities
  • Whether and the extent to which the rezoning would result in significant adverse impacts on the natural environment
  • Whether and the extent to which the proposed rezoning would adversely affect the property values in the area
  • Whether and the extent to which the proposed rezoning would result in an orderly and logical Development pattern
  • Whether the proposed rezoning would be in conflict with the public interest, and in harmony with the purpose and intent of these regulations
  • Any other matters that may be deemed appropriate by the Planning & Zoning Board or the Board of County Commissioners, in review and consideration of the proposed rezoning

How Long Does it Take:

The Rezoning Process will take approximately 62 days to complete.

The application deadline is the first day of each month. The application will be reviewed by County Staff for the following two months prior to the hearing month.

The hearing month will consist of two meetings. The Planning & Zoning Board Meeting on the first Wednesday of the month and the Board of County Commissioners Meeting which is scheduled for the fourth Tuesday of every month.

If you have any questions concerning the timeline, please call (352) 343-9739.


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