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If you are making alterations to your property that don’t fit the zoning ordinances, you probably need a conditional use permit. In this post, we’ll explain why commercial use permits are needed and why you need a site plan to obtain a CUP.

What Is commercial use permits?

Local governments designate land for specific purposes, “zoning” it into one of several different categories – typically residential or commercial. If you have a need to make a property alteration that does not fit with your current zoning category, you will need to apply for a conditional use permit to have permission to make that alteration.


Because your local government must approve your alteration before you get started. A conditional use permit makes this possible.

But before you can even approach the zoning committee with a conditional use permit, you need a site plan.

Why Do I Need a Site Plan with Commercial use permit?

Your conditional use permit application requires a site plan to show that your proposed changes make sense for the property in question.

How does a site plan do this?

It shows a bird’s eye view of your property, its structures, and its topography. It also includes other important information in conjunction with the conditional use permit, including the following:

  • Adjacent properties
  • Scenic, historical, or cultural details of the area
  • Transportation systems
  • It’s essential that your conditional use permit shows that any alterations or additions you make will not have a negative impact on the existing systems, features, or structures.

In short, the local government needs a clear picture of the overall plan to be able to approve your commercial use permits, and a site plan helps provide them with this.

How Do I Get a Site Plan?

You may already have a site plan in your possession. Locate your files from when you closed on your home. The site plan should already be in those files. If not, check with your mortgage lender or title insurance provider. They should also be able to provide you with a copy.

Another quick way to get a site plan is to go to your county government offices and request a copy. They may be able to provide you with a hard copy or a digital file for a small fee.

You can also contact your home builder and request a copy. They may have a site plan of your property in their files if it hasn’t been too long since your home was built.

If you need a site plan quickly, though, one of the best options is to place an online order with Suncoast Permits. The service uses satellite images and county maps to create an accurate site plan for you.

How fast are we? Contact us today to get your building permit in the shortest time!