Zoning Board of Appeals


The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBOA) is a five-member board appointed by the City Council. The board has the following powers and duties:

  • To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in a decision or requirement made by an administrative official in the enforcement of the Beaufort Code
  • To permit uses by special exception subject to the terms set forth in the Beaufort Code
  • To hear and decide requests for variances from the requirements of Chapter 4 of the Beaufort Code, Floodplain Regulations
  • To hear and decide requests for variances from the requirements of the Beaufort Code when strict application of the provisions of the ordinance would result in unnecessary hardship.

Granting variances

A variance may be granted by the ZBOA only when the board makes and explains in writing all of the following findings:

  • Comprehensive Plan: Granting of the variance would not substantially conflict with the Comprehensive Plan and the purposes of the Beaufort Code.
  • Conditions: The conditions are not the result of the applicant’s own actions.
  • Extraordinary and exceptional conditions: There are extraordinary and exceptional conditions pertaining to the particular piece of property. For example, the variance is justified because of topographic or other special conditions unique to the property and development involved, in contradistinction to mere inconvenience or financial disadvantage.
  • Other property: These conditions do not generally apply to other property in the vicinity.
  • Substantial detriment: The authorization of the variance would not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property or the public good, and the character of the district would not be harmed by granting of the variance.
  • Utilization: Because of these conditions, the application of the ordinance to the particular piece of property would effectively prohibit or unreasonably restrict the utilization of the property.

The fact that property may be utilized more profitably should a variance be granted may not be considered grounds for a variance.

Not granting a variance

The board may not grant a variance the effect of which would be to:

  • Allow the establishment of a use not otherwise permitted in the applicable zoning district
  • Change the zoning district boundaries shown on the official zoning map
  • Extend physically a nonconforming use of land
  • Increase the density of a use above that permitted by the applicable district.

Section 3.15 of the UDO describes the variance process in more detail. Section 3.16 describes the process for obtaining a Special Exception. Section 3.17 describes the administrative appeals process.

Agendas & minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.

Most recent agendas and minutes


  • 5:30 p.m.
  • 4th Monday of the month
  • City Hall (Council Chambers)
    1911 Boundary Street
    Beaufort, South Carolina 29902


  • Josh Gibson, Chairman
  • Kevin Blank
  • Kenneth Hoffman
  • Marc Sviland
  • Tim Wood

Rev. 01-12-21 2021 Meeting dates

NOTE:  Deadlines for applications due by noon and a minimum of 4 weeks in advance. Scheduled dates for review of applications are dependent on the number of applications received.   

Meeting Schedule

Monday, January 25, 2021
Monday, February 22, 2021
Monday, March 22, 2021
Monday, April 26, 2021
Wednesday, May 24, 2021
Monday, June 28, 2021
Monday, July 26, 2021
Monday, August 23, 2021
Monday, September 27, 2021
Monday, October 25, 2021
Monday, November 22, 2021
Wednesday, December 22, 2021


  1. All proposed projects must be submitted to the Department of Community & Economic Development at:
    City Hall
    1911 Boundary Street
        Beaufort, South Carolina 29902
  2. Documents must be to scale, collated and bound by folding/stapling each set
  3. Important: A project will not be reviewed if the applicant or representative is not present at the meeting
  4. All documents must be submitted in a complete digital package by the deadline date. 
  5. The applicant fee includes the advertising and administration fees

Forms & applications

View the various Zoning Board of Appeals forms and applications: