Zoning Codes are adopted through land use/zoning ordinances. These are laws that affect every property owner. They determine what can be done on private and public properties. Zoning ordinances are often written in a style that can be difficult and challenging to a lay person. The city leaders and staff are keenly aware of this complexity and are here to assist you effectively navigate the regulatory process.

Zoning ordinances have seven basic elements:

  1. Land Use - The City of Westminster is divided into residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural areas. Thus land use districts have been established. However, some uses just don't fit into an established district and need to be examined on an individual basis in relation to impact on surroundings and then designed to minimize those impacts. These uses are "special" and require a permit to be built or operated. Hence, a "special use" permit is needed. Because conditions may be placed upon these uses - such as hours of operation or additional landscaping - they are also known as "conditional uses."

  2. Development Standards  - Development standards are the measurable criteria contained in the zoning ordinance that guides the built height, width, and depth of buildings and structures; minimum lot size, area, and dimensions; parking spaces, etc.  It may reasonable to allow the development standard to vary in a particular instance to accommodate properties with an unusual shape or topography. Thus, an application for a variance from the strict application of the ordinance may be sought.

  3. Non-Conformities - Non-conformities occur when a zoning ordinance is adopted after areas are partially developed or other conditions exist prior to a change of use. Regulations are written so as to determine how and when to allow modifications to those uses, buildings, or structures.

  4. Permit Evaluation Criteria - To be consistent and fair in the granting or denial of permits, criteria for evaluating applications was created. This criteria is subjective matters of judgment and intended to assure that decisions are not arbitrary or capricious.

  5. Procedures - As Westminster grows and prospers it is necessary to delegate zoning review and code compliance functions to citizen boards and commissions and city staff. Procedures have been established to standardize the processing of zoning related issues.

  6. Definitions - Early in the history of zoning it was recognized that normal dictionary definitions for many words used in zoning  were not adequate for administering an ordinance. Westminster has defined words and terms used specific to the community.

  7. Zoning Map - An official zoning map is prepared to show the differing zoning districts. This provides a visual tool to quickly identify permitted uses and where different development standards are applied.

A copy of The City of Westminster Zoning Ordinance and Map can be accessed through the following links:

Zoning Ordinance

Zoning Map

Contact Us

100 E Windsor St
Westminster, SC 29693