Conditional Use Permits

The City of St. Clair's Zoning Ordinance - Appendix A. - Zoning identifies certain land uses which do not precisely fit into existing zones, but may be allowed upon approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in accordance to Article XIV. - Conditional Use Regulations. A Conditional Use Permit allows the City to consider uses which may be essential or desirable, but which are not allowed as a matter of right within a zoning district, through a public hearing process. 

A Conditional Use Permit can provide flexibility within a zoning ordinance. Another traditional purpose of the Conditional Use Permit is to enable a municipality to control certain uses which could have detrimental effects on the community. Permitting a particular use, subject to certain conditional of approval, may help to make that use more compatible with the neighborhood.

The zoning ordinance specifies those uses for which a Conditional Use Permit may be requested, which zones they may be requested in, and the public hearing procedure. These might include community facilities (such as churches, hospitals or schools), public buildings or grounds (such as fire stations or parks), temporary or hard-to-classify uses, or land uses with potentially significant environmental or other negative impacts (such as hazardous chemicals, excessive noise, extended hours of operation, or certain types of development in a floodplain).

A CUP is not a zoning change, but rather a project-specific change in the uses allowed on a specific property. Conditional use permits do not involve the establishment of new codes, regulations, or policies. Instead, a conditional use permit applies the provision of the zoning ordinance and its standards to the specific circumstances which characterize a proposed land use. If a CUP is approved, it will usually require certain "conditions of approval" be adhered to by the applicant. Alternatively, it may deny uses which do not meet local standards or cannot be made compatible with the surrounding neighborhood pending certain conditions of approval. 

In order to grant a conditional use, the Planning Commission and Board of Aldermen must find, based upon evidence, both factual and supportive that certain criteria has been met:

  1. The compatibility of the proposal, in terms of both use and appearance, with the surrounding neighborhood.
  2. Whether the proposed use will be injurious to the use and enjoyment of other property in the immediate vicinity for purposes already permitted nor substantially diminish and impair property values in the area.
  3. The establishment of the conditional use will not impede the normal and orderly development and improvement of surrounding property values in the area.
  4. The conditional use shall, in all other respects, conform to these regulations and all of the provisions contained therein, including, but not limited to, any specific regulations or conditions relating to the proposed conditional use and the applicable regulations of the zoning district in which it is located.
  5. The comparative size, floor area and mass of the proposed structure in relationship to adjacent structures and buildings in the surrounding properties and neighborhood.
  6. The frequency and duration of various indoor and outdoor activities and special events, and the impact of these activities on the surrounding area.
  7. The capacity of adjacent streets to handle increased traffic in terms of traffic volume, including hourly and daily levels.
  8. The added noise level created by activities associated with the proposed use.
  9. The requirements for public services where the demands of the proposed use are in excess of the individual demands of adjacent land uses, in terms of police and fire protection, and the presence of any potential or real fire hazards created by the proposed use.
  10. Whether the general appearance of the neighborhood will be adversely affected by the location of the proposed use on the parcel.
  11. The impact of night lighting in terms of intensity, duration and frequency of use, as it impacts adjacent properties and in terms of presence in the neighborhood.
  12. The impact of landscaping on the proposed use, in terms of maintained landscaped areas versus areas to remain in a natural state, as well as the openness of landscape versus the use of buffers and screens.
  13. The impact of a significant amount of hard-surfaced areas for buildings, sidewalks, drives, parking areas and service areas, in terms of noise transfer, water runoff and heat generation. 
If you want to propose a use that is only allowed through a conditional use permit, you must prove that your proposal is a suitable use for the site you have selected, it will not generate excessive traffic on the local transportation system, and will not cause undue negative impacts on nearby properties, either real or imagined, you should be prepared to offer a mitigation strategy. You should be prepared to propose a development that is generally complimentary to the surrounding area and a project that is modest, blends in and is in character with the existing neighborhood.

You bear the burden of proof to show that these conditions exist, and that approval of a conditional use is justified!

Conditional Use Permit Application

For questions or concerns regarding Conditional Use Permits, please contact the City Code Official: Mike Bursey by email: or by phone at: 636-629-0333 ext. 200.

ST. CLAIR, MO 63077
Ph: 636-629-0333
Fax: 636-629-6467