Lesson 1 – What Is A Conditional Use And How Does It Differ From A Permitted Use?

A permitted use, also referred to as a use by right, principal or primary use, is a land use that is permitted within a particular zoning district – not subject to any special review or approval by local government, so long as established standards and requirements outlined in the land use ordinance / zoning ordinance are met.

§10-9a-103 of Utah State Code defines conditional use as a land use that, because of the unique characteristics or potential impact of the land use on the municipality, surrounding neighbors, or adjacent land uses, may not be compatible in some areas or may be compatible only if certain conditions are required that mitigate or eliminate the detrimental impacts.

According to the Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman, most land uses impact the public’s health, safety, or welfare in some way.  The detrimental effects identified for a conditional use should be related to the negative impacts on legitimate governmental interests, or on the public welfare.

§10-9a-507 requires a legislative body to classify any use that a land use regulation allows in a zoning district as either a permitted or conditional use.