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   (a)   Zoning Permit Required. No building or other structure, except as provided for in this Code, shall be erected, constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, moved or structurally altered, nor shall any excavation or site improvements be commenced, until a zoning permit has been applied for and received by the owner of the property involved or a person having an interest in such property and acting under written authority of the owner. Such permit shall be issued by the Zoning Administrator only when the Zoning Administrator finds that the application complies with all applicable requirements and standards of this Code, and if applicable;
      (1)   A site plan as required in this Code has been approved by the Planning Commission according to the procedures set forth in Section 1217.03.
      (2)   A conditional use has been approved by Council based on a recommendation by Planning Commission in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section 1217.04.
      (3)   A request for a variance from a numerical standard has been approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals in accordance with the limitations, procedures and requirements of Section 1217.07.
      (4)   The Planning Commission has made a determination in accordance with the procedures in Section 1217.03(g) that a proposed use is substantially similar to a permitted principal or conditional use in such district.
      (5)   For residential developments subject to site plan review, the recreation impact fee as set forth in Section 1224.03 has been paid and evidence of the same has been submitted in the form of a written receipt from the Director of Finance.
   (b)   Zoning Permit Application.
      (1)   Application forms for zoning permits shall be available in the office of the Zoning Administrator.  All completed applications shall be accompanied by the required fee and all other applicable submission requirements established in this chapter and shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator.
      (2)   Upon receipt of an application, the Zoning Administrator shall, within a reasonable period, review the application and any accompanied proposed plan for completeness. If the requirements have not been satisfied, the application shall be returned to the applicant with the deficiencies noted, and such application shall not be further processed until determined complete by the Zoning Administrator.
      (3)   When the Zoning Administrator determines the application requires site plan review, it shall be processed according to the regulations set forth in Section 1217.03.
      (4)   A reoccupancy of an existing structure when there is no change in the bulk of the structure; or in a previously approved site plan; and no change in the parking required is exempt from the site plan review procedures. In such case the Zoning Administrator may issue a zoning permit.
      (5)   A.   When an underground or otherwise minor alteration is proposed to an existing building, structure or site arrangement (on a zoning lot otherwise subject to site plan review pursuant to Section 1217.03 or conditional use approval pursuant to Section 1217.04), the Zoning Administrator and Planning Commission Secretary may make a preliminary determination that such a proposal is not contrary to the Zoning Code, has been reviewed and approved by the Municipal Utilities Department, and will not result in any material adverse impact to the site or to surrounding areas, and therefore such proposal is not subject to site plan review. Such determination shall primarily apply to small incidental construction on zoning lots and when the proposed construction is substantially distant from the adjacent roadways and property lines.
         B.   When such a decision is made, the Zoning Administrator shall issue a zoning permit and the Planning Commission Secretary shall inform the Planning Commission of the decision at the next regular meeting of the Planning Commission. If the Planning Commission Secretary and Zoning Administrator do not agree with the proposal being a minor alteration, the request shall be subject to a full departmental review and Planning Commission approval per the site plan review requirements of Section 1217.03.
   (c)   Expiration of Zoning Permits. A zoning permit shall become void at the expiration of one year after the date of issuance unless construction is begun. If no construction is begun or use changed within one year of the date of the permit, a new application and permit shall be required. Construction is deemed to have begun when all necessary excavation and piers or footings for one or more principal buildings included in the plan shall have been completed.
(Ord. 48-02.  Passed 2-25-02; Ord. 187-02.  Passed 9-23-02; Ord. 19-03.  Passed 1-27-03; Ord. 16-05.  Passed 2-14-05.)