Town of Trappe
      Special Exceptions

A special exception is defined as:
"A use that would not be appropriate generally or without restriction throughout a zoning district but which, if controlled as to number, area, location, or relation to the surrounding land, could be appropriate within the district".
The special exceptions that may be permitted in each district or zone are listed in the Zoning Ordinance. Typical special exceptions include (but are not limited to):
  • Church in a residential zone
  • Nursing home in a residential district
  • Businesses greater than 3000 square feet in a commercial district
  • Commercial swimming pool in a commercial district
  • Sale of motor vehicles in a commercial district
  • (see zoning ordinance for the complete list)

A request for a special exception can only be considered if the requested use is specifically listed in the Zoning Ordinance among the uses permitted by special exception. Before the Board decides any application for a special exception it shall consider the following, where applicable:
  • The most appropriate use of land, buildings, and structures in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan.
  • Ingress and egress to property and proposed structures thereon, with particular reference to automobile and pedestrian safety and convenience, traffic flow and control, and access in case of fire or catastrophe.
  • Utilities, with reference to location, availability, and adequacy.
  • Possible economic, noise, glare, or odor effects of the special exception which might adversely affect adjoining properties or properties generally in the district.
Before requesting a special exception, the applicant should become familiar with the relevant sections of the Trappe Zoning Ordinance and determine if the desired use is eligible for a special exception. The Town Zoning Administrator can help you understand the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance. The Zoning Administrator may be contacted by calling the Town Office(410) 476-3170.