Zoning Criteria and Definitions


Below are 8 administrative policies that the county uses when deciding whether to allow or deny a rezoning request.  Citizens are advised to read them carefuly and consider their relevancy to the particular property and surroundings.  It would be most beneficial to reference these policies when presenting supporting data either for or against a proposed zoning action.



Administrative Policies in the Future Land Use Element establish the expertise of staff with regard to zoning and land use issues and set forth criteria when considering a rezoning action or request for Conditional Use Permit, as follows:


“Administrative Policy 1

The Brevard County zoning official, planners and the director of the planning and zoning staff, however designated, are recognized as expert witnesses for the purposes of Comprehensive Plan amendments as well as zoning, conditional use, special exception and variance applications.


Administrative Policy 2

Upon Board request, members of the Brevard County planning and zoning shall be required to present written analysis and a recommendation, which shall constitute an expert opinion, on all applications for zoning, conditional uses, comprehensive plan appeals, vested rights or other applications for development approval that come before the Board of County Commissioners for quasi-judicial reveiw and action.  The Board may table an item if additional time is required to obtain the analysis requested or to hire an expert witness if the Board deems such action appropriate.  Staff imput may include the following:



  1. A.Staff shall analyze an application for consistency or

compliance with comprehensive plan policies, zoning

approval criteria and other applicable standards.


  1. Staff shall conduct site visits of property which are the

subject of analysis and recommendation.  As part of the site

visit, the staff shall take a videotape or photographs where

helpful to the analysis and conduct an inventory of

surrounding existing uses.  Aerial photographs shall also be

used where they would aid in an understnading of the issues

of the case.


  1. In cases where staff analysis is required, both the applicant

and the staff shall present proposed findings of fact for

consideration by the Board.


  1. For re-zoning applications where a specific use has not been

proposed, the worst case adverse impacts of potential uses

available under the application land use classification shall be

evaluated by the staff.

Administrative Policy 3

Compatibility with existing or proposed land uses shall be a factor in determining where a rezoning or any application involving a specific proposed use is being considered.  Compatibility shall be evaluated by considering the following factors, at a minimum:


  1. Whether the proposed use(s) would have hours of operation, lighting, odor, noise levels, traffic, or site activity that would significantly diminish the enjoyment of, safety or quality of life in existing neighborhoods within the area which could foreseeably be affected by the proposed use;
  2. Whether the proposed use(s) would cause a material reduction (five per cent or more) in the value of existing abutting lands or approved development.
  3. Whether the proposed use(s) is/are consistent with an emerging or existing pattern of surrounding development as determined through an analysis of:


  1. historical land use patterns;


  1. actual development over the immediately preceding three years; and


  1. development approved within the past three years but not yet constructed.
  2. Whether the proposed use(s) would result in a material violation of relevant policies in any elements of the Comprehensive Plan.

Administrative Policy 4

Character of a neighborhood or area shall be a factor for consideration whenever a rezoning or any application involving a specific proposed use is reviewed.  The character of the area must not be materially or adversely affected by the proposed rezoning or land use application. In evaluating the character of an area, the following factors shall be considered:


  1. The proposed use must not materially and adversely impact an established residential neighborhood by introducing types or intensity of traffic (including but not limited to volume, time of day of traffic activity, type of vehicles, etc.), parking, trip generation, commercial activity or industrial activity that is not already present within the identified boundaries of the neighborhood.
  2. In determining whether an established residential neighborhood exists, the following factors must be present:
  3. The area must have clearly established boundaries, such as roads, open spaces, rivers, lakes, lagoons, or similar features.
  4. Sporadic or occasional neighborhood commercial uses shall not preclude the existence of an existing residential neighborhood, particularly if the commercial use is non-conforming or pre-dates the surrounding residential use.
  5. An area shall be presumed not to be primarily residential but shall be deemed transitional where multiple commercial, industrial or other non-residential uses have been applied for and approved during the previous five (5) years.

Administrative Policy 5

In addition to the factors specified in Administrative Policies 2, 3, and 4, in reviewing a rezoning, conditional use permit or other application for development approval, the impact of the proposed use or uses on transportation facilities either serving the site or impacted by the use(s) shall be considered.  In evaluating whether substantial and adverse transportation impacts are likely to result if an application is approved, the staff shall consider the following criteria:


  1. Whether adopted levels of service will be compromised;
  2. Whether the physical quality of the existing road system that will serve the proposed use(s) is sufficient to support the use(s) without significant deterioration;
  3. Whether the surrounding existing road system is of sufficient width and construction quality to serve the proposed use(s) without the need for substantial public improvements;
  4. Whether the surrounding existing road system is of such width and construction quality that the proposed use(s) would realistically pose a potential for material danger to public safety in the surrounding area;
  5. Whether the proposed use(s) would be likely to result in such a material and adverse change in traffic capacity of a road or roads in the surrounding area such that either design capacities would be significantly exceeded or a de facto change in functional classification would result;
  6. Whether the proposed use(s) would cause such material and adverse changes in the types of traffic that would be generated on the surrounding road system, that physical deterioration of the surrounding road system would be likely;
  7. Whether projected traffic impacts of the proposed use(s) would materially and adversely impact the safety or welfare of residents in existing residential neighborhoods.

Administrative Policy 6

The use(s) proposed under the rezoning, conditional use or other application for development approval must be consistent with (a) all written land development policies set forth in these administrative policies; and (b) the future land use element, coastal management element, conservation element, potable water element, sanitary sewer element, solid waste management element, capital improvements element, recreation and open space element, surface water element and transportation elements of the comprehensive plan.

Administrative Policy 7

Proposed use(s) shall not cause or substantially aggravate any  (a) substantial drainage problem on surrounding properties; or  (b) significant, adverse and unmitigatable impact on significant natural wetlands, water bodies or habitat for listed species.

Administrative Policy 8

These policies, the staff analysis based upon these policies and the applicant’s written analysis, if any, shall be incorporated into the record of every quasi-judicial review application for development approval presented to the Board including rezoning, conditional use permits and vested rights determinations.”


*Section 62-1151 (c) of the Code of Ordinances of Brevard County directs ….. “The planning and zoning board shall recommend to the board of county commissioners the denial or approval of each application for amendment to the official zoning maps based upon a consideration of the following factors:


(1)        The character of the land use of the property

surrounding the property being considered.


(2)        The change in conditions of the land use of the property being considered and the surrounding property since the establishment of the current applicable zoning classification, special use or conditional use.


(3)        The impact of the proposed zoning classification or conditional use on available and projected traffic patterns, water and sewer systems, other public facilities and utilities and the established character of the surrounding property.


(4)        The compatibility of the proposed zoning classification or conditional use with existing land use plans for the affected area.


(5)        The appropriateness of the proposed zoning classification or conditional use based upon a consideration of the applicable provisions and conditions contained in this article and other applicable laws, ordinances and regulations relating to zoning and land use regulations and based upon a consideration of the public health, safety and welfare.


The minutes of the planning and zoning board shall specify the reasons for the recommendation of approval or denial of each application.”



REF:  1988 Brevard County Comprehensive Plan, Chapter XI. Future Land Use Element, Administrative Policies, pp. ii. – iv.



Zoning Definitions/Development Classifications:

This table contains general information for the most common residential and business zoning classifications in the North Merritt Island area.  For a more detailed description, go to www.brevardcounty.us/zoning then select “Zoning” followed by “Zoning Code.”  Use the references provided in the last column of this table to navigate to a particular classification.




(acreage per unit)


(width x depth)



AU Agricultural


2.5 150 ft. x 150 ft. 25 ft. from Front

20 ft. from Rear

10 ft. from Sides

RR-1 Rural


≥ 1.0 125 ft. x 125 ft. 25 ft. from Front

20 ft. from Rear

10 ft. from Sides

SEU Suburban Estate


≥ 1.0 125 ft. x 200 ft. 25 ft. from Front

20 ft. from Rear

15 ft. from Sides

SR Suburban


≥ 0.5 100 ft. x 150 ft. 25 ft. from Front

20 ft. from Rear

10 ft. from Sides

EU, EU-1, EU-2 Estate Use 0.34, 0.28, 0.21 100 ft. x 100 ft.

100 ft. x 100 ft.

90 ft. x 100 ft.

25 ft. from Front

20 ft. from Rear

10 ft. from Sides

BU-1 General Retail N/A N/A 25 ft. from Front

15 ft. from Rear

5-15 ft. from Sides

BU-2 Retail, warehousing & wholesale N/A N/A 25 ft. from Front

15 ft. from Rear

5-15 ft. from Sides