The Town’s Unified Development Ordinance (PDF) is the legal document establishing the division of the Town into districts that cover a wide spectrum of use densities and intensity. Bluffton currently has thirteen zoning districts, including both traditional and Form-Based Code Transect zones, which include standards and permitted uses within each district.

My Zoning

Bluffton Explorer can help you find your current zoning district. To do so, complete the following steps:

  1. Type the address of interest into the search box at the top right and select the red magnifying glass.
  2. The map will zoom to your desired location.
  3. Select the property to display more information about the parcel. This information includes whether or not you are inside the Town of Bluffton jurisdiction or unincorporated Beaufort County.

Zoning Permits

Tree Removal Permits

The Town of Bluffton intends to provide procedures and standards for the review of Tree Removal to consider the following objectives:

  • Minimize disturbance and structural changes to the vegetative community
  • Prevent damage from erosion, siltation, and disease / manage Stormwater runoff to limit loss of animal habitat and vegetative cover, all of which, in the aggregate result in the destruction of the woodland character
  • Protect the Town of Bluffton’s tree canopy, historic trees, and significant individual trees
  • Protect woodlands as important natural resources that provide natural beauty, preserve animal habitat, protect the groundwater recharge areas and maintain plant and tree diversity, as well as protect threatened, endangered, and imperiled species
  • Provide economic support to local property values and preservation of historic character of the Town of Bluffton

Download the Tree Removal Permit (PDF).

Sign Permit

The review of Sign Permit Applications shall consider the following objectives:

  • Encourage a high degree of design quality in the context of the overall image and visual environment of the town of Bluffton, as well as encourage designs that are in aesthetic harmony with their location on buildings and surrounding area
  • Promote the efficient transfer of general public and commercial information by improving the legibility and effectiveness of signs through the control of their:
    • Appearance
    • Illumination
    • Location
    • Number
    • Size
  • Promote the public welfare and property values by preserving the city qualities of the natural environment in Bluffton vernacular architecture and reducing visual clutter;
  • Protect pedestrians, motorists, and property by ensuring that signs do not create hazards due to:
    • Collapse
    • Collision
    • Decay
    • Distractions
    • Fire
  • Stimulate the economic vitality of the Town of Bluffton and encourage a business atmosphere that continues to attract new enterprises to the Town of Bluffton

Download the Sign Permit Application (PDF).

Difference in Review Criteria

Please note that the review criteria differ between zoning districts and Planned Unit Development. Signs in the Historic Districts require a Site Feature Permit; all other signs require a Sign Permit.