Section 1.16.01 provides that, “A variance may be appropriate where, by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness, or shape or by reason of other exceptional topographic conditions or other extraordinary and exceptional situations or conditions on a piece of property, the strict application of any regulation enacted under this Code would result in peculiar, exceptional, and undue hardship on the owner of such property.”
The variance process is not designed to allow a property owner to do whatever he or she wants. It is designed to provide relief when the combination of the Code and the unique character of land prohibits development.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) considers all variance requests at regularly scheduled monthly meetings. The ZBA hears evidence in order to establish compliance with the minimum criteria provided in Section 1.16.03 to approve a variance. The ZBA must find, in summary, the following:
- The deviation would not be counter to the intent of the code and would not harm adjacent properties in any way.
- That the deviation would not allow for a use within the Zoning district that was not previously allowed.
- That circumstances exist unique to the particular lands or structure that is the subject of the request.
- That undue hardship exists with the strict application of the code. Profit margins, desire, or ignorance of code are not considered hardship.
- That the variance is necessary for the use of the land and that it is the minimum deviation required for said use.
- That the deviation will not create harm or otherwise detract from adjacent property rights and/or value.
- That the deviation, if granted, would not create a special privilege denied others in the same zoning district.
Deviations from the Scenic Corridor requirements as provided elsewhere in the Code are reviewed and either approved or denied by the Design Review Board.