A variance is a request for an exception to an Ordinance standard. Applicants for a Variance must show that the strict enforcement of the official controls would cause unnecessary hardship or practical difficulty. Variances are exceptional in nature, and no property or request is identical. A variance decision for one property does not establish a precedent for another circumstance or property, similar or not. The Board of Adjustment makes all variance decisions on a case-by-case basis.
WHEN IS A VARIANCE NECESSARY?
There may be special circumstances that make it difficult for a project to meet all of the Zoning Ordinance requirements. In those instances, a project applicant may request that the Board of Adjustment grant a Variance from the Ordinance provisions. Under the Ordinance, the Board of Adjustment has the authority to grant only those variances that are consistent with the general purpose and the intent of the Ordinance. Variances are limited to those situations where the particular physical characteristics of a site make it difficult to develop under standard regulations. A variance is granted in order to bring the disadvantaged property up to the level of use enjoyed by nearby properties in the same zone.