Variances allow property owners to request modifications to the requirements of the zoning ordinance where an unfair hardship is created or where the application of the ordinance creates an unintended result.
The Board of Zoning Appeals uses five criteria when reviewing variance requests, including uniqueness of the property, the impact of the request on adjacent property owners, the hardship caused by the requirement and the intent of the requirement.
As part of the consideration of a request, a public hearing is required. Applicants are required to notify surrounding property owners by certified mail of their variance request. They also are encouraged to provide diagrams and photos in support of the request.
Modifications to ordinance requirements for properties zoned to a planned district are called deviations. The Planning Commission is responsible for considering these requests. Deviations usually are considered as part of a development plan application. The commission reviews deviation requests using the same criteria as the Board of Zoning Appeals.