(a) Administrative variance request.
(1) Relief from the strict compliance with the requirements of § 14.452 and those parts of Minnesota Rules part 4626 hereof may be granted in the form of a variance. Variance requests will not be considered from those specifically listed in Minnesota Rules part 4626.1690, subpart A(1) through (4). The variance application must be from the party to whom the requirement applies and must be in writing and submitted to the Health Authority, including, at a minimum, the following information:
(2) The full name, address, daytime and evening telephone numbers of the party requesting a variance;
(3) The address of the licensed premises;
(4) The relationship of the party requesting a variance to the licensed premises;
(5) The specific reasons why the requirements of city code or state rule cannot be met;
(6) A description of alternative measures that will be taken to ensure a comparable degree of protection to the health or the environment if a variance is granted;
(7) The length of time for which the variance is requested;
(8) A statement that the person applying for the variance will comply with the terms of the variance and maintain a copy if granted;
(9) A HACCP plan, if required under part 4626.1730, that includes the information in part 4626.1735 that is relevant to the variance requested; and
(10) Other relevant information the city determines necessary to properly evaluate the request for a variance.
(b) Criteria for variance. The Health Authority may grant a variance request upon making all of the following findings of fact in writing:
(1) The variance was requested in the manner prescribed by this section of city code;
(2) The variance will have no potential adverse effect or impact on public health, safety or the environment;
(3) The alternative measures to be taken, if any, are equivalent to or superior to those prescribed by this city code;
(4) Strict compliance with this section(s) of city code will impose an undue burden on the applicant;
(5) The variance does not vary a statutory standard or preempt federal law or rule;
(6) The variance has only future effect; and
(7) The applicant agrees in writing to comply with all of the terms and conditions of the variance and understands that a violation thereof may invalidate the variance and may result in enforcement actions, and the imposition of penalties, including license suspension or revocation.
(c) Conditional variances. The Health Authority in granting a variance may attach any conditions that are deemed necessary to protect the public health, safety or the environment. It is the duty of the variance applicant to notify the Health Authority in writing within 30 days of any material change in the conditions upon which the variance was granted. Failure to comply with all of the stated conditions of the variance may invalidate the variance and may result in enforcement actions.
(d) Notification of decision. The Health Authority shall notify the applicant for a variance of its decision to grant or deny the variance in writing. If the variance is granted, the notice shall specify the period of time for which the variance remains in effect and the conditions, if any, attached to the variance. If the variance request is denied, reasons for the denial shall be set forth in the notice.
(e) Renewal of variance. For those variances granted with a specific expiration date, a request to renew that variance must be made at least 30 days prior to its expiration date on such forms as provided by the city, which must include at a minimum the information set forth in original request. There is no continuing right to a variance unless specified in the variance approval. The Health Authority in granting a renewal request shall consider all of the criteria set forth in this section.
(f) Denial, revocation or refusal to renew. The Health Authority will deny, revoke or deny renewal of a variance where the criteria set forth in this section is not met. The variance applicant may appeal that decision in writing within 30 days of the date of the written notice of denial, setting forth in detail the basis for the applicant’s position that the variance criteria set forth in this section have been met and attaching all documentation in support thereof. A hearing shall be held within 45 calendar days thereof following the procedures set forth in § 1.17 of this city code.
(g) Emergency recovery. Temporary variances may be granted to licensees to operate during and following natural or human-made disasters for the benefit of the public while maintaining the intent of city, state and federal regulations to protect the public’s health. Temporary variances for emergency recovery may be both initiated by the licensee and approved by the Health Authority verbally.
(Ord. 87, passed 8-20-1956; recodified by Ord. 95-13, passed 8-7-1995; deleted by Ord. 2001-49, passed 11-19-2001; added by Ord. 2007-9, passed 2-26-2007; Ord. 2019-14, passed 2-4-2019)