Each application for relief shall be considered unique and not set precedent for subsequent requests.
A. Administrative Adjustments.
a. Purpose and Intent. The purpose of this subsection is to provide an efficient relief process to allow for reductions in the minimum yard setbacks within certain conventional single-family residential zoning districts, in order to better facilitate and accommodate minor building additions, home expansions, and site improvements. The intent of this application is not to provide a means of circumventing the minimum yard requirements of respective zoning districts but to allow for reductions that would have negligible impacts upon the subject site and surrounding properties and represent compliance with the general intent of the city's zoning regulations.
(1) Principal Buildings. The administrative adjustment process to reduce minimum yard requirements for principle buildings shall be applicable to those single-family and two-family dwelling units located in the R-1-AAB; R-1-AA; R-1-A; and R-1 zoning districts. See Chapter 3, Article III, Section 2 for additional regulations pertaining to administrative adjustments within each respective district.
(2) Accessory Structures, Building Appurtenances, and Site Improvements. The administrative adjustment process to reduce setback requirements shall be applicable to the following:
(a) Private pump housing and equipment for swimming pools and spas in accordance with Chapter 3, Article V, Section 3.D.3.;
(b) Heating, ventilation, and air conditioner units (including compressors and condensers) in accordance with Chapter 3, Article V, Section 3.R.;
(c) Compost bins and tumblers in accordance with Chapter 3, Article V, Section 3.U.;
(d) Generators and fuel tanks in accordance with Chapter 3, Article V, Section 3.T.; and
(e) Solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays that are erected or installed at-grade (ground level) in accordance with Chapter 3, Article V, Section 3.W.
2. Submittal Requirements. The applicant shall submit a letter that addresses the review criteria of Section 4.A.3. below, in addition to the following items:
a. Proof of property ownership by petitioner(s), such as a deed or purchase contract agreement;
b. Justification statement detailing the need for the setback adjustment, including site constraints and restrictions, building orientation, and floor plan functionality (for applications associated with the principal building);
c. Two (2) sealed surveys by a registered surveyor in the State of Florida, not older than six (6) months old, and illustrating the following:
(1) All property lines;
(2) North arrow;
(3) Existing structure(s) and paving;
(4) Existing ground elevation;
(5) Rights-of-way, including ground elevation;
(6) Easements upon or adjacent to the site;
(7) Legal description;
(8) Lot size [in acres, to the nearest one-hundredth (1/100) of an acre]; and
(9) Location sketch of property.
d. Two (2) sketches, drawn to scale, and properly illustrating the following:
(1) Location of all existing structure(s) on property;
(2) Location and dimension of any new construction;
(3) Setback dimensions to all property lines;
(4) Location of, and dimensions to streets, alleys, and easements on or adjacent to the subject property;
(5) Floor plans of proposed addition(s) and of adjacent habitable space in the existing structure; and
(6) Location, number and size of existing and proposed parking spaces on the property.
e. Photographs depicting the existing conditions on the property, area of the proposed addition(s), accessory structure, or site improvement, and the view(s) facing abutting or adjacent properties.
f. For applications associated with the principal building, an affidavit from adjacent property owners or legal representative, which affirms that such owners have completely examined the required plans and exhibits and have no objection to the subject request for administrative adjustment to reduce the yard setbacks as requested by the petitioner.
3. Review Criteria. In each application for administrative adjustment, staff shall review the proposed floor plan (for applications associated with the principal building), building orientation, accessory structure or site improvement, and existing site constraints to ensure that the subject request would have negligible impacts upon abutting and surrounding properties. Additionally, staff shall consider the established character of the neighborhood, massing of the subject building or proposed addition, and reasonableness of the subject application to justify a reduction in the minimum required yard or setback, whichever is applicable.
4. Approval Process. The application for administrative adjustment shall be reviewed by staff and action will be taken by the appropriate administrative official.
B. Community Design Appeal.
a. Purpose and Intent. The purpose of this subsection is to provide a relief process that allows for deviations from specific build-to line requirements of Chapter 3, Article III and any community design standard of Chapter 4 of these Land Development Regulations. The intent of this application process is not to provide a means of circumventing such standards but to allow for flexibility, and alternative ways to meet the intent of the Code to yield high quality design, architectural detail, and visual interest without negative impacts to the subject site or surrounding properties.
b. Applicability. This application shall be applicable to any requested deviation from specific build-to line requirements of the Mixed-Use Urban Building and Site Regulations (Table 3-4); Urban Commercial District Overlay Zone (Table 3-26); or any community design standard of Chapter 4 of these Land Development Regulations. The requested appeal shall be processed concurrent with a site plan unless otherwise determined by the Director of Planning and Zoning or designee.
c. Rules. For the purposes of this subsection, a "site plan" shall be construed to include a new site plan, major modification, or minor modification.
2. Submittal Requirements. See Section 1.D. above for the submittal requirements of this application.
3. Review Criteria. In granting relief to any community design standard of Chapter 4, the City Commission must find that the subject appeal meets the intent of the affected standard, does not diminish its practical application, and that an acceptable development product and/or design will result. The following review criteria shall be used to justify an application for appeal:
a. Whether the proposed request will demonstrate consistency with the Comprehensive Plan.
b. Whether the proposed request will not significantly detract from the livability or appearance of the city and will be consistent with the established or desired character of the area, or with the redevelopment plan, where applicable.
c. On balance, whether the proposed request will be consistent with the purpose of the standard for which a deviation is requested. Granting the request will equally or better meet the purpose of the standard to be appealed.
d. Whether the proposed request is intended to save or preserve existing trees or desired flora.
(1) Whether the applicant is unable to design or locate proposed buildings, structures, or improvements and preserve the tree(s) and comply with all provisions of these community design standards without causing the applicant undue hardship; and
(2) Whether it is not feasible to transplant the trees to another location on the subject site considering the following: 1) shape and dimensions of the real property; 2) location of existing structures and infrastructure improvements; and 3) size, age, health, and species of trees sought to be protected.
e. Whether the proposed request will have adverse environmental impacts that cannot be prevented by the imposition of conditions.
f. Whether the proposed request will have an adverse impact on property values of abutting or adjacent land.
g. Whether the proposed request will seriously reduce the quality or quantity of light and air available to adjacent properties.
h. Whether the proposed request is necessary to further the objectives of the city to assist with economic development and business promotion.
i. Whether the proposed request meets the purpose and intent of these regulations but conflicts with another site development standard or requirement, including sustainable development and green initiatives.
4. Approval Process. An application for community design appeal requires review by the City Commission and shall be processed in accordance with Chapter 2, Article I, Section 3.
5. Expiration. Pursuant to Section 4.B.1.b. above, the community design appeal shall be processed concurrent with a site plan. The approval of an appeal shall remain valid as long as the corresponding site plan approval remains in effect. See Section 2.F.5. above for additional information regarding the expiration and extension of a site plan.
C. Height Exception.
a. Purpose and Intent. The purpose of this subsection is to provide an efficient relief process that would allow for certain eligible building appurtenances and structures, which are ordinarily erected or located on top of or within a building, to exceed the maximum building height allowed by the respective zoning district upon demonstrating compliance with the review criteria herein. The intent of this application is not to provide a means of circumventing the maximum height allowed for buildings within the respective zoning district, but to strategically accommodate and design those appurtenances and structures with design flexibility, while providing visual interest and enhancement to building façades without negligible impacts upon the subject site and surrounding properties.
b. Applicability. No portion of any principal or ancillary structure proposed within the city shall exceed the maximum height allowed by the respective zoning district, except for as follows: water cooling and fire towers, radio and television towers of commercial nature, spires and finials, domes, cupolas, bell and clock towers, flagpoles, electrical and mechanical support systems, green elements such as PV arrays, parapets and similar structures or architectural enhancements, and their necessary mechanical appurtenances may be erected within or on top of a structure above the district height limitation after obtaining approval of a height exception from the City Commission. A request for height exception shall be processed concurrent with a site plan unless otherwise determined by the Director of Planning and Zoning or designee, or if the height exception application is in connection with a single-family or duplex home located on an individually platted lot within a single-family or two-family residential district.
c. Rules. For the purposes of this subsection, a "site plan" shall be construed to include a new site plan or major modification.
2. Submittal Requirements. See Section 1.D. above for the submittal requirements of this application.
3. Review Criteria. In considering an application for exception to the district height regulation, the City Commission shall make findings indicating the proposed exception has been studied and considered in relation to the following standards, where applicable:
a. On the subject site or surrounding properties, whether the height exception would adversely affect any of the following: 1) light and air; 2) property values; 3) the living conditions; or 4) existing or proposed land uses;
b. Whether the height exception would be a deterrent to the development or improvement of adjacent properties in accord with existing regulations;
c. Whether the height exception would contribute to the architectural character and form of the proposed project;
d. Whether the height exception would positively contribute to the city's desired image, streetscape design, or recommendation of any applicable redevelopment plan;
e. Whether the height exception would contribute, incentivize, or serve as a catalyst for sustainable development and other green initiatives;
f. Whether the height exception is necessary and not proposed in a manner with which the principle objective is to maximize project visibility without concern for architectural or aesthetic integrity; and
g. Whether sufficient evidence has been presented to justify the need for a height exception.
4. Approval Process. An application for height exception approval requires review by the City Commission and shall be processed in accordance with Chapter 2, Article I, Section 3.
5. Expiration. An approval for height exception shall remain valid as long as the corresponding site plan approval remains in effect. Further, a time extension for site plan approval shall simultaneously extend approval of the corresponding height exception. Where no site plan is required in connection with a request for height exception approval, the height exception shall remain in effect for one (1) year. See Section 2.F.5. above for information on the site plan approval period and extension process.
D. Variance to Land Development Regulations.
a. Purpose and Intent. The purpose of this subsection is to provide an efficient relief process to allow for deviations from certain requirements and standards of Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of these Land Development Regulations in circumstances when the applicant is able to demonstrate a hardship. The intent of this application is not to provide a means for circumventing any such requirement or standard, but to allow for a departure from the Code upon demonstration that the subject request satisfactorily addresses the review criteria contained herein, and without the necessity of amending the regulation or rezoning the property to accommodate the requested relief. The City Commission has the authority and duty to authorize, upon appeal, such a variance from the terms of a city ordinance as will not be contrary to the public interest when, owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance would result in unnecessary and undue hardship.
b. Applicability. Generally, the variance process shall be available when a petitioner requests a deviation from a quantifiable standard, measure, or regulation. For clarification, the variance process shall not be available in the following instances:
(1) When another relief process is available;
(2) No nonconforming use of neighboring lands, structures, or buildings in other zoning districts shall be considered grounds for the authorization of a variance;
(3) Chapter 3:
(a) Article I – overview and use of terms;
(b) Article III - future land use map (FLUM) classifications and corresponding zoning districts, and density regulations;
(c) Article IV – any use regulations in the use matrix, including the regulations pertaining to hazardous and toxic waste; nonconforming uses; and the operational performance standards; and
(4) As otherwise determined by the Director of Planning and Zoning or designee.
2. Submittal Requirements. See Section 1.D. above for the submittal requirements of this application.
3. Review Criteria. In order for the City Commission to grant a variance, the applicant must demonstrate that:
a. That special conditions and circumstances exist which are peculiar to the land, structure or building involved, and which are not applicable to other lands, structures or buildings in the same zoning district.
b. That special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant for the variance.
c. That granting the variance requested will not confer on the applicant any special privilege that is denied by this section to other lands, structures or buildings in the same zoning district.
d. That literal interpretations of the provisions of the ordinance would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same zoning district under the terms of the ordinance and would work unnecessary and undue hardship on the applicant.
e. That the variance granted is the minimum variance that will make possible reasonable use of the land, structure or building.
f. That the granting of the variance will be in harmony with the general intent and purpose of this chapter and that such variance will not be injurious to the area involved or be otherwise detrimental to the public welfare.
4. Approval Process. An application for variance approval requires review by the City Commission and shall be processed in accordance with Chapter 2, Article I, Section 3. In addition, in recommending approval of a variance, the Planning and Development Board may determine the following:
a. The Board may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards in conformity with this section. Violations of such conditions and safeguards, when made a part of the terms under which the variance is granted, shall be deemed a violation of this section.
b. The Board may prescribe a reasonable time limit within which the action for which the variance is required shall begin, be completed, or both.
5. Denial. Upon the denial of an application for relief hereunder, in whole or in part, a period of one (1) year must elapse prior to the filing of the same or similar application affecting the same property or any portion thereof.
6. Miscellaneous. A variance shall remain valid indefinitely unless there is change in its application on the subject property. In other words, the variance is specific to the improvement for which the application was made. Any amendment to the original approval that increases the amount of building or site, which would be subject to the variance, shall require the application for, and approval of, a new variance.
E. Waiver (Ocean Avenue Overlay Zone).
a. Purpose and Intent. The purpose of this subsection is to provide an efficient relief process to allow for deviations from certain requirements and standards of Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 as they pertain to the Ocean Avenue Overlay Zone (OAOZ). The intent of this application is not to provide a means for circumventing any such requirement or standard but to allow for a departure from the code upon demonstration that the subject request satisfies the intent of the review criteria contained herein.
b. Applicability. For property located within the OAOZ, the waiver process shall be available for deviations from any development and design standards of Chapter 3, Article III, Section 8.D.
2. Submittal Requirements. The applicant shall submit a letter that addresses the review criteria of Section 3.E.3. below, in addition to submitting any plans and exhibits required by the accompanying site plan, whenever applicable.
3. Review Criteria. The applicant shall justify each waiver request as part of the application for site plan or site plan modification. The applicant shall document the nature of the request, the extent of its departure from the standard regulation, and the basis for the request. The City may request additional information and documentation from the applicant, such as a shared-parking study, or other type of performance related analysis that further justifies the waiver request. The burden of proof shall be on the applicant to present a superior design alternative and demonstrate that the application would further the purpose and intent of the OAOZ and not have any detrimental impact on adjacent properties or the surrounding area.
4. Approval Process. A waiver request may be approved by staff if the subject request is reviewed concurrently with a minor site plan modification application, and such application requires administrative review pursuant to the review criteria of Section 2.F. above. Otherwise, the waiver application requires review by the City Commission and shall be processed in accordance with Chapter 2, Article 1, Section 3.
5. Denial. Upon the denial of an application for relief hereunder, in whole or in part, a period of one (1) year must elapse prior to the filing of the same or similar application affecting the same property or any portion thereof; however, this restriction shall not apply to applications which further the City's economic development, workforce housing, or green building programs.
6. Expiration. A waiver shall remain valid as long as the corresponding site plan or site plan modification approval remains in effect, or unless there is any amendment to the original waiver. Any amendment to the original approval shall require application for, and approval of, a new waiver.
F. Requests for Accommodation.
a. Purpose and Intent. The purpose of this section is to implement the City’s Reasonable Accommodation Policy, to make available a procedure, in part, that is straightforward and not burdensome for processing requests for reasonable accommodation to the City’s Code of Ordinances, land development regulations, rules, policies, and procedures for persons with disabilities, as provided by Federal Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Civil Rights Act, and the Rehabilitation Act (collectively “Federal Law”).
b. Applicability. Any person who is disabled, or qualifying entities, may request a reasonable accommodation with respect to the city's Land Development Regulations, Code of Ordinances, rules, policies, practices and/or procedures as provided by Federal Law pursuant to the procedures set forth in this section. For purposes of this section, a "disabled person" is an individual that qualifies as disabled and/or handicapped pursuant to Federal Law, as may be amended from time to time. The word "individual" shall include, for purposes of this section, multiple people, or multiple qualified entities.
c. Notice to the Public of Availability of Accommodation.
(1) The city will provide notice to the public advising that individuals may request a reasonable accommodation. Such notice may include, but is not limited to, displaying a notice in the city’s physical or electronic bulletin boards; providing hard copies of the forms, policies, and procedures at various locations throughout City Hall; and through communications with the public in response to specific inquiries regarding group homes or reasonable accommodation, requests for zoning verification, and/or as part of the processing of building permit or business tax receipt applications.
(2) The city’s forms, policies, and procedures, as may be amended from time to time, provide the specific information that is necessary to implement the general policies in this section.
2. Submittal Requirements. A request by an applicant for reasonable accommodation under this section may be either oral or written. The City has prepared a reasonable accommodation request form for the public’s use. The request form and all forms related to this section are available from the City Clerk, Code Enforcement, and Development. Completed forms should be submitted to the Human Resources/Risk Department and the City’s ADA Coordinator. Requests and inquiries may be e-mailed to the City at ADA@bbfl.us.
a. Confidential Information.
(1) Should the information submitted by an applicant include medical information or other confidential information, the individual may, at the time of submitting such information, request that the City, to the extent permitted by law, treat such information as confidential, disclosing the information only to those individuals who need the information as part of the review process.
(2) The City will honor the confidentiality request to the extent permitted by law. The City has no obligation to initiate, prosecute, defend, or pursue any legal action related to the confidentiality request, or to incur any legal or other expenses (whether by retention of outside counsel or allocation of internal resources), in connection with any such legal action.
(3) The City will comply with any judicial order related to the records which are the subject of a confidentiality request.
(4) This section is subject to local, state, and federal revisions to privacy laws, including but not limited to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as it may be amended from time to time.
(1) The City will not impose a fee for processing a request for reasonable accommodation or an appeal of a decision related to such request.
(2) The City has no obligation to pay an applicant’s attorney’s fees or costs in connection with a request or an appeal.
c. City Assistance. To ensure the process is accessible, the City will provide the applicant with assistance and accommodation as required by Federal Law including, but not limited to, assistance with reading application questions, responding to questions, completing the form, filing an appeal, and appearing at a hearing.
3. Response to Reasonable Accommodation Request.
a. In determining whether the reasonable accommodation request will be granted or denied, the requesting party shall be required to establish that they are protected under the FHA and/or ADA by demonstrating that they are handicapped or disabled, as defined in Federal Law, as may be amended from time to time.
b. (1) The City will grant or deny the request within 30 calendar days after receiving all information and documentation from the requesting individual using the Request for Additional Information form letter. The City will not make a determination until all necessary information has been received.
(2) Should the city require additional time to make a determination, the City will provide the requester the reasons for the delay within the timeframe the City otherwise would have had to make a determination.
c. Interim Accommodations. Interim accommodations shall be provided by the City if the requested accommodations cannot be provided at the time of approval, based on a reasonable time period as communicated to the requester.
d. If the City concludes that there are justifiable reasons for denying the request, the City shall, using an interactive process with the applicant, facilitate the consideration of alternative effective accommodations necessary to meet the disability-related needs that would not cause a fundamental alteration of the City’s operations and/or the City’s zoning scheme, or impose an undue administrative and financial burden on the City.
a. In the event a reasonable accommodation request is denied, individuals have a right to appeal and must do so in writing using the “Application to Appeal Denial of Request for Reasonable Accommodation” form within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the letter of denial. Assistance in completion of the appeal form will be provided by city officials if needed. The City will honor extensions where there is good cause, including when an individual requests additional time as a reasonable accommodation.
b. Individuals who appeal the denial of their reasonable accommodation request will be provided a hearing with the City’s Special Magistrate. Following the hearing, the Special Magistrate will either uphold the denial or require the City to grant the reasonable accommodation request.
5. Stay of Enforcement. While an application for reasonable accommodation, or an appeal of a determination of same, is pending before the city, the city will not enforce the subject zoning ordinance, rules, policies, and procedures against the applicant.
6. Expiration of Approvals. Approvals of requests for reasonable accommodation shall expire in one hundred eighty (180) days if not implemented by the applicant.
(Ord. 10-025, passed 12-7-10; Am. Ord. 11-002, passed 3-1-11; Am. Ord. 13-033, § 3, passed 12-3-13; Am. Ord. 19-022, § 2, passed 8-20-19)