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A. Authority And Purpose: The council may grant variances from the strict application of the provisions of this title and impose conditions and safeguards in the variances so granted in cases where there are practical difficulties or particular hardships in the way of carrying out the strict letter of the regulations of this title.
B. Application For Variance: An application for a variance shall be filed with the city and shall state the exceptional conditions and the peculiar and practical difficulties claimed as a basis for a variance. The information necessary for variances shall be:
1. A scaled plot plan, with north indicated, of the proposed site, showing all dimensions as contained in the description indicated in the application and all the structure(s) setback details.
C. Public Hearing Notice Requirements: The city shall hold at least one public hearing, affording an opportunity for all parties interested to be heard, and shall give not less than ten (10) days' nor more than thirty (30) days' notice of the time and place of such hearing, published in the designated legal newspaper for the city. Such notice shall also contain a description of the land and the requested variance. At least ten (10) days before the hearing, an identical notice shall be mailed to the owner and to each of the property owners of record a minimum distance of five hundred feet (500') of the outside boundaries of the land in question. Failure of the city to mail the notice or failure of the property owners to receive the notice shall not invalidate the proceedings.
D. Consideration By Planning Commission; Recommendation: Before authorization of any variances, the request therefor shall be referred to the planning commission, and for its recommendation to the city council for the granting of such variance from the strict application of the provisions of this title so as to relieve such practical difficulties to the degree considered reasonable without impairing the intent and purpose of this title and the comprehensive plan. The planning commission shall recommend such conditions related to the variance, regarding the location, character and other features of the proposed building, structure or use, as it may deem advisable. The planning commission shall make its recommendation within sixty (60) days after the request is referred to it, unless the applicant requests, in writing, that an extension of time for review be granted by the planning commission.
The planning commission may recommend a variance from the strict application of the provision of this title, if they find that:
1. The variance is in harmony with the purposes and intent of this title.
2. The variance is consistent with the comprehensive plan.
3. The proposal puts the property to a reasonable use.
4. There are unique circumstances to the property not created by the landowner.
5. That the conditions upon which an application for a variance is based are unique to the parcel of land for which the variance is sought and are not applicable, generally, to other property within the same zoning classification.
6. That the purpose of the variance is not based exclusively upon a financial hardship.
7. That the granting of the variance will not be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to other land or improvements in the neighborhood in which the parcel of land is located.
8. That the proposed variance will not impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent property, or substantially increase the congestion of the public streets, or increase the danger of fire, or endanger the public safety.
E. Consideration By Council; Issuance: In considering applications for variances under this title, the council shall consider the advice and recommendations of the planning commission. If the council shall determine that the special conditions applying to the structure or land in question are peculiar to such property or immediately adjoining property and do not apply generally to other land or structures in the district in which such land is located, that the granting of the application is necessary for the applicant and that granting the proposed variance will not in any way impair health, safety, comfort or morals or in any other respect be contrary to the intent of this title and the comprehensive plan, and that the granting of such variance will not merely serve as a convenience to the applicant, but is necessary to alleviate demonstrable practical difficulty, the council may grant such variances and impose conditions and safeguards therein.
F. Denial Of Variances: Variances may be denied by motion of the council, and such motion shall constitute a finding and determination that the conditions required for approval do not exist. No application for a variance which has been denied wholly or in part shall be resubmitted for a period of six (6) months from the date of such order of denial, except on grounds of new evidence or proof of change of conditions found to be valid by the planning commission or council.
G. Action Without Recommendation Of Planning Commission: If no recommendation is transmitted by the planning commission within sixty (60) days after referral of the application for variance to the planning commission, the council may take action without further awaiting such recommendation, unless the applicant requests in writing that an extension of time be granted.
H. Termination, Invalidity Of Variance: A violation of any condition set forth in granting a variance shall be a violation of this title and shall automatically terminate the variance. A variance shall become invalid one year after it was granted, unless made use of within the year or such longer period prescribed by the council. (Ord. 895, 9-7-2011)