(A)   Finding.
      (1)   The Planning Commission may recommend a variance from the minimum standards of this subchapter (not procedural provisions) when, in its opinion, undue hardship may result from strict compliance. In recommending any variance, the Commission shall prescribe any conditions that it deems necessary to or desirable for the public interest. In making its recommendations, the Planning Commission shall take into account the nature of the proposed use of land and the existing use of land in the vicinity, the number of persons to reside or work in the proposed subdivision and the probable effect of the proposed subdivision upon traffic conditions in the vicinity. A variance shall only be recommended when the Planning Commission finds:
         (a)   There are special and highly unique circumstances or conditions affecting the property which are not common to other properties in the City and that the strict application of the provisions of this subchapter would deprive the applicant of the reasonable and minimum use of his or her land;
         (b)   The granting of the variance will not be detrimental to the public health, welfare or injurious to other property in the territory in which property is situated; and
         (c)   That the variance is to correct inequities resulting from an extreme hardship limited to topography, soils or other physical factors of the land.
      (2)   After considerations of the Planning Commission recommendations, the Council may grant variances, subject to the finding that a hardship exists according to divisions (A)(1)(a), (A)(1)(b) and (A)(1)(c) above.
   (B)   Procedures.
      (1)   Requests for a variance or appeal shall be filed with the City Clerk-Treasurer on an official application form. The application shall be accompanied by a fee as established by Council resolution. The application shall also be accompanied by ten copies of detailed written and graphic materials necessary for the explanation of the request.
      (2)   Upon receiving the application, the City Clerk-Treasurer shall refer the application, along with all related information, to the Planning Commission for a report and recommendation to the Council.
      (3)   City staff shall submit a report and recommendation to the Commission. The final report and recommendations of the City staff shall be entered in and made part of the permanent written record of the Planning Commission meeting.
      (4)   The Planning Commission and City staff shall have the authority to request additional information from the applicant concerning the variance or to retain expert testimony with the consent and at the expense of the applicant concerning the variance where the information is declared necessary to insure preservation of health, safety and general welfare.
      (5)   The Planning Commission shall request the City Clerk-Treasurer to set a date for a public hearing. Notice of the hearing shall be published in the official newspaper at least ten days prior to the hearing, and individual notices shall be mailed not less than ten days, nor more than 30 days, prior to the hearing to all owners of property within 350 feet of the parcel included in the request.
      (6)   Failure of a property owner to receive the notice shall not invalidate any such proceedings as set forth in this subchapter.
      (7)   The Planning Commission shall make a finding of fact and recommend such actions or conditions relating to the request as it deems necessary to carry out the intent and purpose of this subchapter. The recommendation shall be in writing and accompanied by the report and recommendation of the City staff.
      (8)   The City Council shall place the report and recommendation on the agenda for the next regular meeting.
      (9)   Upon receiving the report and recommendation of the Planning Commission and City staff, the Council shall make a recorded finding of fact and impose any condition it considers necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
      (10)   A variance of this subchapter shall be by majority vote of the entire Council.
(Ord. passed 3-20-2002, § 30.17)