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The Board of Zoning Appeals shall have the power under the authority of the Zoning Code to determine the following:
(a) Appeals: The Board of Zoning Appeals shall hear and determine all appeals from any decision or action of the Zoning Inspector in the administration or enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance. The Board of Zoning Appeals shall hear and determine all appeals from the refusal of the Zoning Inspector or Planning Commission to issue zoning certificates or conditional zoning certificates. The Board may decide appeals by reversing or affirming, wholly or in part, or by modifying such decision, action or refusal.
(1) When practical difficulties, unnecessary hardship or results inconsistent with the general purpose of the Zoning Ordinance result through the strict and literal interpretation and enforcement of the provisions thereof, the Board shall have the authority, subject to the provisions of this chapter, to grant upon such conditions as it may determine, such variances from the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance as may be in harmony with its general purpose and intent, so that the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance shall be observed, public safety, health and welfare secured and substantial justice done. The Board may grant a variance as applied for or a variance constituting a modification thereof. In granting a variance, the Board may attach thereto such conditions relating to the location of the proposed structure or use, or the duration of the variance as it may deem necessary in order to further the purposes of the Zoning Ordinance. The Board may require such evidence and guarantee or bond as it may deem necessary to insure that all such conditions so attached are being and shall be complied with. The Board shall not have the authority to authorize, through the granting of a variance, a change in the use of any parcel of land. The Board is not empowered to change the zoning classification for any zone district, but may in such instances as desired initiate an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance in accordance with Chapter 1111.
(2) In carrying into effect its powers to grant or to recommend variances, the Board shall be guided by the following criteria:
A. In general, the power to authorize a variance from the terms of this Zoning Ordinance shall be sparingly exercised and only under peculiar and exceptional circumstances.
B. Any variance granted shall be the minimum needed to alleviate the difficulty or hardship involved.
C. A limitation upon the financial gain from the land in use shall not in and of itself constitute a hardship.
D. Any difficulty or hardship constituting the basis for a variance shall not be self-created.
E. Mere evidence that a variance was previously granted under similar circumstances shall not be considered sufficient grounds for granting a variance.
(3) In every instance where the Board grants or recommends a variance, there must be a finding by the Board that:
A. The strict application of the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship inconsistent with the general purpose and intent of the Zoning Ordinance.
B. There are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applying to the property involved or to the intended use or development of the property that do not apply generally to other properties or uses in the same zoning district.
C. The granting of such variance shall not be of substantial detriment to the public interest or to adjacent property or improvements in such district in which the variance is sought, and shall not materially impair the purpose of the Zoning Ordinance.
(c) Interpretation: The Board of Zoning Appeals shall, upon application filed as hereinafter provided, have the power to hear and decide any question involving the interpretation of any provision of the Zoning Ordinance, including a determination of the exact location of any district boundary if there is uncertainty with respect thereto. In considering an interpretation of the Zoning District Map, the Board shall give due regard to the nature and conditions of all adjacent uses and structures as well as the public interest.
(d) Other Duties: The Board of Zoning Appeals may hold other duties and responsibilities outside of the Zoning Code as approved by Kent City Council through legislation or resolution. Application procedures, required documentation, advertisement of meetings and the criteria for making decisions shall be stipulated in applicable legislation or resolution. In cases where the separate said legislation or Council resolution does not spell out specific procedures related to the Board's authority in those areas, the Community Development Department or administering City Department shall establish the criteria for making applications and determining meeting dates.
(Ord. 2011-15. Passed 03-16-11)