(A)   Variances. Variances to Chapter 154: Zoning Code, will be in accordance with the powers granted to the Planning and Zoning Board. The City Commission may grant a variance from the terms of other sections when the variance will not be contrary to the public interest, and where, owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the provisions of that section would result in unnecessary hardship. A variance shall not be granted if it has the effect of nullifying the intent and purpose of the regulations provided in that section. Furthermore, a variance shall not be granted by the City Commission unless and until:
      (1)   A written application for the variance is submitted to the appropriate board demonstrating the following:
         (a)   A special condition and circumstance exists which is peculiar to the land, structures, or required subdivision improvements involved, and which is not applicable to other lands, structures, or required subdivision improvements.
         (b)   A literal interpretation of the provisions of the section would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties with similar conditions.
         (c)   The special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant.
         (d)   The granting of the variance requested will not confer on the applicant any special privilege that is denied by the provisions of the section to other lands, structures, or required subdivision improvements under similar conditions. No pre-existing conditions on neighboring lands which are contrary to the provisions of the section shall be considered grounds for the issuance of variances.
      (2)   The Planning and Zoning Board shall make findings that the requirements of this section have been met.
      (3)   The Planning and Zoning Board shall further make a finding that the reasons set forth in the application justify the granting of the variance that would make possible the reasonable use of the land, buildings, and other improvements.
      (4)   The Planning and Zoning Board shall also make a finding that the granting of the variance would be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this section, will not be injurious to the surrounding territory, or otherwise be detrimental to the public.
      (5)   The Planning and Zoning Board shall submit its findings and recommendations to the City Commission for action. The City Commission shall hold a public hearing on the request for a variance after due public notice as provided in § 154.09 and written notice to adjacent property owners. In granting any variance, the City Commission may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards in conformity with this section. Violation of these 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)   Exceptions. The standards and requirements set forth in this section may be modified by the City Commission in the case of a plan and program for a new town, a complete community, or a planned unit development which, in the judgment of the City Commission, provides adequate public or private spaces and improvements for the circulation, recreation, light, air, and service needs of the tract when fully developed and populated, and which also provides those covenants or other legal provisions which will assure conformity to and implementation of the plan. In granting a modification, the City Commission shall require any reasonable conditions and safeguards as will secure substantially the objective and standards of this code.
   (C)   Appeals. Any person aggrieved by the City Commission's decision regarding a preliminary or final subdivision plan or plat, or the City Commission's decision regarding any variance, may file a petition for a writ of certiorari in the circuit court of the county to review the final action as provided by the state appellate rules. The petition shall be presented to the court within 30 days after the date of the final action of the City Commission.
   (D)   Variances - downtown development district.
      (1)   When, in the opinion of the City Commission, strict application of the Land Development Regulations would prevent the development of a non-residential site within the Downtown Business District as defined in the Comprehensive Plan, the City Commission may grant said variances provided the granting of these variances will not compromise the health, safety and general welfare of the public.
      (2)   The City Commission may only approve the minimum number of variances needed to make the site developable.
(Ord. 241, passed 11-27-85; Am. Ord. 345, passed 12-3-87; Am. Ord. 434, passed 6-1-89; Am. Ord. 586, passed 1-16-92; Am. Ord. 597, passed 4-2-92; Am. Ord. 1505, passed 5-1-14)