§ 154.65  VARIANCES.
   (A)   Board of Appeals and Adjustments. The City Council shall be the Board of Appeals and Adjustments for this city, and as provided by M.S. § 462.354, subd. 2, as it may be amended from time to time, shall have the powers granted under M.S. § 462.357, subd. 6, as it may be amended from time to time.
   (B)   Variances.
      (1)   Pursuant to M.S. § 462.357, subd. 6, as it may be amended from time to time, the City Council, acting as a Board of Appeals and Adjustments, may issue variances from the provisions of this chapter. A variance is a modification or variation of the provisions of this chapter as applied to a specific piece of property.
      (2)   Variances shall only be permitted:
         (a)   When they are in harmony with the general purposes and intent of this chapter; and
         (b)   When the variances are consistent with the comprehensive plan.
      (3)   Variances may be granted when the applicant for the variance establishes that there are practical difficulties in complying with the zoning ordinance.
      (4)   PRACTICAL DIFFICULTIES as used in connection with the granting of a variance, means that:
         (a)   The property owner proposes to use the property in a reasonable manner not permitted by the zoning ordinance;
         (b)   The plight of the landowner is due to circumstances unique to the property not created by the landowner; and
         (c)   The variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the locality.
      (5)   Economic considerations alone do not constitute practical difficulties. Practical difficulties include, but are not limited to, inadequate access to direct sunlight for solar energy systems.(Ord. 19-1, passed 8-10-1998; Ord. 19-17, passed 8-8-2011)