1173.04 VARIANCES.
(a)   Submission Requirements.
      (1)   A request for a variance(s) shall be on a form approved by the Commissioner and shall, at a minimum contain the following information:
         A.   The name, address, and telephone number of the applicant.
         B.   Proof of ownership, legal interest, or written authority to make the application.
         C.   A description of the variance(s) requested and a narrative establishing and substantiating the justification for the variance(s) pursuant to the criteria set forth in subsections (c) or (d) of this Section 1173.04, whichever is applicable.
         D.   Site plans, elevations, and other drawings at a reasonable scale to show the need for the variance(s).
         E.   Any other documents reasonably deemed necessary by the Commissioner.
         F.   The fee established pursuant to Section 1173.06.
      (2)   Upon receipt of a request for a variance(s), the Commissioner shall, within three (3) working days, make a preliminary review of the application to determine compliance with the requirements of subsection (a)(1) hereof. If the Commissioner determines that the application is not complete, the Commissioner shall immediately notify the applicant; otherwise, the Commissioner shall forward the application to the Board for review.
   (b)   Minor Area Variances.
      (1)   The Commissioner is hereby authorized to grant minor area variance(s), as hereinafter defined.
      (2)   MINOR AREA VARIANCE means an area variance(s) of less than ten percent (10%) of the permitted lot coverage, or of the required side yard or rear yard, as set forth in the applicable section of this Code.
      (3)   When determining whether to grant a minor area variance(s), the Commissioner shall consider whether the applicant will experience a practical difficulty by applying the criteria set forth in subsection (c) herein.
      (4)   Where application is made for a minor area variance(s), the applicant shall provide, on a form approved by the Commissioner, written evidence that the owners of properties abutting the subject property have been informed of the project and variance(s) requested and do not object to same; where the owners of abutting properties do not object, the Commissioner is authorized to grant the variance(s) and issue the necessary permit(s).
      (5)   A decision of the Commissioner to deny the variance(s), or where the Commissioner has received an objection to the application from an abutting property owner, may be appealed to the Board pursuant to Section 1173.05. 
   (c)   The following factors shall be considered and weighed by the Commissioner and/or Board, whichever is applicable, when determining whether an applicant will experience practical difficulty:
      (1)   Whether there exist site conditions, such as narrowness, shallowness, or topography, unique to the property in question that are not applicable generally to other lands or structures in the same zoning district;
      (2)   Whether the property in question is located near a non-conforming or non-harmonious use, structure, or site conditions, or whether the property in question abuts a less restrictive zoning district;
      (3)   Whether the property in question will yield a reasonable return or whether there can be any beneficial use of the property without the variance(s);
      (4)   Whether the variance(s) is substantial;
      (5)   Whether the essential character of the neighborhood would be substantially altered or whether adjoining properties would suffer a substantial detriment as a result of the variance(s);
      (6)   Whether the variance(s) would adversely affect the delivery of governmental services (e.g., water, sewer, refuse removal);
      (7)   Whether the property owner purchased the property with knowledge of the zoning restriction;
      (8)   Whether the property owner’s predicament feasibly can be obviated through some method other than a variance(s); and
      (9)   Whether the spirit and intent of the Code would be observed and substantial justice done by granting the variance(s).
         (Ord. 91-95. Passed 10-7-1996.)
   (d)   The following factors shall be considered by the Board or Commission, where applicable, when determining whether an applicant will suffer an unnecessary hardship; such hardship must be demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence as to ALL of the following:
(Ord. 24-98. Passed 5-18-1998.)
      (1)   The property cannot be put to any economically viable use under any of the permitted uses in the zoning district in which it is located;
      (2)   The variance(s) request stems from a condition which is unique to the property at issue and not ordinarily found in the district;
      (3)   The hardship condition is not created by actions of the applicant;
      (4)   The applicant purchased the property without knowledge of the zoning restriction;
      (5)   The variance(s) sought is the minimum which will afford relief to the applicant;
      (6)   The granting of the variance(s) will not adversely affect the rights of those property owners to whom notice is required under subsection (e) herein;
      (7)   The granting of the variance(s) will not adversely affect the public health, safety, or general welfare; and
      (8)   The variance(s) will be consistent with the general spirit and intent of this Code.
         (Ord. 91-95. Passed 10-7- 19 96.)
   (e)   Notice Procedures. Where an area or use variance(s) is requested, notice of the public hearing held pursuant to Section 1171.04(c) shall be made in a newspaper of general circulation no less than seven (7) days before the hearing; said notice shall state the time and place of the hearing in accordance with Chapter 107 (Publication of Legal Notices) of the Ordinances.
(Ord. 124-05. Passed 2-6-2006.)
       (1)   In addition, notice, indicating the time, place, and subject of the hearing, shall be sent by regular mail to the owners of:
         A.   All properties abutting the subject property;
         B.   All properties abutting such properties described in subsection (e)(1)A. hereof, excepting properties located across the right-of-way from or behind said abutting properties;
         C.   Any other property the Director deems affected by the proposed variance.
      (2)   Where a lot described in subsection (e)(1) hereof contains a condominium of more than ten (10) units, notice shall be sent to the president of the condominium association and the management company responsible for the building; the management company shall receive sufficient copies of the notice to post two (2) on every floor of the building at locations determined by the company.
   (f)   No order of the Board or Commission granting a variance(s) shall be valid for a period longer than twelve (12) months from the date of such order unless the building permit or occupancy permit is obtained within such period and the erection or alteration of the structure is started or the use is commenced within such period.
(Ord. 91-95. Passed 10-7-1996.)