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(a) Authorization.Where there is practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship in the way of carrying out the strict letter of the provisions of this Zoning Code, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall have the power, in a specific case, to vary or modify the application of any such provisions in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this Zoning Code so that public health, safety, morals and general welfare may be safeguarded and substantial justice done.
(b) General Limitations. The granting of variances shall be limited to the following cases:
(1) The practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship inheres in and is peculiar to the premises sought to be built upon or used because of physical size, shape or other characteristics of the premises or adjoining premises, as the same existed on September 14, 1955, which differentiate it from other premises in the same district;
(2) Refusal of the variance appealed for will deprive the owner of the reasonable use of his property;
(3) Granting of a variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements, or alter the essential character of the locality; and
(4) Granting of a variance will not be contrary to the objectives of this Zoning Code.
(c) Specific Limitations.
(1) Variations from use regulations. The Board may permit a slight variation where it is necessary to secure an appropriate development of a lot adjoining buildings or uses existing on September 14, 1955, not conforming to the applicable district regulations, or adjoining a less restricted use district along a side lot line, provided that:
A. Such lot was under the same ownership on such effective date; and
B. The proposed use is not more than the next lower in order of restrictiveness, except that less restrictive uses shall not be permitted in any Residential District.
(2) Variations from area regulations. The Board may permit in any district slight variations, not exceeding twenty percent, in the application of the area regulations as may be necessary to secure appropriate improvements of a lot that is of such restricted area that it cannot be appropriately improved without such variation, provided that it is adjacent to buildings which do not conform to such area regulations and that such lot was separately owned on such effective date and cannot be enlarged.
(3) Variations from yard regulations. The Board may permit in any district slight variations, not exceeding twenty percent, to the yard dimensions as may be necessary to permit the use of an existing building for a purpose for which the regulations require a greater yard area than existing on the premises, provided that the Board determines that adequate light and ventilation will be had and that unsafe, unhealthy and unsanitary conditions will not be created. Such twenty percent limitation shall not apply to parcels of land exempt therefrom by virtue of Section 1252.08(f).
The twenty percent limitation shall not apply to land in the Business District in the following instance: The property is so situated that it has a frontage on Munson Road and also on Plains Road. In this situation, the sixty-foot front setback line requirements shall apply to the Munson Road property frontage and only a twenty percent variance can be granted to the sixty-foot setback requirement. The Board may allow the setback requirement on the Plains Road frontage to be twenty-four feet rather than the sixty-foot front setback requirement. The Board may grant this variance for the Plains Road front setback based on the standards for granting a variance that are set forth in the preceding paragraph.
(4) Variations to height regulations.The Board may permit the construction of an addition to an existing building to the same height as an adjacent building, if such height is essential to the completion of the building as originally planned.
(5) Variations to nonconforming buildings and uses. The Board shall have no powers to authorize as a variance the establishment of a nonconforming building or use where none previously existed. It shall not permit changes in use except as outlined in Chapter 1276 and in this section.
(Ord.79-0-14. Passed 7-24-79; Ord.85-0-3. Passed 4-23-85; Ord.95-0-04. Passed 6-13-95.)