In reviewing the application, the Planning Commission may find that a general or final development plan either adheres or is equivalent to the requirements of this Zoning Code.
   (A)   The Planning Commission may consider elements of a general or final development plan to be equivalent to a requirement if:
      (1)   The proposed general or final development plan substantially complies with all specific requirements and with the purposes, intent and basic objectives of the zoning district;
      (2)   Through imaginative and skillful design in the arrangement of buildings, open space, streets, access drives and other features, as disclosed by the application, the proposal results in a development of equivalent or higher quality than that which could be achieved through strict application of such standards and requirements; and
      (3)   The development, as proposed, shall have no adverse impact upon the surrounding properties or upon the health, safety or general welfare of the community.
   (B)   It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate to the Planning Commission that the provisions of this section have been satisfied. When evaluating the application with respect to this section, the Planning Commission shall make any finding of equivalency in writing which explains how and why the proposal has satisfied the above criteria. When making such finding, the Commission may approve the proposed application, including waivers from the numerical or dimensional standards herein, as if the application were in strict compliance with the standards and requirements in this Zoning Code. Any plan approval which includes an equivalency approved by the Planning Commission must be reviewed and confirmed by Council before finally approved for development.
   (C)   If the Planning Commission fails to find that an equivalency waiver is appropriate, Planning Commission shall complete its review, after which the applicant may apply for an appropriate variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals. The 120-day period for development plan review, as required in § 150.1413(B), shall be suspended during the Board of Zoning Appeals’ review of such variance request on a final development plan.
(Ord. 5-2005, passed 3-23-05; Am. Ord. 6-2010, passed 7-7-10)