In reviewing the application, the Planning Commission may find that a final development plan either adheres to or is equivalent to the requirements of this Planning and Zoning Code. 
   (a)   The Planning Commission may consider elements of a final development plan to be equivalent to a requirement if:
      (1)   The proposed 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 a finding, the Planning Commission may approve the proposed application, including waivers from the numerical standards herein, as if the application were in strict compliance with the standards and requirements in this Planning and Zoning Code.  Approval under this Section is not a variance. 
      (Ord. 2012-21.  Passed 7-11-12.)