(A)   The variance criteria set forth in this article of the chapter are based on the general principle of zoning law that variances pertain to property and are not personal in nature. A variance may be granted for a parcel of property with physical characteristics so unusual that complying with the requirements of this chapter would create an exceptional hardship to the applicant or the surrounding property owners. The characteristics must be unique to the property and not be shared by adjacent parcels. The unique characteristic must pertain to the land itself, not to the structure, its inhabitants, or the property owners.
   (B)   It is the duty of the city to help protect its citizens from flooding. This need is so compelling and the implications of the cost of insuring a structure built below flood level are so serious that variances from the flood elevation or from other requirements of this chapter are quite rare. The long term goal of preventing and reducing flood loss and damage can only be met if variances are strictly limited. Therefore, the variance guidelines provided in this chapter are more detailed and contain multiple provisions that must be met before a variance can be properly granted. The criteria are designed to screen out those situations in which alternatives other than a variance are more appropriate.
   (C)   The cost of processing a variance shall be paid by the applicant. The Planning Commission and City Council can authorize a partial or full refund of variance processing fees.
(`61 Code, § 26.6-1) (Ord. 913, passed 4-18-2000)