Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(A) Purpose and scope.
(1) The purpose of a variance is to provide administrative relief when a strict application of the zoning requirements of lot width, lot depth, building height, setback, access or other dimensional requirements would impose practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship.
(2) These difficulties or hardships may result from geographic, topographic or other physical conditions on the site or in the immediate vicinity.
(B) Review criteria. A variance may be authorized, subject to the Type B application procedure set forth in § 154.076 and pursuant to divisions (C) and (D) below, and upon adequate demonstration by the applicant that the proposed variance satisfies the following criteria:
(1) Special conditions and circumstances exist which are peculiar to the land, building or structure involved;
(2) The granting the proposed variance would be in the public interest and would be in harmony with the purpose and scope set forth in division (A) above, the intent and purpose of the underlying zoning district and the intent and purpose of this chapter;
(3) The variance would result in minimal detriment to the immediate vicinity;
(4) The variance requested is the minimum variance which would make possible the reasonable use of the applicant's land, building or structure;
(5) The special conditions and circumstances on which the application is based do not result from the negligent or knowing violation of this chapter by the applicant; and
(6) Granting the variance would not violate any State Environmental Regulations.
(C) Conditions of approval.
(1) In approving an application for a variance, the decision-making body may impose conditions as it deems appropriate to ensure that the intent of this section is carried out.
(2) These conditions shall be reasonably related to the variance criteria set forth in division (B) above.
(D) General requirements. Any variance authorized pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to the following additional requirements.
(1) An authorized variance is not personal to the applicant and shall be deemed to run with the land.
(2) (a) A variance shall be null and void 1 year from the date it is granted unless completion or substantial construction has taken place.
(b) The Department may extend the variance for an additional period not to exceed 1 year upon the receipt of a written request from the applicant demonstrating good cause for the delay and provided that the request for extension is received by the Department prior to expiration of the original variance approval.
(3) No variance shall be granted which allows the establishment or expansion of a use otherwise prohibited or subject to conditional use procedures.
(4) No variance shall be granted which shall have the effect of rezoning the property.
(5) No variance shall be granted which allows the creation of a parcel which is substandard to the minimum parcel size requirements of the particular zoning district.
(E) Compliance with conditions.
(1) Compliance with conditions imposed in approval of a variance and adherence to an approved site plan shall be required.
(2) Any departure from these conditions of approval and approved plans constitutes a violation of this chapter.
(3) The Department may revoke approval of any variance for failure to comply with any condition imposed in approval of the variance or for any other violation of this chapter.
(F) Revocation of variance. The procedure for the revocation of approval of a variance shall be as follows:
(1) If, upon review by the Department, a violation of any condition imposed in approval of a variance is found, the Department shall inform the applicant by registered letter and first class mail of the violation and shall require compliance within 60 days, or the Department will take action under division (2) below of this section to revoke approval of the variance. The Department's letter, constituting notice of intent to revoke variance may be appealed to the Commission within 30 days of its mailing. The Commission shall consider the appeal in accordance with § 154.062 and may affirm, reverse, or modify the Department's notice of intent to revoke variance. The applicant must comply with the Commission's order on appeal of notice of intent to revoke variance within 30 days of the issuance of the Commission's decision. If the applicant does not comply with the Commission's order within 30 days, the Department shall take action under division (2) below of this section to revoke approval of the variance. The Department may extend the time for compliance if the applicant provides financial or other assurances suitable to the Department that the conditions of approval of the variance will be satisfied and maintained.
(2) If the violation is not corrected within the time required by division (1) above, the Department shall notify the applicant by registered and first class mail that the variance has been revoked, and that any subsequent action on the application will require a new application for a variance.
(G) Administrative adjustments. As a result of unique characteristics of specific lands, uses or structures, and in the event that setbacks, building heights, lot area or other dimensional chapter standards are determined to be unreasonable or inappropriate by the Department, limited administrative adjustment of these standards may be authorized at the time application for building permit or land division is made providing the adjustment does not exceed 15% of the required standard and the applicant can demonstrate satisfaction of one of the following criteria:
(1) The adjustment is needed to permit a structural addition or new construction no closer to a property line than the existing structure(s).
(2) That the adjustment would provide for setbacks no less restrictive than those for structures on affected adjacent property(s).
(3) That the combined setbacks of structures on the parcel in question and adjacent affected parcels meet the combined respective setback requirements.
(4) That other special conditions or circumstances exist which are peculiar to the land or use structure involved, and which justify an adjustment, while still satisfying the intent of the standard.
(Ord. 2004-05, passed 9-15-2004; Am. Ord. 09, passed 9-15-2004) Penalty, see § 154.999