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(A) Intent. Administrative adjustments (sometimes referred to as "administrative variances") are intended to provide a streamlined approval procedure for minor modifications of zoning ordinance regulations. Administrative adjustments are further intended to:
(1) Allow development that is in keeping with the general purpose and intent of zoning ordinance regulations and the established character of the area in which it is located; and
(2) Provide flexibility that will help promote property owner investment and economic development when such flexibility will not adversely affect nearby properties or neighborhood character.
(B) Applicability; authorized administrative adjustments.
(1) Through the administrative adjustment procedures of this section, the Zoning Administrator is authorized to grant relief from any numerical or quantitative standard in this zoning ordinance by up to 10%, except the administrative adjustment procedure may not be used to:
(a) Vary or modify any definition or use classification;
(b) Vary or modify any of the review and approval procedures;
(c) Vary, modify or otherwise override a condition of approval or requirement imposed by an authorized county decision-making body or the state or federal government; or
(d) Vary or modify applicable "minimum lot area per unit" (density) standards (Note: this provision is not intended to prohibit administrative adjustments of minimum lot area requirements for individual lots).
(2) The Zoning Administrator is also authorized to approve an administrative adjustment reducing the number of bicycle spaces required and to modify the bicycle parking design and location requirements of § 155-11.90.
(C) Authority to file. Administrative adjustment applications may be filed by any person, firm, or corporation having a freehold interest, a possessory interest entitled to exclusive possession, or any exclusive possessory interest that is specifically enforceable on the property that is the subject of the proposed administrative adjustment. Applications may be filed by the property owner (described above) or by the owner's authorized agent.
(D) Application filing. Complete applications for administrative adjustments must be filed with the Zoning Administrator. A separate application must be made for each noncontiguous parcel of land.
(E) Notice of filing/intent to approve. At least 15 days before taking action on an administrative adjustment request, notice of application filing and of the Zoning Administrator's authority or intent to approve the administrative adjustment must be delivered to all owners of property abutting the subject parcel. The notice must be provided in accordance with § 155-16.10(D)(3), except that in the case of an administrative adjustment, the mailed notice must be provided by certified mail, return receipt requested.
(F) Action by Zoning Administrator.
(1) The Zoning Administrator must review each application for an administrative adjustment and act to approve the application, approve the application with conditions, deny the application or refer the application to the Planning and Zoning Commission for consideration as a variance.
(2) The Zoning Administrator may not take final action to approve or deny an administrative adjustment application until at least 15 days after the date that required notices were received. If an adjoining landowner files a written objection with the Zoning Administrator during the 15-day period, then the administrative adjustment may not be approved by the Zoning Administrator. Instead, it must be heard and decided as a variance, in accordance with the variance procedures of § 155-16.70.
(3) The Zoning Administrator's decision to approve or deny an administrative adjustment must be based on the approval criteria and standards of division (G) of this section and accompanied by written findings of fact.
(G) Review criteria and standards. The administrative adjustment may not be approved unless the Zoning Administrator makes all of the following findings:
(1) That strict compliance with the applicable requirement poses a hardship in which there are particular difficulties; and
(2) Using aerial photographs, plot plans, visual inspection or other reliable means, that the requested administrative adjustment:
(a) Will not have significant adverse impacts on the health, safety, or general welfare of surrounding property owners or the general public; and
(b) That any adverse impacts resulting from the administrative adjustment will be mitigated to the maximum extent feasible.
(H) Conditions of approval. In granting an administrative adjustment, the Zoning Administrator may impose conditions upon the subject property that are necessary to reduce or minimize any potentially adverse impacts on other property in the surrounding area, and to carry out the stated purpose and intent of this zoning ordinance.
(I) Transferability. Administrative adjustment approval runs with the land and is not affected by changes of tenancy, ownership, or management.
(J) Amendments. A request for changes in conditions of approval of an administrative adjustment must be processed as a new administrative adjustment application, including the requirements for fees and notices.
(K) Lapse of approval.
(1) An approved administrative adjustment will lapse and have no further effect one year after it is approved by the Zoning Administrator, unless:
(a) A building permit has been issued (if required); or
(b) Or the use or structure has been lawfully established.
(2) The Zoning Administrator is authorized to extend the expiration period for good cause on up to two separate occasions, by up to 180 days each. Requests for extensions must be submitted to the Zoning Administrator before the administrative adjustment expires. No hearings, notices or fees are required for extensions.
(3) An administrative adjustment also lapses upon revocation of a building permit for violations of conditions of approval or upon expiration of a building permit to carry out the work authorized by the administrative adjustment.
(L) Appeals. If an administrative adjustment request is denied, the applicant may file an application for a zoning variance, in accordance with the variance procedures of § 155-16.70.
(Ord. effective 10-1-2012)