(A)   Limitations. The Council, in each case as hereinafter provided, shall have power to grant adjustments in and exceptions to any of the provisions of this chapter to the extent of the following and no further:
      (1)   To vary or modify the strict application of any of the regulations or provisions contained in this chapter in cases in which there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in the way of such strict application; and
      (2)   To permit the extension of a district where the boundary line thereof divides a lot in one ownership at the time of the passage of this chapter.
   (B)   Application. Application for any adjustment permissible under the provisions of this section shall be made to the Building Official in the form of a written application for a building permit or for a permit to use the property or premises as set forth in the application. An application for an adjustment shall be accompanied by payment of a fee in such amount as may be set by motion or resolution of the Council from time to time in addition to the regular building permit fee, if any. Upon receipt of any application, such officer shall set a time and place for a public hearing before the Planning Commission on such application. At least ten days before the date of the hearing, a notice of the hearing shall be published once in the official newspaper.
   (C)   Planning Commission action. The Commission shall thereupon make its decision upon the application and report its recommendation to the Council within ten days after such hearing. In recommending granting any adjustment or variance under the provision of this section, the Planning Commission shall designate such conditions in connection therewith as will in its opinion secure substantially the objectives of the regulation involved; and in recommending denial the Commission shall specify the reasons why the variance cannot be adjusted to meet the purposes of this chapter as to light, air, public health, safety, comfort, convenience or general welfare.
   (D)   Council action. No permit shall be issued under the provisions of this section unless and until it is ordered by the Council. In reporting its decision to the Council, the Planning Commission shall report its findings with respect thereto and all facts in connection therewith and shall specifically and fully set forth the conditions upon which variance is recommended. Upon receipt of such report, the Council shall by resolution either accept or reject the same and shall either grant or deny the application for permit according to its own determination of the question involved. In all cases in which adjustments or variances are granted under the provisions of this section, the Council shall require such evidence and guarantees as it may deem necessary to ensure compliance with the conditions designated in connection therewith.
   (E)   Limitations for granting applications.
      (1)   The Planning Commission shall not recommend the granting of any application, and the Council shall not grant any application, unless they find the following facts:
         (a)   That there are special circumstances or conditions affecting the land, building or use referred to in the application;
         (b)   That the granting of the application is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of substantial property rights;
         (c)   That the granting of the application will not materially affect adversely the health or safety of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of the property of the applicant and will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property or improvements in the neighborhood.
      (2)   At the hearing the applicant shall present a statement and evidence in such form as the Planning Commission may require to show these facts.
(Ord. 151, passed 1-10-96; Am. Ord. 5, 2007 Series, passed 7-10-07)