A variance is required when an application has submitted a proposed project to the Department of Permitting Services and it is determined that the construction, alteration or extension does not conform to the development standards (in the zoninig ordinance) for the zone in which the subject property is located. A variance may be required in any zone and includes accessory structures as well as primary buildings or dwellings.
A completed building permit application, 2 site plans (showing proposed construction and distances to all property lines) and a check for the denial fee, is submitted to zoning staff for site plan review. If staff determines that the proposed construction does not meet applicable development standards referenced in the Zoning Ordinance, the applicant is informed that a variance will be necessary before further permit processing. The applicant is provided with a denial notice and directed to apply for a variance heard by the County Board of Appeals .
The permit denial fee is $59.00. The Board of Appeals will charge a separate filing fee for hearing a variance application.
For a Variance to be awarded, the applicant must prove that, there is a specific situation or conditions that are particular to the property which make it unique from neighboring properties or other properties in this same zone which render it unable to comply with zoning standards. The Board of Appeals will not grant a variance without having burden of proof that the “practical difficulty” has resulted from the zoning standard and not from personal action or inaction of the property owner. Some additional Guidelines can be found here.
If the variance is approved by the Board of Appeals the applicant follows the procedure for obtaining a residential permit. The following material will be needed: