Land Development Code :: Back to Table of Contents

Section 1204.03    Variances

Variances from the terms of this Code shall not be granted by the BZBA unless the application for
variance demonstrates the following:

  1. Exceptional or unusual conditions exist that are not common to other areas similarly
    situated and practical difficulty may result from strict compliance with any of the
    zoning standards, provided that such relief will not have the effect of nullifying or
    impairing the intent and purpose of these standards. In determining "practical
    difficulty," the BZBA shall consider the following factors:

    1. Whether the property in question will yield a reasonable return or whether
      there can be any beneficial use of the property without the variance;

    2. Whether the variance is substantial;

    3. Whether the essential character of the neighborhood would be substantially
      altered or whether adjoining properties would suffer a substantial detriment as
      a result of the variance;

    4. Whether the variance would adversely affect the delivery of governmental
      services such as water and sewer;

    5. Whether the applicant purchased the property with knowledge of the

    6. Whether the applicant's predicament can be obviated feasibly through some
      method other than a variance; and

    7. Whether the spirit and intent behind the requirement would be observed and
      substantial justice done by granting the variance.

  2. No variance shall be granted if the submitted conditions or circumstances affecting
    the applicant's property are of so general or recurrent a nature as to make reasonably
    practicable the formulation of a general regulation for such conditions or situations.

  3. No variance shall be granted if doing so will have the potential to reduce the level of
    ecological integrity from the existing level to a lesser level as shown on any of the
    individual metrics or the undeveloped composite set forth in Appendix B to this
    Code, unless substantially mitigated.

  4. No variance shall be granted reducing the size of lots contained in an existing or
    proposed subdivision if it will result in an increase in the number of lots beyond the
    number otherwise permitted for the total subdivision, pursuant to the applicable zone
    District regulations.

  5. If authorized, a variance shall represent the least deviation from the regulations that
    will afford relief.

  6. In granting such variances, the BZBA may require such conditions as will, in its
    independent judgment, secure substantially the objectives of the standard so varied or

  7. Under no circumstances shall the BZBA grant a variance to allow a use not
    permitted, or a use expressly or by implication prohibited under the terms of this
    Code for the zone district containing the property for which the variance is sought.

  8. No variance shall be granted to the maximum allowed building footprint area of each
    District's "Property Development/Design Standards" in Chapter 1205 of this Code."