Variance & Conditional Use Information
Variances are deviations from the terms of the Land Development Code (LDC) which would not be contrary to the public interest when owing to special circumstances or conditions, the literal enforcement of the provisions of the LDC would result in undue and unnecessary hardship.
Variances shall only be granted from the dimensional standards of Article VII, the off-street parking or landscape standards of Article VIII, and the subdivision standards of the LDC, except that a height variance shall not be permitted in any zoning district. Variances shall not be granted to permit a use not generally allowed in the zoning district in which it is located. Variances may not be requested for relief from maximum building height, residential density, or minimum lot area requirements.
At a public hearing, the Board of Adjustment shall approve, approve with conditions, or deny an application for variance pursuant to the standards of LDC Section 34-286.
Standards Applicable to All Variances
In order to authorize any variance from the terms of the Land Development Code, the Board of Adjustment must find that:
- Special conditions and circumstances exist which are peculiar to the parcel of land, building or structure, which are not applicable to other parcels of land, structures or buildings in the same zoning district;
- Special circumstances and conditions do not result from the actions of the applicant;
- Granting the variance will not confer upon the applicant any special privilege denied by the comprehensive plan and the code to other parcels of land, buildings, or structures, in the same zoning district;
- Literal interpretation and enforcement of the terms and provisions of the code would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other parcels of land in the same zoning district, and would work an unnecessary and undue hardship;
- Granting of variance is the minimum variance that will make possible the reasonable use of the parcel of land, building or structure, and;
- Granting of variance will be generally consistent with the purposes, goals, objectives, and policies of the comprehensive plan and the code and will not adversely effect adjacent land.
Conditional Use Applications
Conditional uses are those uses that are generally not compatible with other land uses permitted in a zoning district, but with individual review and control of their location, design, configuration and intensity, and density of use, buildings and structures, and the imposition of conditions pertinent thereto in order to ensure the appropriateness of the use at a particular location, may be permitted in the zoning district as a conditional use.
At a public hearing, the Planning Commission shall issue a development order approving, approving with conditions, or denying an application for a conditional use pursuant to the standards of LDC Section 34-231.
Standards Applicable to All Conditional Uses
When considering an application for a development permit for a conditional use, the Planning Commission shall consider whether and the extent to which:
- The conditional use is consistent with the goals, objectives and policies of the comprehensive plan, including standards for building and structural intensities and densities, and intensities of use;
- The conditional use is consistent with the character of the immediate vicinity of the land proposed for development, and designed so that it is consistent with the harmonious development of the zoning district in which it is proposed;
- The design of the proposed conditional use minimizes adverse effects, including visual impact, of the proposed use on adjacent properties, and provides adequate screening and buffering;
- The proposed conditional use will have an adverse effect on the permitted uses of the zoning district where it is located;
- The proposed conditional use will have an adverse effect on the value of adjacent property;
- There are adequate public facilities and services pursuant to Article X, Adequate Public Facility Standards;
- The proposed conditional use will require signs or exterior lighting which will cause glare or adversely impact area traffic safety;
- There is adequate ingress and egress to the proposed conditional use, and it is designed so as to minimize traffic congestion on the city's roads;
- The proposed conditional use is consistent with the requirements of the LDC;
- The applicant has the financial and technical capacity to complete the conditional use as proposed, and has made adequate legal provision to guarantee the provision of open space and other improvements associated with the proposed conditional use;
- The proposed conditional use complies with all additional standards imposed on it by the particular provision of the comprehensive plan authorizing such use and all other applicable requirements of the LDC.