Chapter 18.48
VARIANCES

Sections:

18.48.010    Authority to grant.

18.48.020    Conditions necessary to granting a variance.

18.48.025    Mandatory conditions imposed upon encroachments.

18.48.030    Procedure.

18.48.040    Revocation or amendment.

18.48.050    Deleted.

18.48.010 Authority to grant.

A. Where practical difficulties, unnecessary hardships, or results inconsistent with the general purposes of this chapter occur from its strict literal interpretation and enforcement, a variance may be granted authorizing, upon such terms and conditions as are deemed necessary, such variances therefrom as may be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this title, so that its spirit shall be observed, public safety and welfare secured, and substantial justice done. A variance shall not be granted to permit a use not permitted in a specific zone as established by this title.

B. A variance may be granted to permit a fixed encroachment such as a building, wall, or structure into the public right-of-way. In addition to requiring a variance, an applicant must also obtain an encroachment permit in accordance with Chapter 13.56. (Ord. 1738 § 49, 2012; prior code § 10-3.2401)

18.48.020 Conditions necessary to granting a variance.

The commission, in granting a variance, shall make a finding that in the evidence presented all four of the following conditions exist in reference to the property being considered:

A. That because of special circumstances applicable to the subject property, including size, shape, topography, location, or surroundings, the strict application of the provisions of this title would deprive the subject property of privileges enjoyed by other properties in the vicinity and under identical zone classifications;

B. That any variance granted shall be subject to such conditions as will assure that the adjustment thereby authorized shall not constitute a grant of special privileges inconsistent with the limitations upon other properties in the vicinity and zone in which the subject property is situated;

C. That the granting of the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public health, safety, convenience and welfare or injurious to property and improvements in the same vicinity and zone in which the subject property is situated; and

D. That the granting of such variance will not adversely affect or be in conflict with the policies of the General Plan of the city. (Ord. 1683 § 79, 2006; Urg. Ord. 1682; prior code § 10-3.2402)

18.48.025 Mandatory conditions imposed upon encroachments.

In granting a variance for an encroachment under the provisions of this chapter, the following conditions, in addition to any other conditions deemed necessary and/or advisable, shall be imposed. In the case of conflict with the conditions imposed pursuant to this chapter and the conditions imposed pursuant to Chapter 13.56, the more stringent shall prevail.

A. That the encroachment shall be removed by the permittee at no cost to the city upon thirty days’ written notice to the permittee from the city, and should any cost be incurred by the city in the removal of such encroachment, such cost shall be a lien upon the subject property;

B. That the encroachment shall be recorded in the office of the county recorder;

C. That the encroachment shall be a covenant running with the land and shall be binding upon all heirs, successors, assigns, executors or administrators in interest;

D. That a certificate of insurance in amounts and form satisfactory to the city attorney shall be filed with the city clerk upon the granting of the variance for the encroachment and shall be maintained in good standing at all times so long as the encroachment exists;

E. That the permittee shall sign an agreement releasing the city, its officials, officers, employees and agents from any and all liability whatsoever in the granting of such encroachment; and

F. That the applicant shall expressly agree to each of the conditions imposed, including any which may be in addition to the foregoing, as a prerequisite to the granting of the encroachment by the city. (Ord. 1738 § 50, 2012)

18.48.030 Procedure.

A. Applications.

1. Filing. An application for a variance shall be filed by the owner of the property for which the variance is sought or by the authorized representative of the owner.

2. Form and Contents. The application shall be made to the commission on forms furnished by the city. The application shall set forth in detail the reasons for the requested variance, present written evidence that the conditions set forth in Section 18.48.020 are satisfied, and shall provide other information as may be prescribed by the commission to assist in determining the validity of the request.

B. Filing Fees.

1. Variance applications shall be accompanied by the filing fee established by City Council resolution for the purpose of defraying the costs of processing the application.

2. An application to amend or modify a previously approved variance shall be accompanied by a filing fee established by City Council resolution to cover the costs of processing such application.

3. An investigation shall be conducted by all departments of the city which may have an interest in, or jurisdiction over, the matter in order to provide the information necessary for action consistent with the intent and purpose of this chapter.

D. Commission Hearings – Date – Notices.

1. The hearing date shall be set by the secretary of the commission after the application has been determined to be complete.

2. Notice of the public hearing shall contain the time and place of the hearing and other pertinent data presented in the application in the following ways:

a. Newspaper Notices. Notice shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the city not less than ten days before the date set for the hearing.

b. Written Notices. Written notices shall be mailed not less than ten days before the date set for the hearing to the owners and occupants of property within a radius of three hundred feet of the external boundaries of the property described in the application, as are shown on the latest publicly available assessment roll of the county.

E. Commission Hearings – Notices.

1. Commission Hearings. Public hearings shall be conducted before the commission. The commission may establish its own rules for the conduct of public hearings, and the member of the commission presiding at such hearing is empowered to administer oaths to any persons testifying. In the event a hearing is noticed to commence at a given hour, and for any reason such hearing cannot be commenced at such hour due to other matters on the agenda for such meeting, or otherwise, the hearing may be commenced as soon as they reach the item on the agenda for such meeting.

The commission may, when it deems such action necessary or desirable, continue such hearing to a time and place certain. Such continuance and announcement thereof shall serve as sufficient notice of such continuance without further newspaper publication of the notice.

2. Records of Commission Hearings. A summary of all pertinent testimony offered at the public hearing, the names and addresses of persons testifying, and copies of all notices and affidavits of publication and records of action taken shall be a part of the permanent files of the case and shall be kept in duplicate.

3. Commission Findings and Decisions. The commission action shall be in written form and include the findings upon which the Commission based its decision.

4. Notification of Council and Applicant. Not later than seven days after a decision is rendered by the commission, the secretary of the commission shall forward a copy of such decision to the council and to the applicant.

F. Commission Approval and Conditions. The commission, in granting a variance, shall find that the conditions set forth in Section 18.48.020 exist and may require reasonable conditions which shall assure the intent and purposes of this chapter.

G. (Deleted).

H. Time Limits for Development. The construction or occupancy of land or buildings granted under a variance shall be utilized within a period of not to exceed twelve months from and after the date of granting such permit, and, if not so developed and utilized, such variance automatically shall become null and void at the expiration of such twelve-month period.

The permittee may apply in writing to the planning commission for one extension of time, not to exceed six months, within which to develop and use such variance. Such application shall be made prior to the expiration of the utilization period. When such an application for an extension is filed, a filing fee established by city council resolution shall be paid for the purpose of defraying the costs incidental to the processing of such extension. The commission, after due consideration, shall either grant or deny such extension of time for such development and use. Only one such extension shall be permitted.

I. Reapplications. Whenever an application is denied by the commission, the same or substantially the same application shall not be filed within a period of twelve months from and after the date of such denial. (Ord. 1738 § 51, 2012; Ord. 1683 § 80, 2006; Urg. Ord. 1682; Ord. 1629 §§ 21, 22, 2003; prior code § 10-3.2403)

18.48.040 Revocation or amendment.

The commission may revoke or amend a variance for cause. A written notice of the intention to revoke shall be delivered to the owner of the property to which the variance applies at least ten days before the hearing. A hearing shall be held before the commission prior to the revocation of the variance. If the commission revokes a variance, written findings setting forth the basis for its decision shall be adopted.

This section shall not apply to variances which have lapsed pursuant to subsection H of Section 18.48.030. (Ord. 1683 § 81, 2006; Urg. Ord. 1682; prior code § 10-3.2405)