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Chapter 18.108
VARIANCES

Sections:

18.108.010  Variances.

18.108.020  Application.

18.108.030  Public hearing.

18.108.040  Findings.

18.108.050  Decision.

18.108.060  Appeals.

18.108.070  Building permits.

18.108.080  Time extensions.

18.108.090  Revocation.

 

18.108.010 Variances.

Where practical difficulties, unnecessary hardships and effects inconsistent with the general purpose of this title may result from the strict application of certain provisions, variances may be granted in the manner specified herein. No variance may be granted allowing a use in any district where such use is prohibited by the terms of this title. (Zoning Ord. § 54-1).

18.108.020 Application.

Application shall be made to the Planning Commission in writing on a form prescribed by the Planning Commission, and shall be accompanied by plans and elevations necessary to show the detail of the proposed variance. Such application shall be accompanied by a fee as set by resolution of the City Council. (Zoning Ord. § 54-2).

18.108.030 Public hearing.

A public hearing by the Planning Commission shall be held within forty-five (45) days after the project clearance committee's finding that the application is complete. Notice shall be given by posting in the time and manner set forth in SCCC 18.112.060. (Zoning Ord. § 54-3).

18.108.040 Findings.

In order to grant any variance, the findings of the Planning Commission shall be:

(a) That there are unusual conditions applying to the land or building which do not apply generally in the same district.

(b) That the granting of the variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of substantial property rights of the petitioner.

(c) That the granting of such variance shall not, under the circumstances of the particular case, materially affect adversely the health, safety, peace, morals, comfort or general welfare of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of the applicant's property, and will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property or improvements in said neighborhood.

(d) That the granting of the variance is in keeping with the purpose and intent of this title. (Zoning Ord. § 54-4).

18.108.050 Decision.

The Planning Commission shall render its decision within thirty-five (35) days following the close of the public hearing. Failure of the Commission to render its decision within said period shall be deemed to be a denial of the application. The granting of any variance, when conforming to the provisions of this section, is hereby declared to be an administrative function imposed upon the Planning Commission and the action of the Commission shall be final except in the event of an appeal. (Zoning Ord. § 54-5).

18.108.060 Appeals.

(a) In case the applicant or others affected are not satisfied with the action of the Planning Commission, they may, within seven calendar days after rendition of the decision by the Planning Commission, appeal in writing to the City Council. The City Council on its own motion, made within seven days of the Planning Commission decision or at its first regular meeting upon receipt of formal notice of decision and action of the Planning Commission, whichever is later, may consider the action of the Planning Commission the same as if an appeal had been taken.

(b) Said appeal shall be taken by the filing of a notice in writing to that effect with the City Clerk and by the payment of an appeal fee as set forth by resolution of the City Council. At its regular meeting held at least three days after the filing of a notice of appeal, the City Council shall set a date for the hearing of the appeal, and notice shall be given to the applicant and to the Planning Commission, and by posting as provided in SCCC 18.112.060. The secretary of the Planning Commission shall transmit to the City Council all maps, records, papers and files which constitute the record in the action from which the appeal was taken.

(c) The City Council shall render its decision within forty-five (45) days after the conclusion of said hearing. The City Council in its decision may reverse, affirm, or modify the action of the Planning Commission or it may remand said matter to the Planning Commission for further study or action. Failure of the Council to render its decision within said period shall be deemed to be an affirmance of the action of the Planning Commission. (Zoning Ord. § 54-6).

18.108.070 Building permits.

No building permit shall be issued in any case where a variance is required by the terms of this title until after the granting of such variance by the Planning Commission and the period allowed for appeal has elapsed. In the event of an appeal no such permit shall be granted until the matter has been finally acted upon by the City Council and said variance has been finally approved by the City Council. Building permits issued pursuant to this entire section shall conform to the terms and conditions of the variance granted. (Zoning Ord. § 54-7).

18.108.080 Time extensions.

(a) Any variance approval granted in accordance with the terms of this chapter shall be automatically revoked and terminated if not used within two years of original grant, or within the period of any authorized extensions thereof.

(b) The Planning Commission may at any time authorize extensions of time on any variance, without the need for any public hearing thereon, for not to exceed a total period of twenty-four (24) months next succeeding the original two years when the applicant has satisfied the Planning Commission that good cause exists for the extension.

(c) For the purpose of extending the time on any approval, the application shall be deemed timely made if the applicant has filed a request for an extension before the expiration of the particular approval sought to be extended.

(d) The action of the Planning Commission shall be final except in the event of an appeal as provided in SCCC 18.108.060. (Zoning Ord. § 54-8).

18.108.090 Revocation.

Any variance granted in accordance with the terms of this title may be revoked if basis for approval is found to be invalid, if any of the conditions of such variance are violated, or if any law or ordinance is violated in connection therewith, or if the Planning Commission finds, with the concurrence of the City Council, that the continuance of the variance will endanger the public health, safety or welfare.

The Planning Commission shall hold a hearing on any proposed revocation after giving written notice to the permittee at least ten days prior to the hearing and shall submit its recommendations to the City Council. The City Council shall act within forty-five (45) days after receipt of the recommendations of the Planning Commission. (Zoning Ord. § 54-9).

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The Santa Clara City Code is current through Ordinance 1917, passed January 14, 2014.

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