32B-29 Conditions for variances. +1

A.    Generally, variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot of one-half acre or less in size contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood elevation, provided the procedures of Articles IV and V of this chapter have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond one-half acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.

B.    Variances may be issued for the repair, rehabilitation or restoration of structures listed in the National Register of Historic Places or the State Inventory of Historic Places, upon a determination that the proposed repair or rehabilitation will not preclude the structure’s continued designation as a historic structure and the variance is the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.

C.    For a variance to be granted, the circumstances must be exceptional, unusual, and peculiar to the property involved. Mere economic or financial hardship alone is not exceptional. Inconvenience, aesthetic considerations, physical handicaps, personal preferences, or the disapproval of one’s neighbors likewise cannot, as a rule, qualify as an exceptional hardship. All of these problems can be resolved through other means without granting a variance, even if the alternative is more expensive, or requires the property owner to build elsewhere or put the parcel to a different use than originally intended.

D.    Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.

E.    Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.

F.    Variances shall only be issued upon a:

1.    Showing of good and sufficient cause;

2.    Determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant;

3.    Showing that the use cannot perform its intended purpose unless it is located or carried out in close proximity to water. This includes only facilities defined in Article II of this chapter in the definition of functionally dependent use; and

4.    Determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.

Date of Addition/Revision/Deletion - Section 32B-29

+1    Addition on 5-30-2012 by Ordinance No. G-5707, eff. 6-29-2012