Chapter 17.66
VARIANCES

Sections:

17.66.010    Purpose.

17.66.020    Variance in use prohibited.

17.66.030    Application.

17.66.040    Fee.

17.66.050    Accompanying maps and drawings.

17.66.060    Hearing – Required.

17.66.070    Hearing – Notice.

17.66.080    Conditions.

17.66.090    Findings and decision.

17.66.100    Notice of grant.

17.66.110    Expiration.

17.66.120    Appeal – Fee.

17.66.130    Appeal – Hearing.

17.66.140    Revocation.

17.66.150    Council review.

17.66.160    Amendments.

17.66.010 Purpose.

The purpose of the variance is to allow variation from the strict application of the terms of this title where by reason of the exceptional narrowness, shallowness or unusual shape of a specific piece of property on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title, or by reason of exceptional topographic conditions, of location and surroundings where the literal enforcement of the requirements of this title would involve practical difficulties, would cause undue hardship unnecessary to carry out the spirit and purpose of this title, and would deprive such property from privileges enjoyed by similarly situated properties. (Ord. 388 § 20.01, 1975)

17.66.020 Variance in use prohibited.

In no case shall a variance be granted to permit a use other than a use permitted in that district, nor to the minimum site area per dwelling unit requirements for multiple-family residential dwellings, nor shall a variance be granted that could lessen the protection of an environmentally sensitive habitat area except as specifically provided in Section 17.95 of this title. (Ord. 677 § 11, 1989; Ord. 466, 1980; Ord. 388 § 20.02, 1975)

17.66.030 Application.

Application for a variance shall be made by the property owner, or agent thereof (with the property owner’s written permission) to the planning commission, on a form prescribed by the commission. (Ord. 388 § 20.03, 1975)

17.66.040 Fee.

The application fee for a variance shall be established by city council resolution. (Ord. 388 § 20.04, 1975)

17.66.050 Accompanying maps and drawings.

Maps and drawings which demonstrate that the conditions set forth in this chapter apply to subject property, together with precise and accurate legal descriptions and scaled drawings of the parcel and existing buildings and other data required, shall be submitted with the application. (Ord. 388 § 20.05, 1975)

17.66.060 Hearing – Required.

A public hearing shall be required to consider a variance application. (Ord. 388 § 20.06, 1975)

17.66.070 Hearing – Notice.

Notice of hearing shall be as provided in Government Code Section 65091(a). (Ord. 721 § 2, 1991; Ord. 388 § 20.07, 1975)

17.66.080 Conditions.

In approving a variance permit, the planning commission may include such conditions as it deems reasonable and necessary under the circumstances to preserve the integrity and character of the district and to secure the general purposes of this title and the general plan. Such conditions, without limiting the discretion and authority of the planning commission in this regard, may include time limitations, architectural and site review, street dedication, and street drainage improvements. (Ord. 388 § 20.08, 1975)

17.66.090 Findings and decision.

The planning commission, on the basis of the evidence submitted at the hearing, may grant a variance permit when it finds:

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

B. That the grant of a variance permit would not constitute a grant of special privilege inconsistent with the limitations upon other properties in the vicinity and zone in which subject property is situated. (Ord. 388 § 20.09, 1975)

17.66.100 Notice of grant.

Upon the grant of an application for a variance permit, the planning commission shall prepare and deliver to the applicant a formal statement thereof stating the fact of the grant and any conditions attached thereto. No decision of the planning commission shall become final upon an application for a variance permit until the time in which an appeal may be filed with the city council elapses without an appeal having been filed. (Ord. 388 § 20.10, 1975)

17.66.110 Expiration.

Every right or privilege authorized under this chapter shall terminate two years after granting the request, if such right or privilege has not been exercised in good faith within that time. Such termination will take effect without further city action if a timely request for extension of time has not been made or is denied. Any interruption or cessation beyond the control of the property owner shall not result in the termination of such right or privilege. (Ord. 873 § 23, 2004; Ord. 388 § 20.11, 1975)

17.66.120 Appeal – Fee.

A determination of the planning commission with respect to a variance permit is appealable to the city council, upon written request for a hearing before the council. If the appeal is by the applicant from a denial by the planning commission there shall be no fee for such appeal. If the appeal is by others from a grant by the planning commission, the fee for filing such appeal shall be established by city council resolution. The written appeal shall give reasons for the appeal and specifically state where the planning commission’s findings or procedures were in error. In the absence of such a request being filed within ten days after determination by the planning commission, such determination is final. (Ord. 388 § 20.12, 1975)

17.66.130 Appeal – Hearing.

In any appeal before the city council in a variance permit matter, consideration by the council shall be limited to the evidence and matters presented at the original hearing before the planning commission; provided, that the city council may, by motion duly passed, elect in its discretion to grant a hearing de novo. (Ord. 388 § 20.13, 1975)

17.66.140 Revocation.

A. The planning commission may, after holding a public hearing, revoke or amend a variance for either of the following reasons:

1. That the approval of the permit was based upon false information submitted by the applicant;

2. That the permit is being exercised contrary to the terms or conditions of approval, or in violation of this title.

B. The violation of any of the conditions imposed by the planning commission in connection with the granting of any variance shall constitute a violation of this title, and shall be subject to the same penalties as any other violation of this title. (Ord. 388 § 20.14, 1975)

17.66.150 Council review.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the actions of the planning commission are subject to review by the city council at its discretion. (Ord. 388 S20.15, 1975)

17.66.160 Amendments.

A property owner may petition to amend a variance by filing a new application. (Ord. 388 § 20.16, 1975)