Chapter 18.23


18.23.010    When may be granted.

18.23.020    Application--Procedure--Map.

18.23.030    Application--Public hearing--Notice.

18.23.040    Application--Public hearing--Decision.

18.23.050    Appeals.

18.23.060    Expiration date--Extension.

18.23.070    Application--Resubmittal after final disapproval.

18.23.080    Applicability of Section 18.23.090.

18.23.090    Application--Planning commission action.

18.23.010 When may be granted.

Variances from the specific terms of this title may be granted when such variance will not be contrary to the intent of this title, nor to the public interest, safety, health and welfare, where due to special considerations or exceptional characteristics of the property or its location or surroundings, a literal enforcement of this title would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship.  A variance may also be granted to permit the extension of a district where the boundary line thereof divides a lot or parcel of land in one ownership at the time of the adoption of this title.  A variance may also be granted to permit buildings or structures to exceed the building height limit in R-3, C-G, C-VS, IND, OS-A and PUD districts whenever it appears that the granting of such application will not, under the circumstances of the particular case, materially affect adversely the health or safety of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of the property of the applicant and will not, under the circumstances of the particular case, be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property or improvements in the neighborhood.  (1996 zoning code (part)).

18.23.020 Application--Procedure--Map.

A.    Application for any variance permissible under the provisions of this chapter shall be made in writing to the planning commission on forms provided by the commission.  The application shall be signed and verified by the owner of the land involved or by his authorized agent.  If application is made by a person other than the owner, written authorization to act on behalf of the owner shall be submitted with such application.  An application may also be made on behalf of one who is or will be plaintiff in an action in eminent domain to acquire the premises involved.

B.    The application shall show or be accompanied by the legal description of the property for which the variance is requested, and the street address, if there is one, or other common description of the premises.

C.    The zoning administrator or the planning commission may also require that the application be accompanied by a map drawn to scale showing the location of the property concerned and the location of all highways, streets and alleys, and all lots and parcels of land within a distance of five hundred feet from the exterior boundaries of the property involved.  The accuracy of such map shall be the responsibility of the applicant.  (1996 zoning code (part)).

18.23.030 Application--Public hearing--Notice.

Upon receipt of any application, the planning commission shall hold at least one public hearing thereon, notice of which shall be given in the manner hereinafter provided.  Such notice shall contain the street address or other description of the property for which the application is sought, and set forth the time, place and general purpose of the hearing:

A.    By mailing a postal card notice not less than ten days prior to the date of the hearing to the owners of property, as shown on the last equalized assessment roll, within three hundred feet of the exterior limits of the property or properties which are the subject of the application for the variance; or by both of the following:

B.    Publication one time in a newspaper of general circulation in the city, at least ten days before the date of said hearing; and

C.    Posting notices in the same manner as set forth in this title for a proposed amendment; provided, however, that the failure to give such notice or of any addressee to receive the same shall not invalidate or affect any proceedings taken pursuant to this chapter.  (1996 zoning code (part)).

18.23.040 Application--Public hearing--Decision.

A.    At such hearings, the applicant may present testimony and other evidence in support of his application, and other interested persons may be heard and/or present evidence on the matter.

B.    The burden shall be on the applicant to show:

1.    That there are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applying to the land, building or use referred to in the application which circumstances or conditions do not apply generally to the land, buildings and/or uses in the same district;

2.    That the granting of the application is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of substantial property rights of the petitioner;

3.    That the granting of such application will not, under the circumstances of the particular case, materially affect adversely the health or safety of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of the property of the applicant, and will not, under the circumstances of the particular case, be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property or improvements in said neighborhood.

C.    After the conclusion of the aforesaid hearing, the planning commission shall make a written finding of facts showing whether the three foregoing requirements have been established with respect to the land, building or use for which the variance is sought, and make its determination as to the granting or denial of the application for a variance.

D.    In approving the granting of any variance under the provisions of this chapter, the planning commission shall impose such conditions in connection therewith as will, in its opinion, secure substantially the objectives of this title as to light and air, and the public health, safety, morals, convenience and general welfare.  It shall also require such evidence and guarantees as it deems necessary to obtain compliance with the conditions imposed in connection therewith.  (1996 zoning code (part)).

18.23.050 Appeals.

Determinations of the planning commission under the provisions of this chapter may be appealed to the city council pursuant to the requirements of Chapter 1.25.  (Ord. C-7-08 §25, 2008:  Ord. 5-07 §4, 2007:  1996 zoning code (part)).

18.23.060 Expiration date--Extension.

A.    Unless otherwise expressly stated in the granting thereof, every variance approved under the provisions of the ordinance codified in this title shall lapse and expire and be of no force and effect whatsoever, unless the building, work of construction or other project or undertaking for which the variance was granted is substantially commenced within six months after its effective date and thereafter diligently prosecuted to completion.

B.    In any case where the planning commission shall determine that the exercise of rights under a variance has not been so commenced within six months or diligently prosecuted to completion, it may enter its findings upon the minutes and advise the applicant or owner thereof.  Said determination shall become final unless an appeal therefrom is taken to the city council within the time and in the manner provided in Section 18.23.050.

C.    Nothing herein shall prevent the planning commission, for good cause shown, and upon application in writing made prior to the expiration of said six month period, from extending the time for the exercise of said rights for one additional period of six months.  (1996 zoning code (part)).

18.23.070 Application--Resubmittal after final disapproval.

An application for a variance that has been finally disapproved may not be resubmitted for a period of one year from final disapproval unless the application has been substantially changed.  (1996 zoning code (part)).

18.23.080 Applicability of Section 18.23.090.

The provisions contained in Section 18.23.090 shall be applicable in all R-3, C-G, C-D, C-VS, and IND districts, and in all planned unit developments containing R-3 commercial or manufacturing uses otherwise included in the district regulations applicable to said districts.  (1996 zoning code (part)).

18.23.090 Application--Planning commission action.

Approval of an application for design approval shall be secured for the construction of any building or structure or substantial addition thereto.  Said application shall be accompanied by a plot plan and drawings or sketches showing the elevations of the proposed buildings, structures, planting, paving and other improvements, as the same will appear upon completion.  Such drawings or sketches shall be considered by the planning commission in an endeavor to provide that such buildings, structures, planting, paving and other improvements shall be so designed and constructed that they will not be of unsightly or obnoxious appearance to the extent that they will hinder the orderly and harmonious development of the city, impair the desirability of residence, investment or occupation in the city, limit the opportunity to attain the optimum use and the value of the land and the improvements, impair the desirability of living or working conditions in the same or adjacent areas, and/or otherwise adversely affect the general prosperity and welfare.  To this end, the planning commission shall recommend any changes in the plan of such proposed buildings, structures, planting and paving and other improvements as it deems necessary to accomplish the purposes of this section and Section 18.23.080, and shall not recommend approval of any such plans to the city council until it is satisfied that such purposes will be accompanied thereby.  No building permit shall be issued unless the plans filed with the application therefor, as required in this section and Section 18.23.080, shall first have been approved by the city council.  (1996 zoning code (part)).