Chapter 18.44


18.44.02    Intent and Purpose.

18.44.04    Limitations on the Variance.

18.44.06    Initiation.

18.44.08    Application.

18.44.10    Investigation of Application for Variance.

18.44.12    Concurrent Procedures.

18.44.14    Public Hearings on Application for Variance.

18.44.16    Criteria for Granting a Variance.

18.44.18    Conditions of Approval.

18.44.20    Force of Conditions of Approval.

18.44.22    Administration of Variance.

18.44.26    Reapplication for Variance.

18.44.28    Revocation and Expiration of Variance.

18.44.02 Intent and Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to allow variation from the strict application of the terms of this ordinance whereby reason of the exceptional narrowness, shallowness, or unusual shape of a specific piece of property on the effective date of this ordinance, or by reason of exceptional topographic or other condition of such piece of property or improvement thereon, the literal enforcement of the requirements of this ordinance would involve practical difficulties or would be undue hardship unnecessary to carry out the spirit and purpose of this ordinance.

18.44.04 Limitations on the Variance.

(1)    A variance shall not be granted for a parcel of property which authorizes a use or activity which is not otherwise expressly authorized by the zone regulation governing the parcel of property.

(2)    No variance shall be granted which would have the effect of granting a special privilege inconsistent with the limitations upon other properties in the vicinity and zone in which the property, which is the subject of the application, is situated.

18.44.06 Initiation.

A variance consistent with the purpose of this action may be initiated as follows:

(1)    By motion of either the City Council or Planning Commission.

(2)    By verified application of the owner or owners (or their authorized agents) of the property to which the variance is to apply.

18.44.08 Application.

Application for a variance shall be made to the Planning Commission on a form provided by the Planning Department, and shall be accompanied by the following:

(1)    The name and address of the applicant therefore; evidence that he is the owner of the parcel or premises involved, or that he has permission of the owner to make such application; and a legal description of the subject parcel or premises.

(2)    An application fee to assist in defraying the expense of postage, posting, advertising, and other costs of labor and materials incidental to the proceedings prescribed herein. This fee shall be in accord with a schedule established by resolution of the City Council and shall be non-refundable.

(3)    Nine copies of a Site Plan, containing all the information required by Section 18.40.08 (CONTENT OF A SITE PLAN).

(4)    Such other information as the Planning Commission or City Council may require, including but not limited to market studies, design studies, engineering studies, and evidence of the ability and intention of the applicant to proceed with construction in accordance with approved plans within one year from the approval of the variance.

(5)    Responsibility for Accuracy. The applicant shall be solely responsible for the accuracy of information submitted as part of his application. Submission of inaccurate plans, legal descriptions, surrounding property owners list, or other information shall be cause for invalidation of all actions regarding his petition.

(6)    Such applications shall be numbered consecutively in the order of their filing and shall become a part of the permanent official records of the City, and there shall be attached to each such application copies of all reports, notices and actions pertaining thereto.

18.44.10 Investigation of Application for Variance.

The Commission shall cause to be made such investigation of facts bearing on the application for variance as will provide necessary information to assure that the action on each such application is consistent with the intent and purpose of this Ordinance.

18.44.12 Concurrent Procedures.

In considering the variance application, the Commission, and Council on Appeal, shall review the proposed plans under the terms and criteria of Chapter 18.40 (SITE PLAN REVIEW), and Chapter 18.41 (ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW) if applicable.

18.44.14 Public Hearings on Application for Variance.

Public hearings and appeals on the Variance Application shall be held and governed by the provisions of Chapter 18.43 (HEARINGS AND APPEALS THEREFROM).

18.44.16 Criteria for Granting a Variance.

Neither the Commission nor the Council may grant a Variance from the terms and provisions of the City’s Zoning regulations as stated in Title 18 of the Municipal Code of the City, including any requirement provided therein, unless, it has first found from the evidence admitted during the Hearing before the Commission or Council that because of special circumstances, applicable to the subject property, including size, shape, topography, location or surroundings, the strict application and provisions of the terms of the City’s Zoning Regulations, from which the Variance is being sought, deprives the subject property of privileges enjoyed by other properties in the vicinity and under identical zone classification.

At the time of granting any Variance, the Commission or Council shall impose thereon such conditions as will assure that the adjustment authorized by said Variance shall not constitute a grant of special privileges inconsistent with the limitations upon other properties in the vicinity and zone in which subject property is located and further assure that the Variance shall not adversely affect property and the use thereof in the vicinity of subject property and the public health, safety and general welfare. (Ord. 312, Sec. 1, 1974)

18.44.18 Conditions of Approval.

The Commission in granting a Variance may establish conditions under which a lot or parcel of land may be used or a building erected and/or altered, or make requirements as to right-of-way dedications, architecture, height of building, open spaces, parking areas, and conditions of operation of any enterprise, or make any requirements that the Commission may consider necessary to prevent damage or prejudice to adjacent properties, or detriment to the welfare of the community.

18.44.20 Force of Conditions of Approval.

Any restrictions or conditions required by the Commission or the City Council on appeal, in the granting of a Variance under the provisions of this chapter shall be complied with. If such conditions or requirements are not met or if the use permitted is discontinued for a period of one year or more, the Commission shall hold a public hearing in the same manner as set forth in Chapter 18.46 (Revocation and Expiration of Permit and Variances) to determine if the permit should be revoked. Upon revocation, further use of the property, or maintenance of any building constructed thereon, by authority of such variance or permit shall constitute a violation of this ordinance. (Ord. 502, Sec. 4, 1983)

18.44.22 Administration of Variance.

(1)    All acts of the City Planning Commission under this section shall be construed as administrative acts performed for the purpose assuring that the intent and purpose of this ordinance shall apply in special cases, as provided in this section, and shall not be construed as amendments to the provisions of this ordinance or map.

(2)    The Site Plan submitted with an application, together with the conditions, if any, required by the Planning Commission and/or Council, shall be kept on file in the office of the Planning Director and shall be referred to prior to issuing a building permit. Where there is a substantial change from the original Site Plan, said action shall be referred to the Planning Commission for action, under the procedures of Chapter 18.40 (Site Plan Review). No modification to the conditions of the original resolution granting the Conditional Use Permit shall be permitted without a public hearing as required in Chapter 18.43 (Hearings and Appeals Therefrom). In case of such hearing, a new application, filing fee and procedure shall be required.

18.44.26 Reapplication for Variance.

The City shall not accept for filing nor consider any application for a variance on premises or in a building or structure, for which a similar variance application was denied by the City, irrespective of whom the applicants are on either application, until twelve consecutive calendar months have expired from the date of the final decision of the City denying the earlier application, unless such final decision was a denial with the grant of the privilege that a similar application may be filed sooner than twelve consecutive months from the date of said decision.

18.44.28 Revocation and Expiration of Variance.

The provisions of Chapter 18.46 (Revocation and Expiration of Permits and Variances) shall apply. (Ord. 501, Sec. 5, 1983)