Chapter 17.88
VARIANCES

Sections:

17.88.010    Authority to grant variances.

17.88.020    Application.

17.88.030    Fee.

17.88.040    Public hearing notification.

17.88.050    Approval or denial of application – Standards.

17.88.060    Conditions of approval.

17.88.070    Review and appeal of decisions of code compliance officer.

17.88.080    Appeal from decision – Time limits.

17.88.090    Findings of fact.

17.88.100    Violations deemed misdemeanor – Penalty – Additional lawful actions.

17.88.010 Authority to grant variances.

A variance may be granted by the board of adjustment after a public hearing and review by the board of adjustment. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)

17.88.020 Application.

A written application for a variance from zoning ordinances and any other land use regulatory ordinance or plan shall be submitted to the board of adjustment on forms prescribed by the board of adjustment and shall include such information as requested thereon. No application shall be accepted unless it complies with such requirements. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)

17.88.030 Fee.

The variance application shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee established by the city council. No action shall be taken upon the application until the fee has been paid. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)

17.88.040 Public hearing notification.

Before a request for a variance is acted upon by the board of adjustment it shall be considered at a public hearing. Notice of the public hearing shall be given as follows:

A. By sending copies of the notice by mail not less than five days nor more than 14 days prior to the date of the hearing to all property owners within 300 feet of the exterior boundaries of the property involved, and it shall be the responsibility of the applicant to provide mailing labels with the name and addresses of owners as shown on the records of the county assessor;

B. At the discretion of the staff additional announcement of the public hearing may be given by posting copies of the notice in a conspicuous place at or near the location of the proposal, or by such radio and/or press advertisement as deemed necessary. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)

17.88.050 Approval or denial of application – Standards.

Subject to conditions, safeguards and procedures provided by ordinance, the board of adjustment shall be empowered to hear and decide:

A. Applications for variances from the terms of the zoning ordinances, from the official zoning map, ordinance and from other land use regulatory ordinances prescribed by city ordinance, and no application for a variance shall be granted unless the board of adjustment finds:

1. That the variance shall not constitute a grant of special privilege inconsistent with the limitation upon uses of other properties in the vicinity and zone in which the subject property is located; and

2. That such variance is necessary, because of special circumstances relating to the size, shape, topography, location or surroundings of the subject property, to provide it with use rights and privileges permitted to other properties in the vicinity and in the zone in which the subject property is located; and

3. That the granting of such variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property or improvements in the vicinity and zone in which the subject property is situated.

B. In deciding any of the matters referred to it, the board of adjustment shall issue a written report giving the reasons for its decision. The board of adjustment shall further make a finding that the reasons set forth in the application justify the granting of the variance and that the variance is the minimum variance that will make possible the reasonable use of the land, building or structure. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)

17.88.060 Conditions of approval.

In approving any variance, the board may impose reasonable conditions to ensure that the variance shall not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property or improvements in the area. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)

17.88.070 Review and appeal of decisions of code compliance officer.

The board may review any interpretation of the provisions of the zoning ordinances made by the code compliance officer and any order, requirement, decision or determination relating thereto, in the application of the specific provisions of the zoning ordinances to any parcel of land and/or structure. The board may after public hearing confirm or reverse the interpretation made by the code compliance officer and any order, requirement, decision or determination relating thereto; and the board’s decision shall be based upon the record and the findings in each case, and to that end it shall have all of the powers of the code compliance officer. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)

17.88.080 Appeal from decision – Time limits.

The action by the board of adjustment on an application for a variance or an appeal from the decision of the code compliance officer shall be final. Any board decision shall be reviewable for unlawful, arbitrary, capricious or corrupt action or nonaction by writ of review before the Douglas County superior court; provided, that the application for writ of review shall be made to the court within 10 days from any decision so to be reviewed. The costs of transcription of all records ordered certified by the court for such review shall be borne by the appellant at the rate prescribed by the administrator of this title. Such costs shall not exceed the amount necessary to reimburse the city for its expenses actually incurred. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)

17.88.090 Findings of fact.

In issuing an order, requirement, decision or determination, the board of adjustment shall make written findings of fact stating reasons upon which the action is based. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)

17.88.100 Violations deemed misdemeanor – Penalty – Additional lawful actions.

A. Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter, prior to the erection of any building constituting a variance from the zoning ordinances, or failure to comply with zoning ordinances as presently established without complying with the provisions of this chapter in the application of a proper variance, shall constitute a misdemeanor. Each day such violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.

B. The owner or tenant of any building, structure, premises or part thereof, and any architect, builder, contractor, agent or other person who commits, participates in, assists in or maintains such violation, may be found guilty of a separate offense and suffer the penalties provided in EWMC 1.20.010, as the same exists now or may hereafter be amended.

C. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the city from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violations. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)