Chapter 17.30


17.30.005    Purpose.

17.30.010    Required findings.

17.30.020    Time limits.

17.30.030    Applicability.

17.30.040    Variance recorded.

17.30.050    Enforcement.

17.30.005 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish the procedures and criteria that the city will use in making a decision upon an application for a variance from the provisions of the land use code, consistent with RCW 35A.63.170.

A variance is a mechanism by which the city may grant relief from the provisions of the land use code where practical difficulty renders compliance with the provisions of that code an unnecessary hardship, where the hardship is a result of the physical characteristics of the subject property, and where the purpose of that code and of the comprehensive plan can be fulfilled without complying with said code requirements. (Ord. 2018-830 § 16; Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

17.30.010 Required findings.

A variance to any requirement of this title, except use and procedural requirements, may only be granted when all of the following required findings are made:

A. Special Circumstances. Because of special circumstances related to the property, the strict enforcement of the zoning code would deprive the owner of use rights and privileges permitted to the other properties in the vicinity with the same zoning.

1. Special circumstances include the size, shape, topography, location or surroundings of the property, public necessity of public structures and uses, and protection of environmental features such as vegetation, streams, ponds and wildlife habitat.

2. Special circumstances may not be predicated upon any factor personal to the owner such as age or disability, extra expense which may be necessary to comply with the zoning code, the ability to secure a scenic view, nor the ability to make more profitable use of the property. Special circumstances of the subject property may not be the result of the actions of the applicant or a predecessor in interest.

B. Special Privilege. The approval of the variance will not grant special privilege to the property in comparison with the limitations upon other properties in the vicinity with the same zoning.

C. Comprehensive Plan. The approval of the variance will be consistent with the comprehensive plan.

D. Zoning Code. Approval of the variance will be consistent with the purposes of the zoning code and the zone district in which the property is located.

E. Not Detrimental. The variance as approved with subject conditions will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity and the land use zone in which the subject property is located.

F. Minimum Variance. The approved variance is the minimum necessary to allow the owner the rights enjoyed by other property owners in the vicinity with the same zoning. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

17.30.020 Time limits.

The variance must be acted upon within one year from the date of approval or the variance shall expire. The holder of the variance may request an extension of time before the expiration of the variance and the city manager may grant one extension of time up to six months past the original date of expiration. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

17.30.030 Applicability.

The variance applies only to the property to which it was granted and may not be transferred to any other property. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

17.30.040 Variance recorded.

All variances and the conditions specified will be recorded with the Snohomish County auditor within 30 days of final approval. A copy of the final documents stamped with a recording number shall be sent to the city within 14 days of recording. The city shall not process any related permits until the city receives copies of the recorded documents. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)

17.30.050 Enforcement.

Appeals of decisions under this chapter shall be processed in accordance with MCMC Title 14. (Ord. 2005-609 § 2)