Chapter 14.10


14.10.010    Purpose.

14.10.020    Applicability—Types of variances.

14.10.030    Application requirements.

14.10.040    Approval criteria.

14.10.050    General conditions.

14.10.010 Purpose.

Variances from the terms of this Title may be authorized in specific cases that will not be contrary to the public interest, and where, due to special conditions, literal enforcement of the provisions of this Code would result in unnecessary hardship. Generally, variances shall only be considered for dimensional standards, unless otherwise specified in this Title. Under no circumstances shall a variance be granted that allows a use not permissible under the terms of this Chapter in the district involved, or any use expressly or by implication prohibited by the terms of this Chapter in the district. (Ord. O20160004 § 6 (Att. 6); Ord. O20090010 Attch. 1 (part): Ord. 17938 Attch. F (part), 2000)

14.10.020 Applicability—Types of variances.

A variance is one of three types:

(1)    Administrative Variances. The following variances are Level I applications and must demonstrate compliance with the criteria identified in the cited code sections:

(a)    Repealed by Ord. O20160004;

(b)    Variances to the agricultural siting criteria of SCC 14.16.400 and 14.16.860;

(c)    Reductions in parking requirements allowed by SCC 14.16.800(2)(b);

(d)    Administrative setback reductions up to 100 percent of the standard setback allowed by SCC 14.16.810(4);

(e)    Administrative setback reductions within natural resource lands allowed by SCC 14.16.810(8);

(f)    Variances to SCC 14.16.830(6)(i) related to landscaping requirements;

(g)    Variances to SCC 14.16.340(5), minimum density for short plats, allowed in cases where previously developed property or property with critical areas constraints precludes development at the required densities;

(h)    Variances to standard critical area buffer widths (25 percent to 50 percent) pursuant to SCC 14.24.140(1)(a).

(2)    Board of County Commissioner Variances. Variances to any requirements of the Ag-NRL zone found in SCC 14.16.400, other than those listed above, or to SCC 14.16.860, agricultural land preservation, shall be processed as a Level III application.

(3)    Hearing Examiner Variances. Any other request for variance from any of the requirements of this Title is a Level II application unless otherwise specified. (Ord. O20170006 § 1 (Att. 1); Ord. O20160004 § 6 (Att. 6); Ord. O20150006 § 2 (Att. A); Ord. O20090010 Attch. 1 (part); Ord. O20080009 (part); Ord. O20070009 (part); Ord. 18375 § 6, 2001; Ord. 17938 Attch. F (part), 2000)

14.10.030 Application requirements.

(1)    An application for a variance must be submitted on forms provided by the Department and must demonstrate compliance with each of the variance criteria in SCC 14.10.040.

(2)    An application for a variance may be accompanied by another permit application that depends on the variance, but the accompanying permit application may not be approved until the variance is approved. (Ord. O20160004 § 6 (Att. 6); Ord. O20070009 (part); Ord. 17938 Attch. F (part), 2000)

14.10.040 Approval criteria.

(1)    In order to approve a variance, the approving authority must make findings that the reasons set forth in the application and record justify the granting of the variance and all of the following:

(a)    The variance complies with any relevant variance criteria found in other sections of Skagit County Code.

(b)    The variance is the minimum variance that will make possible the reasonable use of land, building, or structure.

(c)    The granting of the variance will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this Title and other applicable provisions of the Skagit County Code, and will not be injurious to the neighborhood, or otherwise detrimental to public welfare.

(d)    For all Level II variances and all setback variances:

(i)    The requested variance arises from special conditions and circumstances, including topographic or critical area constraints, which are peculiar to the land, structure, or building involved and which are not ordinarily found among other lands, structures, or buildings in the same district.

(ii)    The special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant.

(iii)    Literal interpretation of the provisions of this Chapter would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same district under the terms of this Title and SCC Title 15.

(iv)    The granting of the variance requested will not confer on the applicant any special privilege that is denied by this Title and SCC Title 15 to other lands, structures, or buildings in the same district. (Ord. O20160004 § 6 (Att. 6); Ord. 17938 Attch. F (part), 2000)

14.10.050 General conditions.

(1)    In granting any variance, the approving authority may prescribe such conditions and safeguards as are necessary to secure adequate protection for the locality in which the use is to be permitted.

(2)    All variance decisions of the County shall be recorded with the Auditor. If they contain conditions to be imposed on the property even after it has been sold, the recorded notice shall include the following information:

(a)    Owner’s name.

(b)    Parcel number.

(c)    Property address.

(d)    Complete legal description.

(e)    Conditions to be imposed on the property. (Ord. O20160004 § 6 (Att. 6); Ord. 17938 Attch. F (part), 2000)