Chapter 17.70
ADMINISTRATIVE VARIANCES

Sections:

17.70.010    Purpose.

17.70.020    Application.

17.70.030    Granting and denial – Details and findings required.

17.70.040    Authority to grant – Applicability and appeal.

17.70.050    Application requirements.

17.70.060    Administrative variance – Public notice.

17.70.070    Existing violation – No permit issued.

17.70.010 Purpose.

Where practical difficulties exist that render compliance with the provisions of this title or other land use regulatory codes of the city impractical, and such compliance would create unnecessary hardships to the owner or use of land or buildings, the community development director as authorized by WRMC 17.70.040 may grant administrative variances in harmony with the general purpose and intent of such codes so long as the spirit and benefits of such codes will be preserved. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 6-12 § 1 (Att. A), 2012].

17.70.020 Application.

No administrative variance from the terms of this title or any other land use regulatory ordinance or municipal code provision shall be granted unless the community development director provides for findings in the decision as required by WRMC 17.70.030. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 6-12 § 1 (Att. A), 2012].

17.70.030 Granting and denial – Details and findings required.

A. The granting of the variance shall state the precise zoning requirement for which a variance is sought and shall state the degree of variance (e.g., Table 17.54.050 specifies a minimum front yard depth of 25 feet for the RM-10 district. This variance shall permit a front yard depth of 22 feet).

B. The decision shall include findings as to how the application requirements are or are not met. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 6-12 § 1 (Att. A), 2012].

17.70.040 Authority to grant – Applicability and appeal.

A. The community development director shall have the authority to grant an administrative variance for the following applications:

1. Setbacks. Up to 25 percent of the numerical standard for setbacks from lot lines as found in Table 17.54.050, Area and Dimensional Regulations. The yard setbacks may be reduced no more than five feet overall.

2. Lot Depth and Width. Dimensions may be reduced by 10 percent.

3. Lot Coverage. May be increased by up to five percent.

4. Fences and Walls. May be up to eight feet in height for commercial developments and zoning district transitions where residential zoning abuts commercial and/or industrial zoning districts.

5. Fences up to four feet in height in the front yard setback where safe sight distance(s) can be demonstrated in accordance with WRMC 12.08.060, Visibility, and 12.50.010, Vegetation obstructions.

6. Required Parking Stalls. May be reduced by up to 10 percent which may not include required handicapped stalls.

B. The administrative variance may not be used to violate or invalidate any other portions of the municipal code or easements.

C. The administrative variance process is not applicable to new development where the proposed structure(s), specifically buildings, can be redesigned or otherwise relocated on the site to accommodate the current zoning regulations. The variance application is intended to apply to additions, infill redevelopment and similar conditions.

D. An approved variance shall become void after the expiration of one year from the date of approval if no substantial construction has taken place.

E. Parties of record and with legal standing may appeal the decision in accordance with the Type II review process as found in WRMC 14.01.030. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 6-12 § 1 (Att. A), 2012].

17.70.050 Application requirements.

The applicant shall pay the applicable application fee(s); submit required site plans, elevations, etc., as required by the application forms. The applicant must address the following questions which enable the director to make an informed decision:

A. Unusual or special circumstances or conditions apply to the property and/or to the intended use that do not apply to other property in the same vicinity or zone. Unusual circumstances may include the size, shape, topography, location or surroundings of the property;

B. The proposal does not detract from the desired character and nature of the vicinity in which it is proposed;

C. The proposal enhances or protects the character of the neighborhood and/or the vicinity, protecting natural features, historic sites, open space or other resources;

D. The proposal does not interfere or negatively impact the operations of existing land uses and all legally permitted uses within the zoning district it occupies;

E. The proposal does not constitute a threat to the public health, safety and general welfare within the city;

F. The proposal is the minimum adjustment necessary for the reasonable use of the land. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 6-12 § 1 (Att. A), 2012].

17.70.060 Administrative variance – Public notice.

Public notice shall be mailed to those properties adjacent to the subject site. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 6-12 § 1 (Att. A), 2012].

17.70.070 Existing violation – No permit issued.

No variance shall be issued where there is an existing violation of this title. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 6-12 § 1 (Att. A), 2012].