Chapter 18.52


18.52.010    Purpose.

18.52.020    Criteria.

18.52.030    Prohibited variances.

18.52.040    Conditions or restrictions.

18.52.050    Application.

18.52.060    Public hearing by planning commission.

18.52.070    Public meeting by town council.

18.52.080    Denial--Appeal.

18.52.090    Approval--Issuance.

18.52.100    Fees.

18.52.110    Violation--Penalty.

18.52.010 Purpose.

The purpose of a variance is to provide relief when a strict application of the zoning requirements would impose unusual difficulties or unnecessary hardships on the applicant.  Practical difficulties and unnecessary physical hardships may result from the size, shape, or dimensions of a site or the location of existing structures thereon; from geographic, topographic, or other conditions on the site or in the immediate vicinity.  (Ord. 138-B §1(9)(part), 1983:  Ord. 108-B §15.01, 1980)

18.52.020 Criteria.

Variances to a requirement of this title, with respect to lot area, lot coverage, height of structures, vision clearance, buffering, screening, and other quantitative requirements, may be granted only if, on the basis of application investigation and evidence submitted by the applicant, all of the following are shown:

A.  That literal interpretation of the provisions of this title would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same district under the terms of this title; and

B.  That special conditions and circumstances exist which are peculiar to the land, structures, or building involved and which are not applicable to other lands, structures, or buildings in the same zone; and

C.  The conditions or situations giving rise to the variance application have not been created or caused by the applicant or recent owner of the subject property; and

D.  That the granting of the variance will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, welfare or materially injurious to properties or improvements in the near vicinity; and

E.  That the granting of the variance would support goals and policies contained within the comprehensive plan; and

F.  That the granting of the variance will not result in the parking or loading of vehicles on public streets in such a manner as to materially interfere with the free flow of traffic.  (Ord. 138-B §1(9)(part), 1983:  Ord. 108-B §15.02, 1980)

18.52.030 Prohibited variances.

Under no circumstances shall the town council grant a variance to allow a use not generally or conditionally permitted in the zone, or any use expressly or by implication prohibited by this title, nor for economic reasons.  (Ord. 138-B §1(9)(part), 1983:  Ord. 108-B §15.03, 1980)

18.52.040 Conditions or restrictions.

Reasonable conditions may be imposed in connection with a variance as deemed necessary to protect the best interests of the surrounding property or neighborhood, and otherwise secure the purpose and requirements of this title.  Guarantees and evidence may be required that such conditions will be and are being carried out.  (Ord. 138-B §1(9)(part), 1983:  Ord. 108-13 §15.04, 1980)

18.52.050 Application.

The applicant shall present a completed variance request application and provide other applicable information together with the fee to the town clerk.  The application shall be forwarded to the building official, who shall review the application, make sure it is complete, and shall then forward it to the planning commission together with his written comments.  (Ord. 138-B §1(9)(part), 1983:  Ord. 108-B §15.05(a), 1980)

18.52.060 Public hearing by planning commission.

Upon receipt of the application for a variance from the building official, the planning commission shall set a date for a public hearing on the application following the statutory requirements for public notification.  At this hearing the planning commission shall review the application, take testimony from the public and the applicant.  At the following public meeting, they shall prepare a written recommendation on the application.  In making its recommendation the planning commission shall base its recommendations on written findings of fact guided by the criteria in Section 18.52.020.  The recommendation shall be forwarded to the town council.  (Ord. 138-B §1(9)(part), 1983:  Ord. 108-B §15.05(b), 1980)

18.52.070 Public meeting by town council.

Upon receipt of the recommendation from the planning commission, the town council shall set a date for the public meeting at which they shall consider the variance request.  At this meeting the town council shall review the application and recommendation of the planning commission, take any further public testimony, and issue a decision for acceptance or denial of the application.  The decision shall be based upon the criteria (Section 18.52.020), and written findings of fact shall accompany the decision.  (Ord. 138-B §1(9)(part), 1983:  Ord. 108-B §15.05(c), 1980)

18.52.080 Denial--Appeal.

Upon denial of a variance request by the town council, the building official shall return the application to the applicant.  All decisions for a denial of a variance request may be appealed to the Superior Court.  (Ord. 138-B §1(9)(part), 1983:  Ord. 108-B §15.05(d), 1980)

18.52.090 Approval--Issuance.

If the town council approves the variance request, the building official shall be directed to issue a variance.  The town council in directing the issuance of a variance may append any condition(s) to the variance which it deems necessary to mitigate possible impacts created by the proposed variance (Section 18.40.260).  (Ord. 138-B §1(9)(part), 1983:  Ord. 108-B §15.05(e), 1980)

18.52.100 Fees.

Fees shall be established by action of the town council and shall be posted at the town clerk’s office.  A fee for action under this chapter shall be paid by the applicant at the time of application.  The application fee for a variance shall be one hundred and fifty dollars for the first hearing and seventy-five dollars for each additional hearing.  Additional hearing fees shall be paid prior to hearing date.  (Ord. 458 (part), 2006:  Ord. 334 §1(part), 1998;  Ord. 138-B §1(9)(part), 1983:  Ord. 108-B §15.07, 1980)

18.52.110 Violation--Penalty.

Failure to comply with conditions or restrictions imposed shall constitute the basis for immediate denial or revocation of a building permit.  In addition, a fine of not more than three hundred dollars and/or imprisonment for not more than thirty days may be imposed upon the violator, who shall also pay all costs and expenses involved in the case.  Each day the violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.  (Ord. 138-B §1(9)(part), 1983:  Ord. 108-B §15.06, 1980)


  Prior ordinance history:  Ord. 108-B.