A variance is an allowance for deviation from the applicable zoning provisions, granted in a situation where special circumstances relating to the property prevent that particular property from being used in the same manner as other property under similar zoning. Such circumstances include the size, shape, topography, location or surroundings of the subject property.
The variance may only be granted when the adjustment does not constitute a grant of special privileges inconsistent with the limitations upon other property in the vicinity and under the same zoning as the subject property. The Planning Commission must make findings that justify the variance and indicate the evidence upon which the findings are based.
Findings for Variance Approval
Because of special circumstances applicable to the property, including size, shape, topography, location, or surroundings, the strict application of the Zoning Ordinance deprives such property of privileges enjoyed by other property in the vicinity and under identical zoning classification.
Any variance granted shall be subject to such conditions as will assure that the adjustment thereby authorized does not constitute a grant of special privileges inconsistent with the limitations upon other properties in the vicinity and the zone in which such property is located.
A waiver is a request for deviation from normal requirements for the installation of City street improvements. There are two types:
- A waiver to omit installation of curb, gutter, or sidewalk may be granted by the Planning Commission where it can be found that a hardship exists, as in a case where a home is being reconstructed after a fire. Such a waiver may be approved with the condition to post a bond for the amount of the improvements, or to pay in-lieu fees for installation of street improvements elsewhere.
- A waiver involving deviation from the adopted City standards for the design of curbs, gutters, or sidewalks may be approved by the City Council. For example, such a waiver would be necessary to bulb out the sidewalk or curb and gutter to avoid removal of an oak tree within the right-of-way, or in a situation where site topography better accommodates an attached sidewalk where a detached sidewalk is called for.
Findings for Waiver Approval
The waiver will not, under the circumstances of the particular case, be detrimental to the health, safety, morals, comfort, convenience, or be injurious or detrimental to the general welfare of the persons residing or working in the neighborhood or to the property and improvements in the neighborhood or to the general welfare of the city.
As allowed pursuant to Section 11.12.030.D of the Municipal Code, the waiver is necessary since the construction of curb, gutter, sidewalk, and driveway apron is not feasible due to street locations, hardship due to fire or acts of God, topography or other physical factors.