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Code Requirements

According to the zoning code, the BZA must make the following findings before they can grant a variance:

•           The variance is in harmony with the general purposes and intent of the zoning code.

•           The variance is consistent with the comprehensive plan.

•           The applicant has established that there are practical difficulties in complying
             with the provision, that the property owner proposes to use the property in a
             reasonable manner not permitted by the provision.  Economic considerations
             alone do not constitute practical difficulties.

•           The plight of the landowner is due to circumstances unique to the property not
             created by the landowner.

•           The variance will not permit any use that is not allowed in the zoning district where
             the affected land is located.

•           The variance will not alter the essential character of the surrounding area.

In granting a variance, the board or commission shall make written findings stating the grounds upon which the variance is justified.  Inadequate access to direct sunlight for solar energy systems constitutes a practical difficulty in the third bullet point above.

In granting a variance, the BZA may attach reasonable conditions to their approval. The BZA does not have the authority to allow a use that is not otherwise permitted in the zoning district.

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