A Variance is defined as permission for a property owner to depart from the literal requirements of a zoning regulation in cases in which strict enforcement of the zoning regulation would cause undue hardship in the use and development of the property due to special circumstances unique to the property itself.
A Special Exception is a City-authorized modification of zoning standards which is consistent with the overall intent of the zoning regulations and for which express standards are prescribed, but that requires additional review to determine whether the modification is compatible with adjoining land uses and the character of the surrounding neighborhood.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA‘ or Board‘) is a quasi-judicial body that has the authority to decide the following types of applications:
- Special Exceptions
- Changes in Nonconforming Status
The Board also has the authority to decide appeals on the following matters:
- The City‘s interpretation of any zoning regulation found in Chapters 2 and 4 of the UDC, unless otherwise prescribed.
- The City‘s decision on sign permits or interpretation of the sign regulations.
The Board consists of five members, and four alternate members. Meetings of the Board are conducted on the first Thursday of every month, at 6 p.m., as necessary, in order to consider requests for variances and special exceptions. All cases to be heard by the Board shall be heard by a minimum of four members, and a concurring vote of four members is necessary in order to grant a variance or special exception.