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A variance is a request to deviate from a literal requirement of the zoning, subdivision, or sign ordinances due to special circumstances of a property.  It is not considered a change in municipal law, but a waiver of a certain requirement of the ordinance.  If granted, it permits the owner to utilize his land in a way that is ordinarily not permitted by the ordinance.

All variance requests must be reviewed by the Board of Adjustment (BOA).  An administrative official of a city cannot approve a variance.  It is important to note that use variances cannot be legally granted via a variance, as that is considered to be rezoning and is governed by a different process.  Additionally, self-imposed hardships and economically related hardships are insufficient findings to grant a variance.  Typical variance requests would include reducing a setback or increasing the height of a sign when a hardship exists.  This chart is used to assist the Board in its decision making concerning variance requests.    

The following attachments must be included with the Board of Adjustment application.
  • Cover letter describing request
  • Site plan drawn to scale that indicates the proposed request
  • Denied application for construction, if applicable
  • 12 copies of any supporting documents larger than 8½” x 11” or any colored rendering

Applications will not be accepted unless verified to be fully complete.