# How do you ask for variance?

Contents

- 1 How do you ask for variance?
- 2 What does it mean to sign a variance?
- 3 Will my variance be approved?
- 4 What is the difference between a variance and a special use permit?
- 5 How much does a variance cost?
- 6 Can you apply for a variance after the fact?
- 7 What is a request for variance?
- 8 What do you need to know about variance requests?
- 9 Can a city or village grant a use variance?
- 10 When do you need a use variance for a building?
- 11 Where do I go to get a variance for my lot?
- 12 What are the requirements for a use variance?
- 13 Is it possible to get a variance for your lot?
- 14 How are conditional use permits different from variances?

## How do you ask for variance?

Usually, the land owner seeking the variance files a request or written application for a variance and pays a fee. Normally, the requests go first to a zoning board. The zoning board notifies nearby and adjacent property owners. The zoning examiner may then hold a hearing to determine if the variance should be granted.

## What does it mean to sign a variance?

A sign variance allows a property owner to request to install signs in a way that is not permitted by the City’s Unified Development Code. Only the Zoning Board of Adjust- ment has the authority to grant a sign variance.

## Will my variance be approved?

In general, your variance will probably be approved if your property has some unique characteristic”a severe slope or an odd shape, for example”that prevents you from enjoying the same kind of property use that your neighbors have.

## What is the difference between a variance and a special use permit?

In contrast, an applicant for a special use permit does not have to show hardship. Instead, the focus is on simply showing that the proposed use meets the conditions already contained in the ordinance, whereas a variance is, in essence, permission to “break the law.”

## How much does a variance cost?

The zoning examiner may then hold a hearing to determine if the variance should be granted. How much does a property variance cost? Each application for a variance costs $1000, which includes a $500 initial appeal deposit.

## Can you apply for a variance after the fact?

The Board argues that granting an after-the-fact variance would, “unduly undermine the zoning code’s requirement of needing a permit or variance before beginning any construction” and would be against public interest. If this reasoning were correct, no person would ever be able to obtain a variance after-the-fact.

## What is a request for variance?

Essentially, a property owner requests a variance when their planned use of their property deviates from local zoning laws designed to protect property values. If granted, a variance acts as a waiver to some aspect of the zoning law or regulations.

## What do you need to know about variance requests?

Certain variance requests are simply a disagreement with the zoning ordinance. For example, a variance request concerning the maximum size of accessory buildings, the number of domestic animals allowed, or restrictions on a home occupation are disagreements with the ordinance itself, not the way it applies to a particular property.

## Can a city or village grant a use variance?

Cities and villages are allowed to grant use variances; only townships which provided for use variances in their ordinances or granted use variances before 2006 are permitted to grant use variances. Although use variances should very rarely be granted, we recommend allowing consideration of use variances if your community is eligible.

## When do you need a use variance for a building?

A use variance is required when the building’s intended use will violate the zoning ordinances; for example, a use variance would be required to build an office building in a residential neighborhood. Use variances are much harder to obtain than area variances. Get your lot surveyed.

## Where do I go to get a variance for my lot?

File your application for the variance. This will generally be performed at your local city or town hall. You will submit your survey, your architectural drawings, a written statement of intent and possibly a separate application required by the jurisdiction.

## What are the requirements for a use variance?

The “undue hardship” standard for a use variance is much more difficult to meet, and requires “that the property cannot reasonably be used in a manner consistent with the existing zoning.” Check that your ordinance applies the correct standard for the type of variance requested.

## Is it possible to get a variance for your lot?

If you can modify your plans so that they conform to the local zoning ordinances, you will save yourself the hassle of applying for a variance. In addition, you are not likely to be approved for a variance if your plans can be easily changed to comply with the zoning laws.

## How are conditional use permits different from variances?

Similar to variances, conditional use permits allow an otherwise non-permitted use of the property that the zoning code does not include. Conditional use permits are usually granted at a public hearing before a political body, usually with the conclusion that the new use of the property will be in the public interest.

Cities and villages are allowed to grant use variances; only townships which provided for use variances in their ordinances or granted use variances before 2006 are permitted to grant use variances. Although use variances should very rarely be granted, we recommend allowing consideration of use variances if your community is eligible.