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Thread: Variances

  1. #1
         
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    Variances

    Applications for variances in our municipality require site plans and buidling plans.
    Question, when a permit is submitted for the approved variance must the site plan and building plan match what was approved in your community?

    I am having problems with applicants for the permit deviating from the approved site plan and building plan. For example, an approved variance for a sub-standard lot width did not include a side stoop and side walk extending to the detached garage in the rear of the new-single family residence. This had been an issue raised by an adjoining neighbor at the hearing.

    Thanks for any advise you can offer. This forum has some very good information.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by THOFF
    Applications for variances in our municipality require site plans and buidling plans.
    Question, when a permit is submitted for the approved variance must the site plan and building plan match what was approved in your community?

    I am having problems with applicants for the permit deviating from the approved site plan and building plan. For example, an approved variance for a sub-standard lot width did not include a side stoop and side walk extending to the detached garage in the rear of the new-single family residence. This had been an issue raised by an adjoining neighbor at the hearing.

    Thanks for any advise you can offer. This forum has some very good information.
    In my city what they submit has to be exactly for what the Variance was granted.
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  3. #3
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    My experience has been that the variance request is for a specific item, and that alone (although I have seen appicants with several variance requests for a single property -- each one for a specific request). For instance, specify the number of feet that the variance is for, for instance reduction from 10' to 8' for a setback.

    It sounds like you have applicants that are making a variance request while doing some speculation in the process, and that the design is not entirely complete.

  4. #4
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Habanero
    In my city what they submit has to be exactly for what the Variance was granted.
    This has been my experience, too. But the sidewalk which most likely didn't require a permit anyway, who cares?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    This has been my experience, too. But the sidewalk which most likely didn't require a permit anyway, who cares?
    I suspect that the sidewalk encroaches into a required buffer zone?

    If it is something which normally must be permitted, and does not meet the code, it needs a variance. If all the site plan shows is a building encroaching into a setback area, for instance, then that is all that the variance grants. If they add a sidewalk in a required buffer zone and it was not shown on the site plan for which the variance was granted, it is non-conforming.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Most people lose sight of specifically what variances are really for. They are for extremely unique circumstances and if applications are reviewed strictly to the legal standards, 99% of applications would fail. My recommendation is always to deny, because in nearly every case, if the variance is denied the landowner still has economic utility of the land, therefore the strict application of the zoning ordinance would not constitute a "taking".

    As far as waivering from the approved variance, inspect and enforce the code. If they have to tear something out, make em. Or better yet, make them apply for an amendment to their variance and then have the Board of Appeals (whatever it's called in your jurisdiction) berate them publically and then deny the request for an amendment. Stomp on the bastards. Word will get around that you mean business and this sort of thing won't happen as often.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    Where I have worked...they must be exactly the same...
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by tsc
    Where I have worked...they must be exactly the same...
    Same here... things are approved based on any and ALL information provided by the applicant. If that info has changed, the decision may change as well.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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