Time to tackle my first variance case, and this one is a little less than cut and dry.
Folks have a place out in one of our "campground" districts. They moved their old decaying camper out (tons of electrical problems, falling apart, etc), and purchased a newer camper to replace it.
Problem is, the new camper is 4 inches too wide to fit into the old campers spot. We allow covers and room additions to be added onto a camper so long as they are not attached. New camper will not fit under the canopy without moving the support posts 4 inches. Issue is, they do not meet setbacks, and must meet them in order to get a Zoning and Building Permit.
Now I know this issue was caused by the applicant, and should be immediately turned away for a variance, but here is where it becomes an sticky. Normally we force people to relocate their entire building in order to make this work. These people cannot move theirs, because the neighboring home has encroached their property line and is over it by about 5 feet. If they were to move their building, they'd basically be attached to the neighbors. Now to me, this was NOT caused by the homeowners, and in some way could be associated as a hardship because it predated their purchase of the property.
I've recommended they get a survey of the property that shows the encroachment of the neighbors to prove their inability to move their room addition to accommodate the new trailer, but I am worried that there just is not a case for them to apply for the variance. I don't want to look foolish for presenting a variance case that has no business even being presented, but I really do not know where this falls.
Keep in mind that in this campground district, we have made people tear down buildings to accommodate our standards. I am worried that allowing a variance for this might open a can of worms bigger than I can handle.