Zoning Variance

A zoning variance is an administrative exception to land use regulations. A variance is relief granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals, or ZBA, when the application of the zoning regulations places a hardship on the property or it results in unusual difficulties for the property owner. The zoning variance allows the relaxation of the standard law that caused the hardship or unusual difficulties. Zoning variances include altering the minimum front, rear and side setbacks, height requirements and maximum and minimum lot coverage. The applicant must prove the conditions that make the property unusual and makes it unique from neighboring properties. The requested variance must be the minimum necessary to overcome the unique condition of the property, and it cannot be detrimental to the surrounding properties. To obtain a zoning variance, the property owner or developer must submit an application to the ZBA, and the application will be considered at a public hearing.