A zoning variance allows you to use a property in a way that would ordinarily not be allowed under the current laws. For instance, you may want to open a restaurant in a residential area, but that area is only zoned for housing. A variance allows you to run a business, even though it does not change the zone. Only your property is allowed to act in a way that doesn’t conform to that zone.
Not all variances are approved. It’s important to consider why yours may be denied so that you can do everything in your power to ensure that it is not.
The hardship isn’t great enough
One of the basic tenets of a variance is that there is an unnecessary hardship on the property owner without it. In short, there is a reason why you should be given the variance and it goes beyond basic inconvenience. The local municipal authorities will often be stingy with variances because they don’t want to set a precedent of allowing for abnormal use of a property without a good reason to do so.
The variance would be detrimental to the community
The example above is a good example of how the nearby community could think that the variance will have a negative impact. Homeowners may worry that people coming to the business will take up all of the parking, increase the overall traffic to unsafe levels or simply make the area less attractive — thereby pushing property values down.
Do you know what steps to take to gain a variance for your property?
The process of asking for a variance can be complex and it’s important to do everything correctly to give yourself the best chance of success. Be sure you know what steps to take for a successful application.