ORDINANCE NO. 478
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE ZONING ORDINANCE IN REGARD TO VARIANCES
Whereas, a public hearing was held July 18 after due notification.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT HEREBY ORDAINED by the Board of Aldermen
of the Town of
1. Article 1306.3 of the Zoning ordinance be deleted and replaced with the following:
ARTICLE 1306.3 Variances
Before the Zoning Board of Adjustment may grant a variance, it shall make
the following three findings which shall be recorded in the permanent record of the
case and shall include the factual reasons on which they are based:
1306.3.1.1 There are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in the way of
carrying out the strict letter of the ordinance. In order to determine that there
are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships, the Board must find that
all five of the following conditions exist:
a) If the applicant complies with the provisions of the ordinance, the
applicant can secure no reasonable return from nor make reasonable
use of the property. Merely proving that the variance would permit a
greater profit to be made from the property will not be considered
adequate to justify the Board in granting a variance. Moreover, the
Board shall consider whether the variance is the minimum possible
deviation from the terms of the ordinance that will make possible the
reasonable use of the property.
b) The hardship results from the application of the ordinance to the
property rather than from other factors such as deed restrictions or
c) The hardship is due to the physical nature of the applicant’s property,
such as its size, shape or topography, which is different from that of
d) The hardship is not the result of the actions of an applicant who
knowingly or unknowingly violates the ordinance, or who purchases the
property after the effective date of the ordinance and then comes to the
Board for relief.
e) The hardship is peculiar to the applicant’s property, rather than the
result of conditions that are widespread. If other properties are equally
subject to the hardship created in the restriction, then granting a variance
would be a special privilege denied to others and would not promote
1306.3.1.2 The variance is in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the
ordinance and preserves its spirit. That is, the applicant is not seeking to establish,
to expand, or to extend in area a non-conforming use. Moreover, the existence of
a non-conforming use in the same or in any other zoning district shall not constitute
a reason for granting the requested variance.
1306.3.1.3 In granting of the variance, the public safety and welfare have been assured
and substantial justice has been done. The Board shall not grant a variance if it
finds that doing so would alter the essential character of the neighborhood,
materially diminish or impair established property values within the surrounding
area, or in any other respect impair the public health, safety or general welfare.
This the 18th day of July 2006.
Vickie Best, CMC, Town Clerk