Variances

Sec. 111-66. - Duties of zoning administrator, parish council, board of 
adjustment and courts on matters of appeals and variances.
modified

(a)

It is the intent of this article that all questions of interpretation and enforcement shall be first presented to the zoning administrator, and that such questions shall be presented to the board of adjustment only on appeal from the decision of the zoning administrator, and that recourse from the decisions of the board of adjustment shall be to the courts as provided by law. As examples, such interpretation and enforcement questions include, but are not limited to official, formal determination of zoning violations as provided for in section 111-62, zoning administrator, and determinations of use classifications as provided for in section 111-68.

(b)

A request for a variance from the terms of chapter 104, zoning (and those other parts of the unified development code for which relief from administrative decisions is not provided by another forum), shall be submitted to the board of adjustments and may not be considered unless all of the following conditions are met. The applicant shall be notified of this determination.

(1)

The office of community planning and development shall provide the necessary forms and checklists to an applicant seeking a variance from the board of adjustments at the time of a building permit or other administrative decision. Unified development code waivers can also be granted earlier, at the time of final plat approval, if the plat makes direct reference to the code section being waived and if the parish council determines, during final plat approval, that such waiver is acceptable. The date of such waiver approval shall be written on the final, approved, signed plat by the secretary of the planning and zoning commission. When a unified development code waiver is granted at the time of final plat approval as described above, whether for one lot or multiple lots, the forms and other material required in this section shall not be necessary.

(2)

A written or typed explanation of, and reason for, the variance shall be signed by the applicant and attached to the form provided by the office of community planning and development. The applicant must demonstrate that special conditions and circumstances exist which are peculiar to the land, structure, or building involved (including, but not limited to: Size, shape, topography, location, or surroundings of the subject property) and which are not applicable to other lands, structures, or buildings in the same zoning district. The fee for this application can be found in section 111-63(d)(2).

The applicant must also demonstrate that:

a.

Literal interpretations of the provisions of the applicable parts of the unified development code would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same district.

b.

The special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant or any other person who may have or had interest in the property.

c.

Granting the variance requested will not confer on the applicant any special privilege which is denied by the applicable parts of the unified development code onto other lands, structures or buildings in the same district or similarly situated.

d.

The variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the locality.

e.

Strict adherence to the regulation for the property would result in a demonstrable hardship upon the owner, as distinguished from a mere inconvenience.

f.

The purpose of the variance is not based exclusively upon a desire to serve the convenience or profit of the property owner or other interested parties.

g.

The granting of the variance will not be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to other property or improvements in the neighborhood in which the property is located.

h.

The proposed variance will not impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent property or increase substantially the congestion.

(3)

When necessary, the office of community planning and development shall contact the road superintendent, drainage superintendent, director of utilities and/or chief building inspector to look at the variance application and offer any comments or objections to the variance being sought. Private and public utility company representatives shall also be contacted by the office of community planning and development in variance matters that affect utility locations and operations.

(4)

Each request, either granted or denied, shall be accompanied by a written finding of fact, based on testimony and evidence presented at the board of adjustment meeting, specifying the reason for granting or denying the variance or appeals request.

(c)

It is further the intent of this article that the duties of the parish council in connection with chapter 104, zoning, shall not include hearing and deciding questions of interpretation and enforcement that may arise. The procedure for deciding such questions shall be as stated in this section and chapter 104. Under this article the parish council shall have only:

(1)

The duties of considering and deciding on any amendments to chapter 104, zoning, as provided by law; and

(2)

Establishing a schedule of fees and charges as stated elsewhere in chapter 104, zoning.