A Variance is a grant of relief from the requirements of the zoning ordinance, which permits construction in a manner otherwise prohibited where specific enforcement would result in unnecessary hardship.
Hardship: The Area Board of Zoning Appeals requires that the variance is exceptional, unusual, and peculiar to the property involved. Mere economic or financial hardship alone is NOT exceptional.
Inconvenience, aesthetic considerations, physical handicaps, personal preferences, or the disapproval of one’s neighbors likewise cannot, as a rule, qualify as an exceptional hardship.
All of these problems can be resolved through other means without granting a variance, even if the alternative is more expensive, or requires the property owner to build elsewhere or put the parcel to a different use than originally intended.
The ABZA has 7 members, as set by state law (IC 36-7-4-902(c)). Please note that the ABZA works similar to a jury in a court case. They are not permitted what is called ex-parte contact. Meaning petitioners and the public should not approach them about the cases they consider before they hear the case in the public hearing. Similarly, members of the Board will abstain from participating in a petition if they have a conflict of interest.