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Variance Application Information

This page provides information for variances requiring consideration by the Board of Adjustment.  Not all applications require review by the Board of Adjustment.  To understand if the request qualifies as a minor impact variance, click here.  Please contact the Planning Department with questions on the process, or to set up an appointment to submit an application.  More information can be found in this packet.

Submittal Requirements

1.  Application
2.  Written request addressing:
        a.  A description of the variance request
        b.  A response to each of the criteria listed below
3.  A to-scale site plan showing the property lines and all existing and proposed structures
4.  Building elevations
5.  Proof of ownership, such as a warranty deed
6.  A list of all property owners within 500 feet, and stamped envelopes prepared with mailing labels to each property owner within 500 feet
7.  Fee

Submit all information as separate PDFs to the Planning Department.  Envelopes may be hand delivered or mailed to the Planning Department.  You may pay by check or credit card.


Review the Board of Adjustment schedule to understand the deadlines for submittal and public hearing dates.  Once an application is received and deemed complete, staff will begin review and will post the application on the City's website.

Board of Adjustment hearings are held on the third Wednesday of each month.  Prior to the public hearing, proper public notice must occur.  This includes a mailing to the property owners within 500 feet, a sign posted on the property, and notice provided at the designated City locations.  Staff will coordinate these with the applicant.

Comments from the public will be accepted prior to the public hearing and will be presented to the Board of Adjustment.

Variance Criteria

Under Section 17.48.110, the Board of Adjustment has the power to hear and decide variances if all of the following criteria are met:

     1. That there are unique physical circumstances or conditions such as irregularity, narrowness or shallowness of lot, or exceptional topographical or other physical conditions peculiar to the affected property;

     2. That the unusual circumstances or conditions do not exist throughout the neighborhood or district in which the property is located;

     3. That because of such physical circumstances or conditions, the property cannot reasonably be developed in conformity with the provisions of this title;

     4. That such unnecessary hardship has not been created by the applicant;

     5. That the variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood or district in which the property is located, nor substantially or permanently impair the appropriate use or development of adjacent property;

     6. That the variance, if granted, is the minimum variance that will afford relief and is the least modification possible of the provisions on this title which are in question.