Definition of Variance for Property Zoning Purposes

A variance for property zoning purposes is a request to deviate from current zoning requirements. If granted, it permits the owner to use his land in a way that is ordinarily not permitted by the zoning ordinance. It is not a change in the zoning law, but a waiver from the requirements of the zoning ordinance.

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Written By: Jeffrey JohnsonUPDATED: Jul 16, 2021Fact Checked

A variance is a request to deviate from current zoning requirements. If granted, it permits the property owner to use his land in a way that is ordinarily not permitted by the zoning ordinance. It is not a change in the zoning law, but a waiver from the requirements of the zoning ordinance.

What are some good examples of a variance request?

  • I would like to build a gazebo in the backyard.
  • I request a second-story addition in a one-story zone.
  • Though I own an odd-shaped lot, I want to reduce slightly the setback requirements to fit a building.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

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