A zoning variance can be requested by the developer to provide flexibility by allowing variations from the zoning ordinanceFor example, a developer building a large mixed-use project wants to build a 7-story building, but the zoning code only allows for 6-stories in that area. The developer can apply for a variance to raise the building height. Once the zoning is approved by the Board of Commissioners, the application then goes to the Zoning Board of Appeals to approve or deny the variance application.

Other examples of common variance requests include reduced parking requirements, reduced setbacks (allowing building closer to property line), increased density (adding more apartments than code allows) or reduced green space.

Example variances as requested by a developer: