Variance Process

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A Variance is a request for the allowance to construct a structure with a change to the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance. An example change would be to build a house with setbacks smaller than those identified in the Zoning Ordinance. A request for a Variance is heard by the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), who is tasked with ruling on Variance requests. There are very specific criteria set forth by the State Code of Virginia and mirrored by the Zoning Ordinance which set the standard for when a Variance should be granted.

The process normally involves having a pre-application meeting with County Staff to discuss the application and try to resolve any issues at the front end of the process. Next would a Variance application would be submitted. Staff will determine if the application is complete and if it will be sent out for review by other County and State agencies, there is a 30 day review time if needed. After review if there are no outstanding issues the application will be advertised and sent to the BZA, where it will be discussed and a public hearing is held. After which time the application will either be approved and a variance granted or the application will be denied. At that time an appeal could be made to the Circuit Court of Isle of Wight if desired.

You can find further information on the Variance Procedure in the Variance Process Information Sheet along with the Application in the Document Library.

If you have further questions or would like to discuss a Variance please contact County Staff:

Richard Rudnicki, AICP – Assistant Director of Planning and Zoning

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