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Municipal Code

Chapter 18. General Zoning Ordinance

Sec. 18-165. Variances

(1) Purpose. The purpose of this Section is to provide regulations which enable the City to hear and decide requests for permitted variation from the terms of this Chapter as will not be contrary to the public interest; where owing to special factors, a literal enforcement of the provisions of this Chapter would result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship, so that the spirit of this Chapter shall be observed, public safety and welfare secured, and substantial justice done; as provided for by Wisconsin Statutes 62.23(7)(e)(7).

(2) Initiation of Request for Approval of a Variance. Proceedings for approval of a requested variance shall be initiated by an application of the owner(s) or their authorized agent of the subject property.

(3) Application. Variance applications shall contain the following (digital files should be submitted rather than paper copies whenever possible, if applicable):

(a) A map of the subject property depicting:

1. All lands for which the variance is proposed and all other lands within 100 feet of the boundaries of the subject property.

2. Names and addresses of the owners of all lands on said map as the same appear on the current records of the Register of Deeds of Wood or Marathon County.

3. Current zoning of the subject property and its environs, and the jurisdiction(s) which maintains that control.

4. All lot dimensions of the subject property.

5. A graphic scale and a north arrow.

(b) A site plan of the subject property as proposed for development. Said site plan shall conform to any and all the requirements of Section 18-164.

(c) Written description of the proposed variance, including the type of specific requirements of the variance proposed for the subject property and evidence that the application is consistent with the Comprehensive plan.

(4) Review by the Zoning Administrator.

(a) The Zoning Administrator shall determine whether the application is complete and fulfills the requirements of this Chapter. If the application is determined to be incomplete, the Zoning Administrator shall notify the applicant.

(b) The Zoning Administrator shall review the application and prepare a written report including the following:

1. Evaluate whether the request is in harmony with the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan.

2. Evaluate the request based upon the criteria used by the Zoning Board of Appeals in their review.

(5) Public Hearing. Within 30 days of filing of a complete application, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall hold a public hearing in compliance with Section 18-158 to consider the request.

(6) Review and Action by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

(a) Within 30 days after the holding of the public hearing, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall make its findings per the following based on Wis. Stats. 62.23(7)(e)7:

1. The variance will not be contrary to the public interest.

2. Substantial justice will be done by granting the variance.

3. The variance is needed so that the spirit of the ordinance is observed.

4. Due to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the provisions of the zoning ordinance will result in unnecessary hardship.

(b) The Zoning Board of Appeals may request further information and/or additional reports from the Zoning Administrator and/or the applicant. The Zoning Board of Appeals may take final action on said request for approval of the requested variance at time of its initial meeting, or said proceedings may be continued from time-to-time for further consideration.

(c) If the Zoning Board of Appeals fails to make a determination within 30 days after said public hearing, then the request for the variance shall be considered denied.

(7) Effect of Denial. No application for a variance which has been denied (either wholly or in part) shall be resubmitted for a period of 12 months from the date of said order of denial, except on grounds of new evidence or proof of change of factors found valid by the Zoning Administrator.

(8) Limited Effect of a Variance. Where the Zoning Board of Appeals has granted a variance, such approval shall neither change the use classification of the building or premises, nor give it any status as a nonconforming use other than that which it has as a result of the variance. Granting of a variance shall be considered as unique to the variance granted, and shall not be construed as precedent for any other proposed variance.

(9) Stay of Proceedings. An application for a variance shall stay all legal proceedings furthering enforcement of any provisions of this Chapter from which the applicant is requesting a variance, unless the Zoning Administrator certifies to the Zoning Board of Appeals after the request for the variance has been filed, that by reason of the facts stated in the certificate a stay would, in his opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property. In such case proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order which may be granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals, or by a court of record on application, on notice to the Zoning Administrator, and on due cause shown. State Law Reference: Section 62.23(7)(e)5., Wisconsin Statutes.