What is a Variance?

The ZBA may issue variances to the general application of the Zoning Regulations in situations where the "literal enforcement" of the regulations would cause "unusual hardship".

.It is important to note that the ZBA can only vary the Zoning Regulations, and not the Subdivision Regulations nor the Inland Wetland Regulations.

It takes four (out of five) votes to grant a variance.  A variance may be granted under circumstances relating to the land, not the owner.  Also the reason for the variance cannot be primarily financial nor cannot be something that was created by the property owner.  As a general rule, variances run with the land and not with the property owner.
Even if you don't have any other hardship, if you can show that your proposal will reduce some existing nonconformity, such as ground coverage percentage, setbacks, or make a use more conforming, you may be entitle to a variance.  A frequent way to do this is by reducing the amount of impervious coverage (i.e. asphalt, concrete, cement) on a lot by substituting pervious materials (i.e. gravel, crushed stone or pervious pavers).

If you have questions, Land Use Staff can assist you in filing an application for a Variance.
Appeal to Superior Court
ZBA - Variance Timeline