Zoning Variance

Why a Variance

The Warren County Zoning Ordinance includes specific regulations for the use and development of land. These regulations cover aspects such as setback distances from property lines, height limitations, and buffers between different types of development.

However, a zoning ordinance cannot account for all circumstances, and there may be instances where its regulations may not be suitable. In such cases, a variance, which is a relaxation of the standard norms, might be appropriate.


Situations where a Variance is appropriate:

  • A stream or very steep slope may hinder the fulfillment of the normal setback requirement for a house.
  • A narrow parcel of land may not be able to provide the necessary distances from adjacent properties while still allowing for any development of the property.

Situations where a Variance is not appropriate:

  • A proposal to place a structure closer to the property line than permitted when the structure could be positioned to meet the setback requirements.
  • A proposal to relax the requirements to minimize expenses for a builder.
  • The proposed use is not permitted

How to obtain a Variance:

  1. Visit the Planning Department and discuss your proposal with the Zoning Officer. Determine if a variance is necessary and if it is fitting to apply for one.
  2. Complete and submit an application for a variance to the Planning Department. Application forms are available at the Department, and the staff will assist you with your application. Please note that there is a fee required for a variance application.
  3. Attend the public hearing conducted by the Board of Zoning Appeals on the variance. Once you've submitted your application, the staff will schedule a public hearing. You will receive a notification about the time and place of the hearing, and adjoining property owners will also be notified. Comments on the application are welcome. The Board of Zoning Appeals will make the final decision on the application, and the staff will officially notify you of this decision.