Certain geographical areas and buildings can be reserved by the local government for specific purposes. For example, zoning laws set out which properties must be used for residential purposes and which properties must be used for commercial purposes. Laws may also become more specific, such as dictating maximum height of buildings, the types of external structures allowed, and more. Such laws are often referred to as the Land Use Code because they, simply put, dictate how the land in question may legally be used.
However, situations do arise when you wish to gain special permission from the government to go against the zoning or land use regulations. In such cases, you would have to apply for a land use variance  from the correct city zoning or planning department.  A variance is not a change in the law itself, but is a special exception for a certain property owner. You must follow specific steps in order to apply for an be grated such a variance.
First, you must generally show the following:
• The variance would not cause harm to neighboring properties or present public health or safety risks
• You would suffer undue hardship if you were forced to abide by the law
• The variance will still uphold the purpose of Land Use Code
• The variance is the minimum necessary relief for you
You must also provide a detailed description of your proposal, documentation to support your project, and more. The government agency will review all variance applications and decide to grant or deny them on a case-by-case basis.
Contact a Seattle and Tacoma real estate law firm today to schedule a consultation
Limitations on how you may use your property can have a significant impact on your quality of life or ability to operate your business. Fortunately, in many cases, land owners and leaseholders can obtain land use variances that provide individual exceptions to Seattle’s myriad zoning regulations. The process of obtaining a variance can be a complicated, often requiring the presentation of substantial evidence. For a free 15-minute consultation with one of our experienced Seattle & Tacoma real estate lawyers, call our office today at (206) 621-1110 or (253) 572-1000 for assistance.
Dickson Law Group PS
1201 Pacific Avenue Suite 2050
Tacoma, WA 98402
Dickson Law Group PS
701 Fifth Avenue Suite 4201
Seattle, WA 98104