Variances – Major Overview
Two types of variances are defined in the Sequim Municipal Code (SMC). These are variances from the dimensional standards of Subdivision or Zoning Code or a variance from the sign code standards. Both variance processes require a public hearing before the Board of Adjustment (BOA). Links to the Variance application is found below.
A major variance request is typically a request to vary a dimensional standard in the Zoning Code such as setbacks, lot coverage, or building height. There are five (5) criteria to justify the granting of a major variance request which are listed below. All criteria need to be justified to grant the various request. An applicant should pay special attention to the second criteria below. The criteria can also be found under SMC 18.72.040.
A. Such variance is necessary, because of special circumstances relating to the size, shape, topography, location or surroundings of the subject property, to provide it with use rights and privileges permitted to other similarly situated properties in the vicinity and in the zone in which the subject property is located;
B. The special conditions and circumstances do not result from the action of the applicant;
C. The granting of such variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity and in the zone in which the subject property is situated;
D. The variance shall not constitute a grant of special privilege inconsistent with the limitation upon uses of other properties in the vicinity and in the zone in which the property is located and would not adversely affect the use of the neighboring properties; and
E. The granting of the variance will not be materially detrimental or contrary to the comprehensive plan and will not adversely affect the character of the neighborhood and the rights of neighboring and adjacent property owners.