What Is a Variance in Construction?

In the construction industry, a variance refers to a permission granted by a local government or zoning board that allows a property owner to deviate from certain regulations or restrictions set forth in the building codes or zoning ordinances. It provides flexibility in construction projects, enabling property owners to make changes or modifications that would otherwise not be permitted.

Variance applications are typically required when a property owner wishes to build a structure that does not comply with the existing zoning regulations. For example, if the property is zoned for residential use only, but the owner intends to construct a commercial building on the site, they would need to obtain a variance to proceed with their plans.

FAQs about Variances in Construction:

1. Why do I need to obtain a variance for my construction project?
Obtaining a variance is necessary when you want to deviate from the existing building codes or zoning regulations that govern construction in your area.

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2. How do I apply for a variance?
Contact your local government or zoning board to obtain an application form, which will outline the necessary steps and requirements.

3. What factors are considered when reviewing a variance application?
Zoning boards often consider factors such as the impact on neighboring properties, public safety, and the intent of the zoning regulations when reviewing variance applications.

4. How long does it take to obtain a variance?
The timeframe can vary depending on the local government’s procedures and the complexity of the project. It’s advisable to start the application process well in advance of your planned construction start date.

5. Can I appeal a denied variance application?
Yes, you can typically appeal a denied variance application. However, there may be specific procedures and deadlines that need to be followed, so consult with your local government or zoning board for guidance.

6. Will obtaining a variance increase my construction costs?
It is possible that obtaining a variance could increase construction costs due to potential design changes or additional requirements.

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7. Are there any restrictions or limitations on the use of a variance?
Yes, variances are often granted with specific conditions or limitations that must be adhered to during the construction process. Violating these conditions may result in penalties or legal consequences.

In summary, a variance in construction allows property owners to deviate from existing building codes or zoning regulations. It is important to understand the process and requirements for obtaining a variance to ensure compliance and a smooth construction project.