The Seminole County Board of Adjustment (BOA) is a group consisting of five (5) regular members and two (2) alternate members, all of which are appointed by the Seminole County Board of County Commissioners (BCC). It is empowered to hear and decide VARIANCES.
What is a Variance: A variance is a waiver from the requirements of the Land Development Code, where specific enforcement would result in unnecessary hardship. The variance requested should be the minimum variance that would make possible the reasonable use of the land, building or structure. Seeking a variance is asking for something special that goes beyond the established limits or restrictions of the Seminole Coutny Land Development Code.
What is a Hardship: If some special circumstance makes it very difficult for a particular project to meet the Land Development Code a hardship may be established. A hardship generally occurs when the physical characteristics of a property are such that it cannot be used for any purpose permitted by County Codes. A hardship may be created by the surroundings, shape or topographical conditions particular to that specific property. However, the hardship cannot be self-imposed, or the result of the property owner’s own action.
What is a Setback: A setback is a standard established by zoning district or other regulation that states how far from a property line certain types of structures must be placed. Setbacks are established for a particular yard or use in a yard: for example, a side yard setback which establishes the location of the side of a house, a rear yard setback that locates where you would place a shed, or a setback that locates where you might put a pool.
SUMMARY OF THE PROCESS AND REQUIREMENTS FOR A VARIANCE
1. APPLICATION PROCEDURE:
Applicant decides to request a variance.
For example, you want to put a 200 square foot shed in your back yard and planned to put it 2 feet from your property line. When you come to the County to apply for your building permit you are informed that the required setback for your zoning district is 10 feet for a shed that size. You evaluate your options, for example: 1) you could move it somewhere else in your yard outside the 10 foot setback and would not need to wait for a variance hearing to complete the project; or, 2) due to some condition in the yard, for example large trees, the shed cannot be relocated so you would still need to seek a variance to put the shed within the 10 foot setback.
Please feel free to make an appointment with the Planning & Development Division staff to discuss your application by calling 407-665-7444.
Variance Application (PDF)
Link to required forms:
Owners Disclosure Form
Owners Authorization Form (if needed)
Applications are also available from the Planning Division located at:
County Services Building
1101 East First Street
Sanford, FL 32771
2. APPLICATION DEADLINE:
Applicant submits a complete application for variance prior to application deadline.
Please review the calendar link for deadline schedule.
2017 Board of Adjustment Calendar
ALL SUBMITTALS MUST BE RECEIVED, ALONG WITH APPROPRIATE FEES, BY 5:00 PM ON THE DEADLINE DATES.
4. PUBLIC NOTIFICATION:
Planning & Development Division will provide public notice to affected homeowners.
THE BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT CANNOT CONSIDER AN APPLICATION UNLESS ALL PUBLIC NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED.
Staff will prepare a written staff report and recommendation.
6. BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT REGULAR MEETING:
The Board of Adjustment will conduct a public hearing.
A short video clip of a Board of Adjustment hearing is available online. This shows a typical presentation by an applicant; it is recommended that you review this before you come to the meeting.
7. TIME LIMIT:
Variances typically have no time limit.
Variances have no time limit unless a time limit is imposed as a condition of approval.
An applicant, or any agrieved party, may appeal a decision of the board of adjustment to the Board of County Commissioners.
9. VARIANCE CRITERIA:
Variance definition: As used in connection with the provisions of this act dealing with zoning, a variance is a relaxation of the terms of the zoning ordinance where such variance will not be contrary to the public interest and where, owing to conditions peculiar to the property and not the result of the actions of the applicant, a literal enforcement of the ordinance would result in unnecessary and undue hardship. As used in this act a variance is authorized only for height, area, and size of structure, or size of yards and open spaces. Establishment or expansion of a use otherwise prohibited shall not be allowed by variance, nor shall a variance be granted because of the presence of nonconformities in the zoning district or classification or adjoining zoning districts or classifications.
(Seminole County Land Development Code Ch. 2 Sec 2.3)
To grant variances due to special conditions, where a literal enforcement Chapter 30 of the Seminole County Land Development Code will result in unnecessary and undue hardship, the Board of Adjustment must first determine:
For the Fee Resolution please click here.