The Board of Zoning Appeals shall not grant a Variance unless it makes the following findings based upon evidence presented to it:

  • That by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness, or shape of a particular piece of property at the time of enactment of this Ordinance, or by reason of exceptional topographic conditions or other exceptional and
    extraordinary situation or condition of such piece of property, the strict application of any regulation
    contained within this Ordinance would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties to
    or exceptional or undue hardship upon the owner of such property.
  • That the Variance is the minimum Variance necessary so as to relieve such difficulties
    or hardship and thereby make possible the reasonable use of the land, Building, or Structure.
  • That the Variance will not authorize uses or activities in the applicable District other than
    those permitted by this Ordinance.
  • That financial returns alone shall not be considered as a basis for granting a Variance.
  • That the granting of the Variance will not be substantially detrimental to the public good
    or substantially injurious to other property or improvements in the area in which the subject
    property is located, and will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of the general
    provisions of the Town’s zone plan and this Ordinance.
  • That the proposed Variance will not impair an adequate supply of light and air to the adjacent
    property, or substantially increase the congestion in the public streets, or increase the danger of
    fire, or endanger the public safety.
  • That the alleged difficulty or hardship has not been caused or created by the act or omission of
    the Applicant or any person having an interest in the property.

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained or implied in Section 8.5.16.L.1, none of the

following shall be deemed or considered to be, or be considered in making a determination whether strict
compliance with this Ordinance presents, a peculiar and exceptional practical difficulty to or exceptional
or undue hardship upon the owner of property:
  • Pecuniary considerations
  • Aesthetic considerations
  • Historic Preservation
  • Public good
  • Over-compliance with other provisions of this Ordinance
  • Personal Situations
  • Proximity to inconsistent or incompatible Uses or Development
  • Other Variances that have been granted
  • Nonconformities
  • District boundaries
  • Conditional Uses or Uses Permitted Subject to Limited Use Standards
  • Deterioration of surrounding area
Neither any Nonconforming Use of neighboring lands, Structures, or Buildings in the same District,
nor any non-permitted or Nonconforming Use of lands, Structures, or Building in other Districts
shall be considered grounds for the issuance of a Variance.

Under no circumstances shall the Board of Zoning Appeals grant a Variance to allow a Use
that is not permissible under this Ordinance in the applicable District, or any Use which is expressly
or by implication prohibited by the terms of this Ordinance in said District.

The Board of Zoning Appeals may impose such conditions and restrictions upon the premises
benefited by a Variance as may be necessary to comply with the provisions set out in Section 8.5.16.L.1
above to reduce or minimize the injurious effect to such Variance upon surrounding property and better
carry out the general intent of this Ordinance. The Board of Zoning Appeals may establish expiration
dates as a condition or as a part of any Variances.

Any person, including without limitation any agency of the Town, who is aggrieved by a decision
of the Board of Zoning Appeals on a Variance, may appeal by certiorari to a court of competent
jurisdiction. The judgment and findings of the Board of Zoning Appeals on all questions of fact that may be
involved in any appeal, cause, hearing or proceeding under this Ordinance shall be final and subject to review only for illegality or want of jurisdiction.

Step 1. Pre-Application Meeting with Staff 
A pre-application meeting is required prior to submitting an application.  Meeting with staff will ensure your request can be legally heard by the Board of Zoning Appeals. To set up a meeting please contact the Planning Department at 615.776.6693 or

Step 2. Variance Application Submittal
The application must be submitted according to the Submittal ScheduleFees are due upon submittal. For a list of submittal requirements see the Variance checklist

Step 3. Public Notice
The Planning Department will publish public notice in a PAPER at least 10 days prior to the date of the Board of Zoning Appeals hearing. 

Step 4. Staff Review
Staff will review the application, prepare a staff report and make a recommendation to the Board of Zoning Appeals.  

Step 5. Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting
The Board of Zoning Appeals reviews the application, holds a public hearing and take the final action on the application.  Following the vote, staff provides a form for the applicant and the chair to sign which documents the action taken at the meeting.

Step 6. Moving Forward
When the variance is granted the  applicant may proceed with a building permit, plat or site plan as applicable.  If moving forward with a Site Plan or Plat submittal the applicant would include documentation of the action taken by the Board of Zoning Appeals with the application.