Zoning Variance Questions
Why would a public hearing for a variance be needed?
A public hearing is needed in order to request a waiver (referred to as a “variance”) from selected requirements of Brevard County’s Land Development Regulations.
Does the Board of County Commissioners conduct this type of public hearing?
No, the Board of Adjustment (BOA) is empowered by Brevard County Code to hear requests for variances. Unlike public hearings for zoning actions, only one public hearing is required for a variance application.
If I need my property to be rezoned in addition to needing a variance, which Board hears my application?
The rezoning request must be heard by the Planning & Zoning Board and the Board of County Commissioners. The public hearing for the variance application is conducted by the Board of Adjustment.
Can I apply for a variance from any requirement of Brevard County’s Land Development Regulations?
No, the Board of Adjustment is only authorized to take action on certain types of requests. Typical requests include variances from setback, lot size, and fence height requirements as well as variances from signage regulations. The Board of Adjustment
does not have authority to waive requirements governing access to lots via easements or flag stems; Comprehensive Plan requirements; matters pertaining to concurrency requirements; impact fees; subdivisions & plats; site plans; environmental
protection; flood protection; coastal setbacks and control lines; landscaping; tree protection; land clearing and land alteration; or adult entertainment regulations. Additionally, the Board of Adjustment cannot grant a variance which would result
in a change of land use that is not permitted by the zoning classification of the property.
Do I need an attorney to apply for a variance?
No, but you may hire one if you choose. Public hearings are quasi-judicial proceedings, whereby the Board of Adjustment’s decision is based upon substantial competent evidence from professionally qualified witnesses (such as engineers, land
planners, surveyors, etc.) presented at the hearings
When can I apply for a variance?
Applications are accepted every business day at the Planning & Development Office (P&D) until 4:00 p.m. Deadline dates are posted in P&D for each scheduled meeting. Applications can be obtained
at the P&D Office or from the P&D web page.
Do I need an appointment to submit an application?
You are encouraged to make an appointment to submit your application. It offers your best assurance that a planner will be available to assist you. Walk-ins are handled on a first-come first-served basis, depending upon staff availability. Avoid deadline
day, if possible, for best service.
How often are these meetings held?
Board of Adjustment meetings are held monthly, typically on the third Wednesday of the month, at 1:30 p.m. in the Commission Chamber of the Government Center in Viera.
What do I need to do in order to make application for a variance?
You must submit your application in person at the Planning & Zoning Office. After completing the application form and assembling the necessary paperwork (see Item 11 below), call (321) 633-2070 to schedule an appointment to submit your variance
application. Having an appointment is the best means of ensuring that a planner is available to assist you upon your arrival.
How can I get my signature notarized?
A Notary Public must notarize your signature on the application form. The Planning & Zoning Office has notaries on staff. If you wish to utilize our notaries, do not sign your papers beforehand because the Notary Public must witness your signature.
What do I need to bring in order to submit an application for a variance?
Bring your completed application form as well as the following:
- A copy of the most recent recorded warranty deed; and
- The complete legal description of the property typed on a separate sheet of paper if the warranty deed reflects property other than that for which the variance is being requested; andPlease Note: An error in the legal description will
result in your request being delayed at your expense.
- A current certified survey showing all existing structures and all proposed structures, if the application involves setback requests; and
- Notarized statement(s) (Form A) from all property owners listed on the warranty deed authorizing you to act on their behalf; and
- Variance hardship worksheet (see Item 12 below); and
- Fee payable by cash or check (made payable to the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners) or credit card. Fees are charged on a per variance basis. Planning & Zoning Office staff is glad to calculate your fee prior to submitting
Incomplete submittals cannot be accepted.
What is a variance hardship worksheet?
In order for the Board of Adjustment to approve a variance, a number of pre-requisites must be met. The variance hardship worksheet outlines each of the pre-requisites and provides the applicant with the opportunity to explain how these pre-requisites
have been met. In general, a variance may be granted when:
- it will not be contrary to public interest; and
- special conditions preclude the property from meeting the requirements of the Code (personal medical and economic reasons, unless reasonable use of the land cannot otherwise be achieved, do not qualify as a basis for establishing undue hardship).
More specifically, the Board of Adjustment must find that all of the following factors apply:
- Special conditions/circumstances exist which are not applicable to other properties/improvements in the applicable zoning classification; and
- Said special conditions/circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant; and
- Granting the variance will not bestow a special privilege on the applicant that is denied to other properties/improvements in the identical zoning classification; and
- Literal interpretation of the Zoning Code would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the identical zoning classification, resulting in undue hardship; and
- The variance granted is the minimum variance that will make possible the reasonable use of the property/improvement; and
- The granting of the variance will be in harmony with the general intent and purpose of the Code and will not be injurious to the area or otherwise detrimental to public welfare.
What occurs at the public hearing?
You are given an opportunity to present your request to the Board of Adjustment. You may wish to use experts to establish substantial competent evidence. Other interested parties attending the meeting are also given an opportunity to speak regarding
your application. The Board of Adjustment will make a final decision regarding your application (approval, approval with conditions, or denial) at the conclusion of the public hearing. If you are dissatisfied with their decision, you may appeal
the decision to the Courts within thirty (30) days after the date the order is signed.
How long does the public hearing process take?
It takes approximately six weeks from the application deadline date for the public hearing to be held. The variance process only entails one public hearing.