Variance Permits

Variances are small exceptions to the zoning code. They aren't needed for most building projects, only in specific cases when circumstances beyond your control make the code difficult or impossible to follow, and would stop you from carrying out an otherwise-normal project on your property.

The variance process often begins when someone comes in for a building permit. The zoning administrator (in Marine, the city clerk) checks the plan and notices that the proposed plans don't meet one or more regulations. If practical difficulties would make a change in plans unreasonable, the property owner can apply for a variance. The application goes through the planning commission and is ultimately approved or denied by the city council.

You can look into regulations on your own. Marine's zoning code describes what's allowed in each district and what isn't. If you're the kind of person who knows your way around a zoning code (or wants to learn!), find your zoning district on the city's zoning map, then look it up in the zoning code

The variance process requires a public hearing and can take 4-6 months, so it's best to talk to the clerk early on in the visioning process if you can. The application form below includes outline of the process and a checklist of required items.