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What is a Variance?

Every use of property in the City of Rock Hill has certain requirements that go along with it in terms of the number of parking spaces needed, the distance a building must be placed from the property line and how tall it can be, and so forth. When the owner of a piece of property would like to use it for a certain use but, for some reason, cannot meet one of these associated standards, the owner can request a variance from many of these requirements from the Zoning Board of Appeals. If the Zoning Board of Appeals grants the variance, the property no longer has to meet that particular requirement.

One reason that such requests go before the zoning Board of Appeals is so people who would be most affected by the approval or denial of a request (such as nearby property owners) may participate in a public hearing and make comments for or against the request before the Board makes a decision on whether to approve as requested, approve with conditions, or not to approve it.

What types of requirements are eligible for seeking a variance?

  • Standards that can be measured (quantitative standards), such as dimensional standards or numbers of a certain requirement. Examples include height, setbacks, yard areas, lot coverage, parking spaces, number of trees required, etc.
  • Locational standards, such as where on a property a building is allowed to be placed.
  • Relative to signs, variance requests are allowed only for non-residential signs located in business zoning districts on the topics of sign face area size, height, or setbacks.
  • Relative to the Airport Overlay District, variance requests are allowed only for height of structures or the planting of threes that would grow taller than the District allows.

The fact sheet that is part of the Variance Application explains the process for applying for a variance.

For further information on requesting a variance, please call Melody Kearse at 803-329-7088.

Related Information:

Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)

Zoning plan reviews

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