What Is A Zoning Variance And Do I Need One?

Every property, whether it be commercial, residential, or industrial is subject to municipality restrictions. These restrictions have been put into place to protect the integrity of the town and neighborhoods; therefore, the application process can be overwhelming, at first glance.

Working with a builder who is educated and aware of the various permits required and how to execute the application process efficiently is crucial. All garage construction, regardless of the size and style of the structure must begin by first applying for all necessary permits to see the project through completion.

This may include a variety of inspections from everything to the foundation and framing to the pouring of concrete for the service walk. Every municipality is different; therefore, it is important to be aware of the process before making any changes to your property.

Older homes, or homes located within designated historical districts, may require additional steps as codes and zoning may have changed since the home was built. Often, these projects require a zoning variance, or approval from the zoning board to proceed with the plans.

What Is A Zoning Variance?

According to Cook County, “A zoning “variance” means a grant of relief from the requirements of the Cook County Zoning Ordinance which permits construction in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by the ordinance.”

These special approvals allow for the property owner to build or modify structures on their property in ways that would otherwise be denied by the local zoning board. These appeals must meet specific qualifications and are subject to certain stipulations to quality for the permission to move forward.

Variances are typically granted when the owner of the property can prove that the current zoning regulations create challenges when attempting to make changes to the property.

Most zoning variances, once granted, will remain with the home, even if and when the property owners move; remaining in place as ownership changes.

Common Types Of Variances: Use And Area

Use: A “use” variance grants property owners to use the land in a way it would usually be restricted based on the current municipality zoning regulations.

Because this variance grants owners to use their property contrary to the regulations, they must prove that their current zoning conditions have created them a hardship.

Industrial or commercial activities or buildings within a residential neighborhood would be examples of structures requiring such use exemptions.

Area: Area variances are granted to allow the property owner to make changes to the property that would otherwise be restricted by current zoning regulations.

To obtain permission, property owners must prove that the changes being made will not affect the neighborhood in a negative way. Additions to the home or the construction of a detached garage are examples of projects that may require zoning approval.

Whether your home be located within a historic district, or you are concerned the detached garage you would like to construct is outside of the current regulations, Heartland Garage Builders is here to tackle that process for you. As a part of “The Heartland Way,” we handle everything from the permitting process to scheduling and attending inspections.

If you are interested in a FREE consultation and estimate, contact Heartland Garage Builders at HeartlandGarageBuilders.com or 224-326-2698.