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  • Variance, Temporary Use, or Interpretation Request

    What is a Variance?

    A variance provides relief from zoning code requirements that are not addressed through an MSR (Modification of Setback Requirements or and Lot Coverage.  The variance process also covers Interpretation of the Zoning Code and Temporary uses.  A variance has public notification and a public hearing in front of the District's Board of Adjustment in which the property resides.

    What types of relief may I request under a Variance?

    Zoning code requirements that are not allowed through an MSR request and:

    • Front yard setbacks being reduced to less than 20 feet
    • Height limits
    • Signs
    • When a protest has been received during the MSR process

    How do I submit a Variance, Temporary Use, or Interpretation Request?


    1.  Prepare and provide the following documents for electronic submittal OR   applications may be submitted in person: 

    2.    Submit the electronic documents to DSDPlanning@pima.gov OR  bring the application package to the 1st floor Planning Division.

    3.   Pay the fee in accordance with Table 1 - Public Hearing, Review & Processing Fees, item 30. For electronic submittal, a record will be opened and an email containing an invoice with the record number for making payment through the online payment portal will be sent to the applicant.

    What is the Process for a Variance, Temporary Use, or Interpretation Request?

    Once the application and required information has been submitted in accordance with the Board of Adjustment submittal deadlines, staff will: 

    • Post the property with the variance or temporary use request notice and mail notices to all properties within three hundred feet or within 1,00 feet if the zoning of the property is IR, RH, GR-1, ML, SR, SR-2, SH, CR-1, MR, CPI, or CI-3 fifteen days or more, prior to the public hearing.  **An interpretation request will have notice to the applicant 
    • A public hearing will be held on the case where staff will provide a staff report and a recommendation of approval/denial to the Board of Adjustment and:
      • The applicant/representative will present information as to the need for the request and address the standards that the Board of Adjustment will use in determining whether or not to grant the request
      • Any member of the public may appear to address the Board of Adjustment in support of or objection to the request
      • The applicant/representative will have an opportunity to respond to any issues raised during the public hearing 

    Will my Variance, Temporary Use or Interpretation Request be approved?

    Following the conclusion of staff's report and any public testimony, the Board of Adjustment will close the public hearing and make a motion and vote to: 

    • Approve the request
    • Approve the request with added conditions
    • Deny the request
    • Continue the request for a period that may not extend three months. A continuance may be requested by the applicant, neighboring property owners or by the Board of Adjustment. This could be for more information to be obtained or to provide an opportunity for the applicant and neighboring property owners time to meet.

      The Boards decision will be based upon the standards outlined in the Pima County Zoning Code, Section 18.93.030B for a variance or Section 18.93.040C for a temporary use permit, or Section 18.93.060 for a interpretation.              

    What are the Time Limits associated with an approved Variance or Temporary Use Permit?

    • A permit must be applied for within nine months from the date of approval or the variance will expire
    • A permit must be applied for within thirty days from the date of approval or the temporary use becomes void
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    Chris Poirier
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    Thomas Drzazgowski
    Chief Zoning Inspector