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When a zoning ordinance is adopted, the Indiana Code requires that a board of zoning appeals be created. As a quasi-judicial body, the board of zoning appeals provides a "safety valve" through which land owners can seek relief from strict application of a zoning ordinance. Further, the board functions to give greater assurance that zoning is fair and equitable, that it is properly interpreted, and does not cause excessive hardship. In general, the board's duties fan into three major categories:


1) appeals from administrative decisions;

2) the granting of special uses;

and 3) the granting of variances from development standards.


Powers and duties of a Board of Zoning Appeals include: To hear and determine appeals from and review any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative official, staff member, or board charged with the enforcement of a zoning ordinance; To hear and determine special uses as detailed be terms of the zoning ordinance; and, To authorize variances from the zoning ordinance in certain cases.


A variance from development standards such as eight, size, and setback may not be granted

unless it is determined in writing that: The grant will not be injurious to the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the community; The use and value of the area adjacent to the property included in the variance will not be affected in a substantially adverse manner; and The strict application of the terms of the zoning ordinance will result in practical difficulties in the use of property.