3.3.3-B Appeals & Variances in LN-O District

.1 The Zoning Board of Adjustment is hereby designated the Watershed Review Board.

.2 An appeal to reverse or modify the order, decision, determination, or interpretation of the Zoning Administrator (herein designated the Watershed Administrator), shall comply with the procedures and standards of Section 11.3 of these regulations.

.3 A petition for variance to the standards of the Lake Norman Watershed Overlay District shall comply with the procedures and standards of Section 11.3 of these regulations, with the following exceptions.

a) In addition to the notification requirements of Section 11.3, the Watershed Administrator shall also notify in writing each local government having jurisdiction in the watershed and the entity using the water supply for consumption. Such notice shall include a description of the variance being requested. Local governments receiving notice of the variance request may submit comments to the Watershed Administrator prior to a decision by the Watershed Review Board. Such comments shall become a part of the record of proceedings of the Watershed Review Board.

b) Major and Minor Variances are differentiated by definition.

Minor variances shall include a variance from the minimum statewide watershed protection rules that results in the relaxation of up to 10 percent of any vegetated setback, density, or minimum lot size requirement applicable to low density development, or the relaxation of up to five percent of any vegetated setback, density, or minimum lot size requirement applicable to high density development. For variances to a vegetated setback requirement, the percent variation shall be calculated using the foot print of built-upon area proposed to encroach within the vegetated setback divided by the total area of vegetated setback within the project.

Major variances means a variance that is not a "minor variance" as that term is defined in 15A NCAC 02B .0621 of the North Carolina Administrative Code.

c) Major and Minor Variances are differentiated as to procedures and standards.

Per 15A NCAC 02B.0623(5) of the North Carolina Administrative Code the Watershed Review Board shall make the below findings of fact for granting minor and major variance petitions:

a) there are difficulties or hardships that prevent compliance with the ordinance; 

 (b) the variance is in accordance with the general purpose and intent of the local watershed protection ordinance; and 

 (c) granting the variance, the project will ensure equal or better protection of waters of the State than the requirements of Rules .0621-.0624 of 15A NCAC 02B.0623(5) of the North Carolina Administrative Code and that the stormwater controls will function in perpetuity.

Minor variances shall comply with the procedures and standards of Section 11.3 of these regulations. An annual report of minor variances granted shall be submitted by the Watershed Administrator for each calendar year to the Division of Water Quality on or before January 1st of the following year and provide a description of each project receiving a variance and the reasons for granting the variance.

Major variances shall comply with the procedures and standards of Section 11.3 except that:

  • A decision by the Watershed Review Board to deny a major variance shall be final. Appeal shall be to a court of competent jurisdiction as provided in Section 11.3.
  • A decision by the Watershed Review Board to approve a major variance shall be advisory only. The Watershed Administrator shall within 30 days forward a record of the Board of Adjustment hearing, findings, and conclusions to the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission for final decision.
  • The Watershed Review Board may advise approval of a major variance petition upon satisfying the findings of Section 11.3.2ƒ, or upon the finding that significant community economic or social benefit would be derived from the grant of the variance.

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