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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 52

2nd Engrossment - 87th Legislature (2011 - 2012) Posted on 04/29/2011 09:16am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to local government; providing for variances from city, county, and town
zoning controls and ordinances; amending Minnesota Statutes 2010, sections
394.27, subdivision 7; 462.357, subdivision 6.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 394.27, subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Variances; deleted text beginhardshipdeleted text endnew text begin practical difficultiesnew text end.

The board of adjustment shall
have the exclusive power to order the issuance of variances from the deleted text begintermsdeleted text endnew text begin requirementsnew text end
of any official control including restrictions placed on nonconformities. Variances shall
only be permitted when they are in harmony with the general purposes and intent of the
official control deleted text beginin cases when there are practical difficulties or particular hardship in
the way of carrying out the strict letter of any official control,
deleted text end and when deleted text beginthe terms ofdeleted text end
the deleted text beginvariancedeleted text endnew text begin variancesnew text end are consistent with the comprehensive plan. deleted text begin"Hardship" as used
in connection with the granting of a variance means the property in question cannot be
put to a reasonable use if used under the conditions allowed by the official controls; the
plight of the landowner is due to circumstances unique to the property not created by the
landowner; and the variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the locality.
deleted text end
new text begin Variances may be granted when the applicant for the variance establishes that there
are practical difficulties in complying with the official control. "Practical difficulties,"
as used in connection with the granting of a variance, means that the property owner
proposes to use the property in a reasonable manner not permitted by an official control;
the plight of the landowner is due to circumstances unique to the property not created by
the landowner; and the variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the
locality.
new text endEconomic considerations alone deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin donew text end not constitute deleted text begina hardship if a reasonable
use for the property exists under the terms of the ordinance
deleted text endnew text begin practical difficulties. Practical
difficulties include, but are not limited to, inadequate access to direct sunlight for solar
energy systems
new text end. Variances shall be granted for earth sheltered construction as defined in
section 216C.06, subdivision 14, when in harmony with the official controls. No variance
may be granted that would allow any use that is deleted text beginprohibiteddeleted text endnew text begin not allowednew text end in the zoning
district in which the subject property is located. The board of adjustment may impose
conditions in the granting of variances deleted text begintodeleted text endnew text begin. A condition must be directly related to and must
bear a rough proportionality to the impact created by the variance
new text end deleted text begininsure compliance
and to protect adjacent properties and the public interest
deleted text end. deleted text beginThe board of adjustment may
consider the inability to use solar energy systems a "hardship" in the granting of variances.
deleted text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 462.357, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Appeals and adjustments.

Appeals to the board of appeals and
adjustments may be taken by any affected person upon compliance with any reasonable
conditions imposed by the zoning ordinance. The board of appeals and adjustments has
the following powers with respect to the zoning ordinance:

(1) To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged that there is an error in any
order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative officer in the
enforcement of the zoning ordinance.

(2) To hear requests for variances from the deleted text beginliteral provisions of the ordinance
in instances where their strict enforcement would cause undue hardship because of
circumstances unique to the individual property under consideration, and to grant such
variances only when it is demonstrated that such actions will be in keeping with the spirit
and intent of the ordinance. "Undue hardship" as used in connection with the granting of a
variance means the property in question cannot be put to a reasonable use if used under
conditions allowed by the official controls,
deleted text endnew text begin requirements of the zoning ordinance including
restrictions placed on nonconformities. Variances shall only be permitted when they are in
harmony with the general purposes and intent of the ordinance and when the variances are
consistent with the comprehensive plan. Variances may be granted when the applicant for
the variance establishes that there are practical difficulties in complying with the zoning
ordinance. "Practical difficulties," as used in connection with the granting of a variance,
means that the property owner proposes to use the property in a reasonable manner not
permitted by the zoning ordinance;
new text end the plight of the landowner is due to circumstances
unique to the property not created by the landownerdeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin;new text end and the variance, if granted, will not
alter the essential character of the locality. Economic considerations alone deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin donew text end not
constitute deleted text beginan undue hardship if reasonable use for the property exists under the terms of
the ordinance. Undue hardship also includes
deleted text endnew text begin practical difficulties. Practical difficulties
include
new text end, but deleted text beginisdeleted text endnew text begin arenew text end not limited to, inadequate access to direct sunlight for solar energy
systems. Variances shall be granted for earth sheltered construction as defined in section
216C.06, subdivision 14, when in harmony with the ordinance. The board of appeals and
adjustments or the governing body as the case may be, may not permit as a variance any
use that is not deleted text beginpermitteddeleted text endnew text begin allowednew text end under the new text beginzoning new text endordinance for property in the zone
where the affected person's land is located. The board or governing body as the case
may be, may permit as a variance the temporary use of a one family dwelling as a two
family dwelling. The board or governing body as the case may be may impose conditions
in the granting of variances deleted text beginto insure compliance and to protect adjacent properties.deleted text endnew text begin. A
condition must be directly related to and must bear a rough proportionality to the impact
created by the variance.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end