Town of Trappe

A variance is defined as:

"Permission to construct, alter, or occupy a particular building, structure or tract of land in a way which is not in conformance with a provision or provisions of this [Trappe] Zoning ordinance, as a form of relief from its literal interpretation."

The Appeals Board may grant such variances from the terms of the zoning ordinance as will not be contrary to the public interest where, owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the provisions of this ordinance would result in unnecessary hardship. A variance from the terms of this ordinance shall not be granted unless and until the applicant has demonstrated that:
  • Special conditions and circumstances exist which are peculiar to the land, structure, or building involved and which are not applicable to other lands, structures, or buildings in the same district.
  • Literal interpretation of the provisions of this ordinance would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same district under the terms of this ordinance.
  • The special conditions or circumstances do not result from actions of the applicant.
  • Granting the variance requested will not confer upon the applicant any special privilege that is denied by this ordinance to other lands, structures, or buildings in the same district.
In granting any variance, the Board of Appeals may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards in conformity with the ordinance. Violations of such conditions and safeguards, when made a part of the terms under which the variance is granted shall be deemed a violation of the Trappe zoning ordinance and shall be punishable under the provisions of Section 17.

Under no circumstances shall the Board of Appeals grant a variance to allow a use not permissible in the district involved.

Before requesting a variance, the applicant should become familiar with the relevant sections of the Trappe Zoning Ordinance and determine if the desired use is eligible for a variance. The Town Zoning Administrator can help you interpret the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance. The Zoning Administrator may be contacted by calling the Town Office. (410)-476-3170