Variances provide an exception from standards or regulations for land uses. A variance cannot be utilized to allow a prohibited use, to change the review or permit type required by County code, nor to waive the minimum access road standard. If more than one standard needs to be adjusted, then multiple variances may be required – for example, a setback encroachment on two different property lines would require two variances. 

There are two types of variances, and each has separate requirements, approval criteria, and notifications as described below: 

Administrative Variance: Small adjustments to a standard may be approved by the Planning Director as allowed by NRS 278.319 and CCC 16.08.090(J). An administrative variance can be approved for a requirement that uses a number and the adjustment is 10% or less of what is required if written consent is obtained from affected neighbors. For example, a 30-foot setback can be reduced by three feet or less. Notification of neighbors within 100 feet of the subject property is required.

Variance (Standard): The standard variance is used to review all other exceptions from land use code standards or regulations, and has more stringent approval criteria than the administrative variance. Variances from the age and size limits for a manufactured home and paving or bridge standards for land divisions can only be approved through a standard variance. This variance must be approved through the Planning Commission at a hearing. Notification of neighbors surrounding the subject property within at least 300 feet and at least 30 unique individual property owners is required.

As a general rule, variances from regulations for convenience or to save money as well as variances for a certain design choice when alternatives exist are not approved.

A variance, once granted, shall run with the land. All privileges granted pursuant to a Variance application shall be exercised within 12 months of granting the variance unless otherwise provided.

See Title 16.08.090 of the Churchill County Code regarding variances.

Applications for a Variance are available on our Forms page under Land Use. Please come by or call the Planning Department to discuss your specific need before filing any application.