The Board of Zoning Appeals is comprised of five members appointed by the mayor. Their job is to approve or disapprove variances to the zoning code. A majority vote of the BZA is needed for approval. If only three members show up for the meeting, then all three votes are needed to pass a request. Requests must have a real reason for the need such as a physical land hardship. Just because a homeowner wants a variance is not a reason for the board to approve it. Any ruling of the BZA may be appealed to the City Council, although an appeal must be filed within fifteen days of the BZA hearing.
KPSHA tries to look at all requests and evaluate them on their merits. The KPSHA board of directors may be in favor of the request or oppose it. However, sometimes it is able to work out a solution that either doesn't need a variance or involves a variance that both the owner and neighbors are happy with. Most requests for a variance involve either a setback or an issue with the size of a garage. KPSHA’s support for a variance is often the key to it being granted.
It is important to contact KPSHA early in the variance process so that the request may be evaluated. Skipping this step can result in a postponement, which might unnecessarily delay an approval. A request for a variance must be posted with a small black sign in the yard where the variance is requested and must include the date of the meeting. It is important for neighbors to keep a look out for these signs and contact a member of the KPSHA board to make sure it is aware of the homeowner’s request.