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Yes it will take longer, because a permit cannot be issued until the variance process is completed.
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A variance is appropriate to bring the applicant to parity with other owners in the zoning district, It is not intended to give applicants an advantage over their neighbors or over those in the same zoning districts.
For example, a lot may be so shallow, relative to other lots in the neighborhood, that there is insufficient space to build a house and provide the required front and rear yard setbacks required by zoning. In this case, the board of adjustment may grant a variance, which would allow the property owner to build a structure, but with a rear yard having a lesser depth than what is required by the zoning regulations.
Zoning Regulations (PDF)
Under ordinary circumstances, the process takes about six weeks. There are three Boards, one for each of the three supervisor districts in Cochise County. Each Board of Adjustment meets once a month. Please contact the Planning Division for specific dates and meeting locations.
Planning and Zoning Division Staff Directory Page
Yes. The Board of Adjustment always takes into account the effect on the greater community, and specifically neighbors, before granting a variance. For this reason, property owners within a 300-foot radius of your property will be notified, by mail, of your variance request. Also, a legal notice is placed in the local newspaper, on the Cochise County website, and a sign is posted on the property. The Board of Adjustment will hold a public hearing to provide the public with the opportunity to comment on the request. The applicant must appear at the public hearing to justify their request.
It is highly recommended that you visit or write your neighboring property owners and explain what you want to do. Sometimes a simple explanation will help them understand the project and prevent them from objecting. The Planning Division can assist in obtaining addresses.