NONCONFORMING SIDE YARD SETBACKS
If a house on a 50 ft wide lot has a combined side yard setback requirement of 13 feet is it possible that the ZBA would approve a variance that would reduce the combined side yard from 13 feet to 5 feet ???
A variance is the authority to depart from the literal application of the zoning ordinance because of an Unnecessary Hardship (in the case of a use variance) or a Practical Difficulty (in the case of a non-use or dimensional variance) resulting from the physical characteristics of the land.
In this case, the applicant wants a dimensional variance, which will require the applicant to prove there is a Practical Difficulty as to why there cannot be compliance with the required combined side yard setback of 13 feet.
I have attached an article from the Michigan State University Extension website that provides a very comprehensive overview of “Proving a practical difficulty for a dimensional variance request.” https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/proving_a_practical_difficulty_for_a_dimensional_variance_request
Thank you for the question.
Have a wonderful day,