The Town of Berlin, Connecticut

Country Charm at the Center of Connecticut



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What is a Variance?
A variance is an exception granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals from the terms of the zoning regulations where, because of special conditions, a literal enforcement of the regulations would result in exceptional difficulty or unusual hardship.
Why do I need a variance to do certain things?
The Zoning Regulations exist to guide development in an orderly manner so as to preserve the rights of all people to the quiet enjoyment of their property.
What is a "Hardship?"
A hardship is a peculiar or unique feature of a particular piece of property that prevents the landowner from making a reasonable use of the property in conformance with the existing zoning regulations.
How do I apply for a variance?
The Department of Development Services in Room 121 at the Town Hall has the necessary forms you will need.
How long is a variance valid?
A variance is valid for the life of the property and becomes effective when you file the variance on the Land Records in the Office of the Town Clerk.
Is a variance granted to a person or the property?
A variance is granted to the property and remains in effect even if the property is sold.
If I'm denied a variance, when can I reapply?
You must wait six months before you can reapply, unless the circumstances of your request have substantially changed, or if you are denied without prejudice.
Can I appeal a decision of the ZBA?
Yes, anyone may appeal any decision by the ZBA to the Superior Court within 15 days of the publication of the Notice of Decision.
When does the ZBA meet?
The ZBA meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month, with the exception of August and December when no meetings are scheduled.
How long does the process take?
First, the deadline to submit your application is three weeks prior to the meeting so that it can be properly noticed in the newspaper.
What happens at a ZBA meeting?
You present your request to the Board. Bring in any supporting information such as photos and maps to help you explain your hardship. The more thorough you are the easier it will be for the Board to reach a decision.
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