A variance is a request to deviate from current zoning requirements. If granted, it permits the owner to use his land in a way that is ordinarily not permitted by the zoning ordinance. It is not a change in the zoning law, but a waiver from the requirements of the zoning ordinance.
A use variance is asking for permission to establish a use of the property not otherwise, permitted, in the zoning district. The applicant must prove " unnecessary hardship."
An area variance is permission to build in an otherwise restricted portion of the property (such as in the required front, side or rear yards, or above the required building height, or in excess of the lot coverage regulations).
For more information, please see the Zoning Board of Appeals Relief page.