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How does an Arizona zoning adjustment take place?

In Arizona, countless hearings for applications made by a person or company requesting to change the zoning status of a piece of land or property come through every year. These decisions can effect dramatically the future of a homeowner or the potential success of a business, therefore, it is very important that the process is understood to the highest degree.

Taking Phoenix as an example, each application is submitted to the Board of Adjustment, which is a team in the planning and development department. The board is selected by the City Council, and this board is responsible for hearing all applications. They do this without pay, as a form of civic responsibility.

How should I communicate with the board?

Any communication that you as an applicant has with the Board of Adjustment should be directed specifically to the Board of Adjustment secretary. In Phoenix, these meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month, but in other cities and counties in Arizona, the date of the hearing meetings may vary.

What is the criteria for granting a zoning adjustment?

In order to have a zoning adjustment or variance granted, you must be able to provide enough evidence to say that your building or piece of land is an "exception to the rule" in your particular zone. These special circumstances that you highlight should also have not been created by yourself, but an external factor out of your control.

An attorney can help you if you have any questions or concerns about submitting or appealing your zoning adjustment application in the state of Arizona.

Source:, "Zoning hearing information," accessed Oct. 08, 2017

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