How to Establish a Variance In Pennsylvania's Zoning Law ?
In Valley View Civic Association v. Zoning Board of Adjustment, 501 Pa. 550, 462 A.2d 637 (1983), our Pennsylvania Supreme Court enunciated the criteria necessary to establish a variance:
The standards governing the grant of a variance are equally well settled.
The reasons for granting a variance must be substantial, serious and compelling . . . . the party seeking a variance bears the burden of proving that:
(1) unnecessary hardship will result if the variance is denied, and;
(2) the proposed use will not be contrary to the public interest . . . . the hardship must be shown to be unique or peculiar to the property as distinguished from a hardship arising from the impact of zoning regulations on the entire district . . . . Moreover, mere evidence that the zoned use is less financially rewarding than the proposed use is insufficient to justify a variance . . . . In evaluating hardship the use of adjacent and surrounding land is unquestionably relevant . . . .
. . . It is the function of the zoning board to determine whether the evidence satisfies that test and the courts will not disturb that determination unless it is not supported by substantial evidence, i.e., such evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Id. at 555-57, 559, 462 A.2d at 640-42.