It is important to understand that the applicant must prove a hardship to be granted a variance. A hardship is defined by the Iowa Supreme Court as follows:
The land in question cannot yield a reasonable return if used in accordance with generally applicable zoning regulations.
The owner must be deprived of ALL beneficial use of the land.
This only occurs where the land is rendered unsuitable for ANY use permitted by the zoning.
It is not enough that a variance would permit the applicant to maintain a more profitable use.
The hardship at issue is due to unique circumstances particular to the land itself.
Not general conditions of the locality; and
Not the owner’s personal circumstances.
Granting the variance requested will not alter the essential character of the locality.
The land in question cannot yield a reasonable return if used in accordance with applicable zoning regulations; denial of the variance will arguably deprive the owner of all beneficial use of the land. Finally, granting the variance will not alter the character of the locality.