Variance / Waivers / Special Exceptions / Alternative Compliance

The Board of Adjustment is a quasi-judicial body, which aims to uphold the meaning and spirit of the zoning ordinance as enacted by legislation. The board is appointed by City Council to hear and take appropriate action on requests for variances and special exceptions to Development Code regulations. 

This group also hears appeals of decisions rendered by zoning administrators, interprets unclear provisions in the zoning ordinance, decides on applications by landowners to permit buildings or land uses that vary from the zoning regulations, and regulates nonconforming uses and structures. 

Variance request process: 

In instances in which a variance or waiver is needed, our team advises applicants on the process and evaluation criteria, prepares a staff report describing the technical aspects of the case, makes presentations to the Board of Adjustment and assists the City Attorney in advising the Board and answering questions. 

Requesting a variance from the Board of Adjustment is a lengthy and detailed process that averages 7 weeks in Dallas and other large Texas cities. Variances are often delayed because of incomplete applications, missing information or incorrect documents.  

In order to ensure your request is processed promptly, it is vital to follow the Board’s requirements. Masterplan handles this and more, ensuring you’re well represented at every phase. 

Board of Adjustment rules include: 

  • Prohibits interaction with board members and requiring super-majority votes for approval.  
  • Requires a public hearing, mailed notices to area property owners, and a sign posted on the property.  

Board of Adjustment Process

Special Exception | Variance | Appeal of Administrative Official



Our variance/waivers/special exceptions/alternative compliance clients include:




Karl Crawley
Executive Director, Texas

Karl Crawley is recognized as a leading zoning and land use consultant in the state of Texas.


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