Stinson Beach
County Water District

TITLE IV ONSITE WASTEWATER
MANAGEMENT CODE

CHAPTER 4.13 VARIANCES TO DESIGN STANDARDS

Return to Title IV Table of Contents

Sections:

4.13.010  Variances to Design Standards
4.13.100  Variance Application and Fee
4.13.110  Submission to Regional Water Quality Control Board
4.13.120  Variance Hearing
4.13.125  Notification of Neighboring Property Owners
4.13.130  Finding of Facts - Alternative Wastewater System
4.13.131  Finding of Facts - Alternative Wastewater System for Repair or Replacement of Failed System
4.13.140  Variance Conditions and Expiration

4.13.010  Variances to Design Standards
Upon making certain findings in each case as set forth in Section 4.13.130 or Section 4.13.131, the Board of Directors, except as otherwise provided in this code, may grant variances to the design standards established in this code for a particular system design based upon the unique characteristics of the case. The granting of a variance in one case shall not constitute a precedent for a subsequent case.

4.13.100  Application and Fee
The owner or agent shall submit an application for a variance on a District form and shall pay the prescribed variance application fee. The variance application shall be submitted with the design review application.

4.13.110  Submission to Regional Water Quality Control Board
Excepting applications which meet the requirements of Section 4.13.131 and upon making a determination that the application is complete pursuant to Section 4.07.110, and that the application conforms to the requirements of this code in all aspects except for the item(s) subject to variance, a copy of the application shall be transmitted to the Executive Officer of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Francisco Bay Region allowing for a thirty day response time.

4.13.120  Variance Hearing
A public hearing before the Board of Directors shall be held at the next regular meeting that falls at least thirty days after the submission of the application to the Regional Water Quality Control Board. A notice of the hearing shall be posted and mailed to the address of the applicant.

4.13.125  Notification of Neighboring Property Owners
Excepting applications which meet the requirements of Section 4.13.131 and upon a determination that an application for variance is complete, and the setting of a date for hearing of the application before the Board of Directors, notice shall be sent, by the District, to the last known address of each property owner within three hundred (300) feet of the property that is the subject of the variance request. The notice shall be sent by first class mail at least 14 days prior to the date of the hearing. The notice shall specify the section(s) of the code from which the applicant is applying for a variance and shall notice the date, time and place of the hearing. Re-notification of continued hearing dates shall be made in the same manner as above, unless the hearing is continued at a regular meeting of the Board of Directors to a specified future date.

4.13.130  Finding of Facts - Alternative Wastewater System
The purpose of the hearing on a variance shall be to allow the applicant to present a statement and adequate evidence, in such form as the Board may require, demonstrating that all of the following conditions exist:

  1. Special circumstances and conditions exist on the property that makes strict compliance with the regulation inappropriate;
  2. The variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right;
  3. The variance, if granted, would not result in a cumulative adverse detrimental effect on surface or ground waters;
  4. The variance will not materially adversely affect the condition of adjacent watercourses or wetlands, the conditions of subsurface water under adjacent properties, the health or safety of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of the property, and/or the general health and safety of the public.

In the event that the Executive Officer of the Regional Water Quality Control Board has commented in opposition to the granting of the variance or has required additional findings, then the applicant shall submit revised plans which mitigate the conditions forming the basis of opposition or which address the required additional findings.

Following the public hearing, the Board may grant the variance only if by resolution it makes the findings of facts specified herein above.

4.13.131  Finding of Facts - Alternative Wastewater System for Repair or Replacement of Failed System
The purpose of the hearing on a variance shall be to allow the applicant to present a statement and adequate evidence, in such form as the Board may require, demonstrating that all of the following conditions exist for the repair or replacement of a failed wastewater system which does not include New Construction:

  1. Conditions exist on the property which prevent the repair or the construction of a replacement system pursuant to a design which conforms to this code.
  2. The conditions referred to in number one above are natural conditions, which cannot be altered such as depth to groundwater or are conditions which could not reasonably be modified such as insufficient space on the parcel which could only be corrected by significantly altering a building which was constructed pursuant to a permit issued by the County of Marin.
  3. The design represents the least deviation from the design standards reasonably possible.
  4. The design incorporates measures to mitigate possible reduced effectiveness of treatment using alternative systems or other measures as approved by the Board.

Following the public hearing, the Board may grant the variance only if by resolution it makes the findings of facts specified herein above.

4.13.140  Variance Conditions and Expiration
In granting a variance, the Board may establish such conditions in connection that will, in its opinion, substantially secure the objectives of the design requirements to which the variance applies. In all cases in which variances are granted, the Board shall require such evidence and guarantees as it may deem necessary. The variance approval shall become effective upon the granting of a Design Approval Permit. The variance approval shall expire three (3) years from the date of the Design Approval Permit. No extensions shall be granted.