Zoning Variance or Administrative Appeal


A variance is needed when your project cannot meet requirements of the zoning code. An administrative appeal is needed if you disagree with an interpretation that has been made by an administrative official.


To make sure that a project is consistent with neighboring developments and that a development does not infringe on the enjoyment of property belonging to neighboring owners, does not detract from surrounding buildings or lots, is not out of character with the neighborhood, and that a project meets all necessary public health and safety standards.


It is recommended to meet with Planning/Zoning staff before submitting your application. Staff will review the standards for variance with you prior to your filling out of the application. This process usually takes 6-8 weeks.

To obtain a variance you must establish that due to some peculiarity of the lot's shape, size, or topography, etc. it would be a hardship or practical difficulty to meet zoning code requirements. These circumstances are not to be self-imposed or self-created.

In the case of administrative appeal, you must establish that the administrative official's interpretation and application of the ordinance is not in accord with the terms of the ordinance and state law.

Submit your application for a variance or administrative appeal to the staff in the Planning/Zoning Department.

The following will need to be submitted:

  • A complete application form
  • Municiple Code 133-94
  • A copy of the site plan showing the present and proposed development on the lot
  • Any additional maps, exhibits, etc. that you feel are related to your request.
  • The non-refundable fee

The Board of Appeals Secretary (Planning/Zoning staff member), in consultation with the Board Chairperson, will schedule a public hearing before the Board of Appeals. Notice of the hearing is sent to the applicant, owners of the property within 200 feet or a minimum of three closest property owners. The hearing notice is also published in the Waunakee Tribune.

Following the public hearing, the Board will generally deliberate immediately and make a decision on the case. The Board may impose conditions and restrictions to protect the interest of you, other citizens, and the Village.

If the request is approved, you may then continue to obtain any other required approvals and permits.

Any action of the Board of Appeals may be appealed to a circuit court in Dane County by filing a petition within 30 days of the filing of the Board's decision. Parties interested in appealing the Board's decision should contact an attorney.


Please contact the Planning/Zoning Department at 849-5712 for question and clarifications on the process.