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Frequently Asked Questions

The material in this question and answer series is for your information only. It is not legal advice and is not designed to be used in place of legal advice. You should consult your own attorney for legal advice. The St. Joseph Legal Department provides this series to provide a general summary of procedures concerning violations of city ordinances in the City of St. Joseph, Missouri. It is issued to inform generally, not to advise of specific rights. As with any general information, the answers given here may not specifically apply to you.
What is a variance or exception?

A variance can be described as official permission from the city to allow something to be constructed or put in use within certain parameters that otherwise does not meet the standards of the City Code. For example, an applicant who wants to build an attached garage within required setbacks would need to request a variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) and in their application explain why they are making this request. The ZBA reviews this application and makes a decision.

An exception is similar to a variance, but focused specifically on signs, parking, fences, telecommunications towers, and accessory uses. Like a variance, an applicant would need to request an exception from the ZBA explaining the reason for the request, and the ZBA would make a decision on the application.

More information on variances and exceptions, including the full description of application requirements and procedures can be found online.

Show All Answers

1. What is Planning & Zoning?
2. What applications & permits does Planning & Zoning administer?
3. What is a subdivision or plat?
4. What is the subdivision process or platting?
5. How Do I combine, split, or adjust my property lines?
6. Does the city provide surveying services?
7. What is zoning?
8. What is rezoning?
9. How do I find my property’s zoning?
10. What does zoning determine?
11. How do I get a fence permit and what are the city’s rules for fences?
12. How do I get a pool permit and what are the city’s rules for pools?
13. How do I get a garage/shed/etc. permitted?
14. How do I get a sign permit?
15. What is a site plan?
16. What is the Zoning Board of Adjustment?
17. What is a variance or exception?
18. What is the Planning Commission?
19. What is the Downtown Review Board?