A zoning variance provides relief from the dimensional standards of the Development Ordinance, such as setback requirements, structure height, lot coverage or similar numerical standards. To receive a variance, the applicant must demonstrate that the literal interpretation of the ordinance standards would result in a unique and undue hardship, and that the relief requested would not be contrary to the public interest.


Approvals or Permits Issued


  1. The applicant submits an application, supplemental documents and fee.
  2. Applications are assigned a Case Manager to act as the point of contact and assist with managing it through the process.
  3. Staff reviews the application and notifies the applicant of any deficiencies. Once deemed complete, a variance application is placed in review and scheduled for the next regular meeting of the Board of Adjustment (BOA), if filed by the application deadline.
  4. Public notice of the application is provided by first class mailed notice, published notice and posted signs prior to the BOA public hearing.
  5. A staff report is prepared and provided, along with the appeal application, to the Board of Adjustment prior to the hearing.
  6. At the public hearing, the Board will hear from staff, the applicant, and any others with standing who want to speak on the matter.
  7. After all testimony is received, the Board of Adjustment will deliberate and render its decision, usually before adjournment of the meeting.
  8. A written Order of the Board, that formalizes the Board’s decision, is prepared, signed and delivered to the applicant.

Submittal Requirements

  1. Completed Variance Application (PDF) submitted to the Planning and Development Department or online through Accela Citizen Access (ACA)
  2. Application fee
  3. The application must address in writing each of the required findings for granting a variance, describing how the requested relief meets them
  4. Photographs, drawings, plats, other correspondence, etc. that depict or help explain or support the variance argument
  5. If submitting on ACA, attach a completed Board Action Application Signature Form (PDF).

Additional Information

  • Monetary hardship (the fact that it might cost more to comply with the ordinance) is not grounds for the granting of a variance, nor is a simple desire or convenience.

Expected Processing Time

  • Within 2 business days of receipt of an application the Planning & Development Department will determine whether an application is complete or incomplete.
  • If the application is incomplete, then the applicant will be notified within those 2 business days with a written list of application deficiencies.
  • If the application is complete, then it shall be considered submitted. 
  • Approximately 24 business days from the monthly submittal deadline to the hearing and potential decision.


  • Application fee is due at time of submittal
  • See the Development Fee Schedule (PDF) for specific fees
  • Payment types accepted: Cash, Discover, MasterCard, Visa and Check or Money Order payable to the City of High Point
  • Online (ACA) payment types accepted: Cash, Discover, MasterCard, Visa and E-check