Variance Process


Variances are meant to be an infrequent remedy where an ordinance imposes a unique and substantial burden. Where there are practical difficulties, or unnecessary or particular hardship in the way of carrying out the strict letter of the ordinance the Zoning Board of Appeals shall have the power in passing upon appeals to vary or modify any of the provisions of the ordinance relating to:

  • Construction of
  • Structural change in
  • Equipment or alteration of buildings or structures
  • Use of land, buildings or structures

The Zoning Board of Appeals shall be governed by zoning laws as contained in §62.23 and Chapter 15, Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the City of Manitowoc. 


To qualify for a variance, an applicant has the burden of proof to demonstrate that all three criteria defined in state statutes and outlined below are met.

  • Unnecessary hardship
  • Hardship due to unique property limitations
  • No harm to public interest

For additional information regarding these criteria please view the variance application instructions.

Application Process

Variance applications shall be filed on or before the last Tuesday of each month prior to the month of the meeting.

Meeting Information

The Zoning Board of Appeals meets as needed on the third Tuesday of the month at 5:00 PM at City Hall.

Additional Information

For more information, please contact the department at (920) 686-6940 or by Department Email