Generally, there are two types of variances: area variances and use variances. The BZA is authorized to waive strict application of any part of the Zoning Regulations where, due to an exceptional situation, the strict application of the Zoning Regulations results in "exceptional practical difficulties or exceptional and undue hardship" upon a property owner.
The BZA must determine that granting the request would not cause substantial detriment to the public good and would not be inconsistent with the general intent and purpose of the Zoning Regulations. In granting a variance, the BZA allows the owner to do something with the property without requiring strict compliance with the Zoning Regulations.
DCMR Title 11 – Subtitle X10
Instructions for Form 120 - Application for Variance
Filing for a Variance Review: