a. "The oft repeated, although ill defined, limitation upon the exercise of the zoning power, requires that zoning ordinances be enacted for the health, safety, morals or general welfare of the community. (citation omitted) Such ordinances must bear a substantial relationship to those police power purposes. (citation omitted) And if the ordinance does, in its application to specific properties, impose an 'unnecessary hardship,' it cannot be termed a reasonable or constitutional exercise of the police power. To preserve the validity of the zoning ordinance in its application to the community in general, the use permit and variance provisions of the ordinance function as an 'escape valve,' so that when regulations which apply to all are unnecessarily burdensome to a few because of certain unique circumstances, a means of relief from the mandate is provided."
Coronet Homes, Inc. v. McKenzie, 84 Nev. 250, 256, 439 P.2d 219 (1968). No. 10.
b. "[R]espondents had the burden to prove that because of the narrowness, shallowness, topographic conditions or other exceptional conditions of the property, the strict application of the zoning regulations would result in 'exceptional practical difficulties to, or exceptional and undue hardships, upon, the owner of such property.'"
Enterprise Citizens v. Clark Co. Comm'rs, 112 Nev. 649, 653, 918 P.2d 305 (1996). No. 48.
c. "This court has not previously provided a definition of hardship, but many other courts and authorities have done so. See 101A C.J.S. Zoning & Land Planning § 242 (1979) (hardship exists where the application of the regulation to property greatly decreases or practically destroys its value for any permitted use, so as to deprive the owner of the land of all beneficial use of the land); Wells & Highway 21 Corp., 897 S.W.2d at 62 (hardship requires showing that land cannot yield reasonable return if used only for the purpose allowed in that zone); Concerned Residents v. Zoning Bd. of Ross Tp., 647 A.2d 966, 969 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1994) (hardship requires showing that land is virtually useless as it is presently zoned); State v. Winnebago County, 540 N.W.2d 6, 9 (Wis.Ct.App. 1995) (hardship is a situation where, in the absence of a variance, no feasible use could be made of the land). While we are not compelled to use any of these definitions, we conclude that respondents have failed to prove, pursuant to any of these definitions, that the strict application of the zoning regulations would result in a hardship or difficulty which merited the granting of the variance." Id. at 654-655.
d. Unusual shape and excess dedications may, but "do not ipso facto create a difficulty or hardship which warrants a variance, and it is incumbent upon the property owner to prove what the hardship or difficulty is, i.e., the owner of the property would be deprived of all beneficial uses of the land if the land was used solely for the purpose allowed in that zone, the value of the property would decrease significantly if the property was used solely for the purpose allowed in that zone, a reasonable return on the property would not be realized unless the variance was granted, the land is virtually useless as zoned, or no feasible use could be made of the land as zoned." Id. at 656.
e. "Respondents' answer [ques. # 3 on variance app.] stated only that the facility would meet health and safety standards and that traffic impacts would be mitigated. This answer was non-responsive and failed to provide any evidence that a hardship or difficulty existed which warranted the granting of the variance which would allow manufacturing in a residential district." Id. at 657.
f. "Respondents never alleged or argued that they could
not receive a reasonable return from the operation of the sand and gravel pit
absent the variance permitting the batch plant." Id. at 657.
g. "Respondents never explained why the circumstances listed in the answers to questions one and two made the property unsuitable for its zoned residential use and therefore valueless without a variance...." Id. at 657.
h. Although they addressed environmental, geologic, and economic impact, noise, traffic, and safety, "at no time did the Board inquire about or did respondents address the issue of why the lot shape, abutting railroad tracks, nearby industrial zoning, or dedications required on Jones Boulevard created a hardship or difficulty which warranted the variance in conjunction with the conditional use permit. In fact, the only two times that hardship or difficulty was even mentioned, the conclusion was that none existed; the opinion of the Board's staff was that no legal hardship existed (although the staff proclaimed that they were not concerned about that fact and recommended granting the variance), and one county commissioner stated that he believed no hardship existed. Id. at 657.
i. "Based on the variance application and respondents' testimony to the Board, it is clear that respondents provided no evidence to prove that the unusual lot shape, abutting railroad tracks, nearby manufacturing zoning, and dedications on Jones Boulevard created a hardship or difficulty which warranted the Board to grant a // variance...." Id. at 657-658.