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Board of Adjustment

The Board of Adjustment can grant deviations from the provisions of Fargo's zoning code in specific cases where complying with the provisions would cause undue hardship because of circumstances unique to an individual property.  The board can grant variances only when it is demonstrated that such actions will be in keeping with the spirit and intent of the zoning code and will not be contrary to the public interest.

The Board of Adjustment also hears and decides appeals where it is alleged that there is error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the zoning administrator in the enforcement or interpretation of the ordinances. The board does not hear variance requests for residential dwelling unit densities. 

How to be placed on the board's agenda

Property owners interested in asking the board for a variance must submit an application to do so.  Applications can be obtained in the Department of Planning and Development. Each application should be accompanied by a $185 fee. This fee covers legal publishing and mailings to the local neighborhood to notify the public of the request for a variance.  

Meeting Schedule and Location

The Board of Adjustment meets the fourth Tuesday of each month in the City Commission Room at 200 3rd St. N. Notice of such hearings are published in the Fargo Forum once each week for two successive weeks before the meeting. 

Meetings are broadcast live on cable channel TV Fargo 56 and can be seen live by video stream on They are rebroadcast each Tuesday at 9 a.m. for one month following the meeting. 

People with disabilities who plan to attend the meeting and need special accommodations should contact the Planning Office at 241-1474 or TDD at 241-8258. Please contact us at least 48 hours before the meeting to give our staff adequate time to make arrangements.

Board members and decisions

Five members and one alternate make up the Fargo Board of Adjustment. 

In order for the board to grant a deviation from the zoning code, four board members must vote in favor of granting the variance. If a variance is granted, it becomes null and void after one year if it has not been utilized.

The petitioner can file an appeal of the board's decision within 10 days of receiving notice of the decision. Appeals are filed with the City Auditor's office and reviewed by the City Commission.

For more information on this commission, contact Planning at 701-241-1474.