Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board: Variance Request Guidelines

In accordance with Rule 1.2.3, the Board may grant exceptions, usually referred to as variances, to its Rules and Regulations. Rule 1.2.3 states:

1.2.3 Exceptions

A strict application of the provisions of this standard may not be appropriate in every instance. Wherever it may be proposed to depart from the provisions of this standard, the authority having jurisdiction may grant exceptions from the literal requirements or permit the use of other devices or methods that provide features comparable to those included in this standard, providing that after receiving such evidence as the Board may require, the Board determines that:

  1. The granting of such an exception would be consistent with, and would aid in, implementing the legislative policy set forth in C.R.S. 25-5-701, and either,
  2. Compliance with applicable rules and regulations from which an exception is sought would create an unreasonable operational or design condition, or
  3. Compliance with applicable rules and regulations from which an exception is sought would create an unreasonable economic burden.

It is important when requesting a variance that the request meets the necessary criteria as set forth in Rule 1.2.3 (a) and (b) and/or (c). To legally grant a variance, a finding that the criteria of Rule 1.2.3 has been met must be made.

The following are the guidelines for submission of a variance request to the Board. It is important that all criteria are met in the variance request prior to submission to the Board. If submissions are incomplete the variance may not be granted. When applying for a variance, it is important that why the variance is being requested is fully outlined and why it will not jeopardize the public's health or safety if it is granted. The following guidelines will assist in submitting a complete variance request.

Define whether a temporary or permanent variance is being requested:

  • Explain what length of time is required and why,
  • Is the request a waiver of the rule, a delay of implementation or a suggestion of an alternative solution?

Provide definitive information as to why the variance can be granted with no additional or undue threat to the health and safety of the public, such as:

  • Operational history,
  • History of similar lifts with similar conditions,
  • Expert testimony, or,
  • An alternative solution to protect the public.

Give a complete explanation defining the necessity of the variance:

  • An explanation of the current or proposed condition,
  • Why it does not conform with the rule,
  • What would be necessary to comply with the rule,
  • Background information about the condition,
  • How it has affected public health and safety.

Note: Photographs and diagrams are helpful to the Board.

Clearly state under which reference in Rule 1.2.3 that the variance is being requested:

  • Is it unreasonable operational or design condition or an unreasonable economic burden?
    • If based upon unreasonable operational or design conditions, explain what has been done in an attempt to comply with the rule and why it was not successful.

Note: Referring to professionals and experts in the field who have been consulted is helpful to the Board, but please provide their qualifications.

  • If based upon an unreasonable economic burden, provide estimates to complete the work and documentation of how those costs would affect other operational demands. Show why the expenditure is considered an economic burden to the area.

If you require further information or have questions please contact the Board office at 303-894-7785 or dora_tramwayboard@state.co.us