Zoning Board of Appeals
What is the Zoning Board of Appeals
The purpose of the Zoning Board of Appeals is to hear and decide applications for exceptions to and variances from the zoning ordinances of the municipality and to hear and decide all appeals from orders, decisions and regulations of municipal administrative officials or agencies in regard to the zoning ordinances. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall not permit any exception or variance from the zoning ordinances unless it finds that a practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship would exist as a result of the literal application of the zoning ordinances because of some peculiarity of the property in question as distinct from the other properties in the same district. In such cases the granting of the exception or variance must not be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property in the immediate surrounding area, and must be in keeping with the general purpose, intent and objective of the municipal zoning ordinances.
Zoning Board of Appeals Meetings
The Zoning Board of Appeals meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month (with the exception of December) at 7:00 p.m. Meetings are held at City Hall, 150 Avon Belden Road, in Council Chambers, 2nd floor, and are open to the public. Owner or Agent must be present at the meeting to present the case.
In order to allow time for proper notification of property owners within 300 feet, applications need to be submitted generally the first Friday of the month for that month’s meeting agenda.
Zoning Board of Appeals Members
The Zoning Board of Appeals is created under Codified Ordinance Section 1214.07. It consists of five members: two members appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation and approval by Council, and three members appointed by City Council. All members, at the date of their respective appointments and thereafter during their terms of office, shall be, and shall have been for the two years last past, qualified electors of the City who hold no other elective or appointive office or position or who are not otherwise employed within the Municipal Government. Appointments are for a term of five years. Members of the Zoning Board of appeals serve without compensation.
Current Zoning Board of Appeals Members - Term Expires (Appointment by):
Frank Hamister, Chairman - 12/31/19 (Mayor)
James Motz - 12/31/16 (Mayor)
William Heine - 12/31/18 (Council)
Andrew Perry - 12/31/17 (Council)
How does the Zoning Board make a decision?
To grant a variance, the Zoning Board of Appeals has to make certain findings of fact. These findings must be based upon the physical relationships and characteristics of the particular property and how it differs from similarly zoned properties. Personal needs or hardships of the current owner are not necessarily a basis for granting zoning variances. The hardship has to be unique to the property, and not the current owner.
The complete list of the factors that must be addressed can be found with the application form. A summary of these factors is:
- A practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship exists on this particular piece of property as a result of the literal application of the zoning ordinances;
- That the hardship exists because of some peculiarity of this property that differs from other properties with the same restrictions;
- Granting the variance must not be detrimental to the public welfare of injurious to the property in the immediate surrounding area;
- The variance must be in keeping the general purpose, intent and objective of the zoning requirement;
- Financial reasons or personal hardship is not grounds for granting a variance.
Area or Use Variance?
An area variance permits a change to minimum size or setback requirements and structural restrictions. It is a dimensional variance. The most common variance is an area variance. Area variances authorize a deviation from the zoning regulations that govern physical location and improvement of a property, for example, setback, building height, lot width, or lot area.
A use variance authorizes a use of property that would otherwise be prohibited within the property’s zone district. The effect of granting a use variance is often similar to a change in the property’s zone district classification.