ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

A Zoning Board of Appeals is established to provide an appeal procedure for persons who deem themselves aggrieved by decisions of administrative officers in the enforcement of this Chapter.

Membership. The Board shall consist of 5 members appointed by the mayor subject to confirmation of the Council for terms of 3 years. The members of the Board shall receive no compensation for their services, except they may be authorized repayment of any out-of-pocket expenses necessarily incurred in relation to their assigned duties. Board members shall be removable by the mayor for cause upon written changes and upon public hearing. The mayor shall designate one of the members chairman. Vacancies shall be filed for the unexpired terms of members whose terms become vacant. The mayor shall appoint, for staggered terms of 3 years, 2 alternate members of such Board, in addition to the 5 members provided for in this Subsection. Annually, the mayor shall designate one of the alternate members as first alternate and the other as second alternate. The first alternate shall act, with full power, only when a member of the Board refuses to vote because of interest or when a member is absent. The second alternate shall so act only when the first alternate so refuses or is absent or when more than one member of the Board so refuses or is absent. The above provisions, with regard to removal and the filling of vacancies, shall apply to such alternates.

Meetings. Meetings of the Board shall be held at least once a month, unless there is nothing to come before it. There shall be a fixed place of meeting and all meetings shall be open to the public. The Board shall adopt its own rules of procedure and keep a record of its proceedings, showing the action of the Board and vote of each member upon each question considered. The presence of 4 members shall be necessary to constitute a quorum. Special meetings shall be called by the chairman. No special meeting of the Board of Appeals shall be called to hear any appeal at the request of any appellant unless such appellants shall have each first paid to the finance director an appeal fee as prescribed in section 18-31(4).

 Powers. The Board of Appeals shall have the following powers:

  • To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged that there is an error in any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative official in the enforcement, administration, or interpretation of this Chapter.
  •  Hear and decide special exceptions to the terms of this Chapter upon which the Board is required to pass.
  • To authorize upon appeal in specific cases such variances from the terms of this Chapter as will not be contrary to the public interest, when, owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement will result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship, so that the spirit of this Chapter shall be observed, public safety and welfare secured, and substantial justice done. The Board may not permit as a variance any use that is not permitted under this Chapter for property in the zoning district where the affected person’s land is located.
  • Attach conditions of approval to any action described under this section, in furtherance of the general purpose and intent of this Chapter.
  • Interpret the provisions of this Chapter in such a way as to carry out the intent and purpose of this Chapter as shown on the Official Zoning Map where the actual street layout on the ground varies from the street layout on the aforesaid map.
  • The Zoning Board of Appeals shall have the power to call on any other City department for assistance in the performance of its duties and it shall be the duty of such other departments to render such assistance as may be reasonably required.
  • In exercising the above listed duties and responsibilities, the Board may reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, or may modify any order, requirement, decision, or determination of the Zoning Administrator or other administrative officer from whom the appeal is taken. The concurring vote of 4 members of the Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision, or determination for which an appeal has been requested.

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