Board of Adjustment – Zoning
BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT.
Consists of five (5) regular members and four alternate members who shall serve in the absence of one (1) or more regular members when requested to do so by the mayor. Each member of the Board of Adjustment shall be appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council for a term of two (2) years or until their successors are appointed and shall be removable for cause by the mayor and city council upon written charge and after public hearing. Members of the board shall serve without compensation.
To hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official in the enforcement of this ordinance. The board must find the following in order to grant an appeal:
a. That there is a reasonable difference of interpretation as to the specific intent of the zoning regulations or zoning map.
b. That the resulting interpretation will not grant a special privilege to one property inconsistent with other properties or uses similarly situated.
c. The decision of the board must be such as will be in the best interest of the community and consistent with the spirit and interest of the city’s zoning laws.
To hear and decide special exceptions to the terms of this ordinance. The term “special exception” shall mean a deviation from the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance, specifically enumerated herein, which shall be granted only in the following instances, and then only when the board finds that such special exception will not adversely affect the value and use of adjacent or neighboring property or be contrary to the best public interest:
a. To reconstruct, extend or enlarge a building occupied by a nonconforming use on the lot or tract occupied by such building, provided that the reconstruction, extension, or enlargement does not prevent the return of the property to a conforming use.
b. To deviate yard requirements in the following circumstances:
(1) An exception from the front yard requirements where the actual front yard setback of an abutting lot does not meet the front yard requirement or a rear yard exception where the actual rear yard setback of any four (4) or more lots in the same block do not meet the rear yard requirements of these regulations.
(2) A yard exception on corner lots.
(3) An exception where the existing front yard setbacks of the various lots in the same block are not uniform, so that any one of the existing front yard setbacks shall, for buildings hereafter constructed or extended, be the required minimum front yard depth.
(4) An exception from the minimum front yard requirements for owner identification signs where a structure existing at the effective date of this ordinance precludes locating a sign in compliance with the setback regulation.
(5) An exception from a minimum interior side yard setback requirement for owner identification signs for existing businesses which were developed prior to the effective date of this ordinance, where there is no safe place to erect a sign in compliance with the minimum setback requirements. A condition for granting of the exception is that the applicant must demonstrate that the sign shall not screen or obstruct the view of an existing sign, building or outdoor display area.
c. To waive or reduce off-street parking and loading requirements when the board finds the same are unnecessary for the proposed use of the building or structure for which the special exception request applies.
To authorize upon appeal in specific cases such variance from the terms of this ordinance as will not be contrary to the public interest, where, owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the provisions of said laws will result in unnecessary hardship, and so that the spirit of the ordinance shall be observed and substantial justice done. The term “variance” shall mean a deviation from the literal provisions of the Zoning Ordinance which is granted by the board when strict conformity to the Zoning Ordinance would cause an unnecessary hardship because of circumstances unique to the property on which the variance is granted. Except as otherwise prohibited under paragraph 22.6 hereof, the board is empowered to authorize a variance from a requirement of the Zoning Ordinance when the board finds that all of the following conditions have been met:
a. That the granting of the variance will not be contrary to the public interest;
b. That literal enforcement of the ordinance will result in unnecessary hardship because of exceptional narrowness, shallowness, shape, topography or other extraordinary or exceptional physical situation unique to the specific piece of property in question. “Unnecessary hardship” shall mean physical hardship relating to the property itself as distinguished from a hardship relating to convenience, financial considerations or caprice, and the hardship must not result from the applicant or property owner’s own actions; and
c. That by granting the variance, the spirit of the ordinance will be observed and substantial justice will be done.
The applicant shall have the burden of proving to the board that the foregoing conditions have been met.
Use Variance Prohibited. No variance shall be granted to permit a use in a zoning district in which that use is prohibited.
Additional Conditions. The board is empowered to impose upon any variance or special exception any condition reasonably necessary to protect the public interest and community welfare.
For additional information please contact the City Secretary’s Office at 281-391-4800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .