Board of Adjustment

GOVERNING RULES OF THE LANDER BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

MEMBERSHIP
The Lander Board of Adjustment shall consist of the seven (7) members of the City Planning Commission.

REGULAR MEETINGS
Regular meetings of the Board of Adjustment shall be held in the City Council Chambers at 6:00 p.m. on the Third Thursday of each month. A regular meeting may be cancelled or rescheduled by the Chairman of the Board or the Board itself at a prior meeting or when it is found there are no cases or business pending before the Board.

SPECIAL MEETING
Special meetings of the Board of Adjustment shall be called by the Chairman and at such other times as the board determines, specifying the time and place of the special meeting what business will be conducted and/or which cases would be considered. No other cases or business will be allowed on the agenda. Notice of the special meeting shall be given to all members of the Planning Commission not less than twenty-four (24) hours in advance
thereof unless an emergency exists.

POWERS, DUTIES AND JURISDICTION
a) The board shall

(i) Hear and decide special exemptions to the terms of the ordinance upon which the board is required to pass under the ordinance;

(ii) Vary or adjust the strict application of any of the requirements of any ordinance adopted by the City Council in the case of any physical condition applying to a lot or building if the strict application would deprive the owner of the reasonable use of the land or building involved. 

VARIANCES - (Request for Variance Form is available in the Forms tab in the left margin)

a) The Board of Adjustment may authorize, upon appeal, such variances from the terms of the ordinance as shall not be contrary to the public interest.

b) The purpose of any variance shall be to modify the strict application of the requirements of the ordinance where it can be shown that, by reason of exceptional topography or other extraordinary or exceptional circumstances, literal enforcement of the terms of the ordinance will result in an unnecessary hardship to the extent that the property might be prohibited from being used in a manner similar to other property in the same district.

c) Each variance authorized shall not be personal to the applicant but shall apply to a specific use or structure and shall run with the land. No variance shall be authorized unless the Board shall find that all of the following conditions exist.
          (i) That the variance will not authorize a permitted use other than those specifically enumerated in the zoning district in which the variance is sought;
          (ii) That owing to extraordinary circumstances, literal enforcement of the provisions of this ordinance will result in unnecessary hardship;
          (iii) That the extraordinary circumstances were not created by the owner of the property and do not represent a general condition of the district in which the property is located;
          (iv) That the variance, if granted, will not substantially or permanently injure any adjacent, conforming property;
          (v) That the variance will not alter the character of the district in which it is located;
          (vi) That the variance, if granted, is the minimum variance and the least modification that will afford the relief sought; and
          (vii) That the variance will be in harmony with the spirit of the ordinance and will not adversely affect the public health, safety or welfare.

RULES FOR PROCEEDING BEFORE THE BOARD OF APPEALS AND VARIANCES

a) Appeals to the Board of Adjustment may be taken by any person aggrieved by any officer, department or agency of the City affected by any decision of the Department of Planning. Such appeal shall be made in writing on forms provided and shall be taken within 30 days from the date of the action appealed from.

b) Decisions of the Board of Adjustment in regard to appeals from an order or decision of any agency or official or in regard to variances from the provisions of the zoning ordinance shall be reached only after a public hearing. The Board shall fix a reasonable time and place for the hearing and shall proceed in accordance with the following rules:
          (i) Public notice shall be given of all hearings. Public notice shall consist of one publication of a notice by the City in a newspaper of general circulation at least 15 days prior to the hearing. The newspaper notice shall identify the applicant, shall briefly state the nature of the appeal or the variance sought and shall give the date, time and place of the hearing. All hearings shall be open to the public.
          (ii) At any public hearing, any interested party may appear in person or be represented by an agent or attorney and, after being duly sworn, may offer evidence and testimony and cross examine witnesses.
          (iii) All witnesses shall be sworn or shall affirm their testimony in the manner required in courts of record.
          (iv) All testimony and evidence shall be presented publicly.
          (v) The Board shall keep a record of the proceedings for each matter heard which shall be kept on file and copies made available to any party at cost. The record of proceedings may include documents and physical evidence considered in the case.
          (vi) The Board shall render a written decision on each case heard within 30 days of the hearing. Each decision must be accompanied by reasons therefore, and based on findings of fact. The record shall show the grounds for each decision and the vote of each member upon each question. The record of proceedings shall be a public record. In addition to this record of proceedings, the Board shall cause a description of each variance granted to be filed with the title of the affected property. The description shall include the nature of the variance, any time limitations and any special conditions imposed by the Board.

CONDITIONAL USE - (Conditional Use  Form is available in Forms tab in the left margin)

a) Conditional uses are those that would not be appropriate in the designated area unless controlled as to number, area, and location, and include those set out in the Schedule of Zoning District provided by ordinance. Application for a conditional use permit shall be made to the Board of Adjustment and shall include any information the Board may require.

b) Public notice shall be given of all hearings. Public notice shall consist of one publication of a notice by the City in a newspaper of general circulation at least 15 days prior to the hearing and a public notice mailed to the property owners within 400 feet of the premises.

c) The conditional use permit shall be granted only if after the hearing, the Board finds that the use will be compatible with the character of the area and will not adversely affect the public interest.

d) The Board may subject conditional use permits to such conditions as it may deem necessary to preserve and protect the character of the area and the safety of the public. The subsequent violation of any condition shall be deemed a violation of this ordinance as well as grounds for revocation of the permit.

e) If the petition protesting the proposed use and signed by 40% or more of the property owners within 400 feet of the premises is presented to the Board before a decision is reached, then the permit shall not be granted without the affirmative vote of three-fourths of all the Board members or the unanimous vote of those attending the hearing.

NON-CONFORMING USES - (Non-conforming Use Form is available in the Forms tab in the left margin)

a) Structures, uses and lots which do not conform to the standards set forth in the Schedule of Zoning Districts on the effective date of this ordinance or as the result of subsequent amendments thereto, shall be permitted to remain or continue, but shall be required to have a Certificate Zoning Compliance. This section shall extend to unfinished structures where demolition, excavation, or permanent foundation placement has substantially begun prior to notice of hearing and work has proceeded diligently to completion of the structure.

b) Nonconforming lots shall not be reduced below the minimum requirements of this ordinance except that multiple contiguous nonconforming lots of record under single ownership, existing at the effective date of this ordinance, may be sold as individual lots.

c) The area occupied by any nonconforming use shall not be extended except by application to the Board of Adjustment. The Board shall permit the extension only if it finds that the character of the district will be preserved.

d) Nonconforming structures may be altered, repaired or enlarged provided its degree of nonconformity is not increased.

e) Nonconforming uses and structures shall not be permitted after:
         (i) change to a conforming use or structure;
         (ii) non use for one year or abandonment;
                    1. condemnation of the structure under the Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings as adopted in Title 3 of the City Code;
                    2. destruction of more than 75% of the replacement value of the structure, however, this provision shall not apply to owners of record of this structure as of the effective date of this ordinance, who shall be allowed to replace such structure one time only under such conditions.