BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
2 Year Term - Meetings at 4:00 PM
|Keri Vance, Chairman
|Phillip Grimes, Vice Chair
A board of adjustment is created consisting of five citizens of the City of Carthage, each to be appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city commission for the terms of two years, respectively; provided that, when the first board shall be appointed hereunder, three members shall be appointed for one year, two for two years. At least one member of the board shall be a member of the planning and zoning commission and his term shall expire at the same time as his term on such commission. A member appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve for the unexpired term.
B. The hearings of the board of adjustment shall be public. However, the board may go into executive session for discussion but not for vote on any case before it. The board shall organize annually and elect a president, vice president and secretary. The board of adjustment shall act by resolution in which three members must concur. The board shall adopt from time to time such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this ordinance, and shall furnish a copy of the same to the building inspector, all of which rules and regulations shall operate uniformly in all cases. All of its resolutions and orders shall be in accordance therewith.
The board shall hear the intervention of any owner of property adjacent to, in the rear of, or across the street from a lot as to which the granting of any building permit is pending, and shall also hear any other parties in interest.
C. The board shall have the power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and punish for contempt, and may require the production of documents, under such regulation as it may establish.
Appeals may be taken to and before the board of adjustment by any person aggrieved, or by any officer, department, board, or bureau of the city. Such appeal shall be taken by filing with the office of the board a notice of appeal and specifying the grounds thereof. The office or department from which the appeal is taken shall forthwith transmit to the zoning board of adjustment all of the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.
An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from unless the building inspector shall certify to the board of adjustment that, by reason of facts stated in the certificate, a stay would, in its opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property, in which case proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order which may be granted by the board of adjustment or by a court of equity, after notice to the officer from whom the appeal is taken and on due cause shown.
The board shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal or other matter referred to it, and shall mail notices of such hearing to the petitioner and to the owners of property lying within 200 feet of any point of the lot or portion thereof on which a variation is desired and to all other persons deemed by the board to be affected thereby, such owners and persons being determined according to the current tax rolls of the City of Carthage, and depositing of such written notice in the mail shall be deemed sufficient compliance therewith. The board shall decide the appeal within a reasonable time. Upon the hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or attorney. The board may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirements, decision or determination as in its opinion ought to be made in the premises, and to that end, shall have all powers of the officer or department from whom the appeal is taken.
The board of adjustment shall have the following powers and it shall be its duty:
A. To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error of law in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the building inspector in the enforcement of this Code.
B. In hearing and deciding appeals the board shall have the power to grant an exception in the following instances:
(1) Permit the extension of a district where the boundary line of a district divides a lot or tract held in a single ownership at the time of the passage of this Code.
(2) Interpret the provisions of the Code in such a way as to carry out the intent and purpose of the ordinance, as shown upon the maps fixing the several districts, accompanying and made a part of this ordinance, where the street layout actually on the ground varies from the street layout as shown on the maps aforesaid.
(3) Permit the reconstruction of a nonconforming building which has been damaged by explosion, fire, act of God, or the public enemy, to the extent of more than 50 percent of its fair market value.
(4) Waive or reduce the parking and loading requirements in any of the districts whenever the character or use of the building is such as to make unnecessary the full provision of parking or loading facilities, or where such regulations would impose an unreasonable hardship upon the use of the lot, as contrasted with merely granting an advantage of a convenience.
(5) Permit land within 300 feet of a multiple dwelling to be improved for the parking spaces required in connection with a multiple dwelling, but only when there is positive assurance that such land will be used for such purpose during the existence of the multiple dwelling.
(6) To determine whether an industry should be permitted within the "RI-1" Restricted Industrial and the "HI-2" Industrial Districts because of the methods by which it would be operated and because of its effect upon uses within surrounding zoning districts.
(7) To hear and decide special exceptions to the terms of the zoning ordinance when the ordinance requires the board to do so.
The board examines the facts presented by the applicant and then determines whether the applicant has met the burden of showing that all the conditions required in order to be granted the special exception are met. The matter of height, area, setback, side yards, topography, irregular shape are subjects of a special exception. An applicant for a special exception does not have to demonstrate hardship, but only allow valid and socially desirable uses so long as they do not cause adverse impact to the public interest and the neighborhood.
C. To authorize upon appeal in specific cases such variance from the terms of the zoning ordinance as will not be contrary to the public interest, where, owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance will result in unnecessary hardship, and so that the spirit of the ordinance shall be observed and substantial justice done.
(1) A request for a variance is a request that the zoning ordinance not be literally applied to a particular piece of property.
(2) The applicant must demonstrate that a literal enforcement of the ordinance would result in unnecessary hardship.
(3) The applicant must show that the hardship is unique, oppressive, not common to other property, not merely financial, [and] not against the public interest.
(4) The granting of the variance must be in accord with the spirit of the zoning ordinance itself, so that substantial justice is done.
(5) The purpose of a variance is to provide flexibility to the zoning ordinance.
(6) Conditions may be imposed to minimize adverse neighborhood impact.
D. In considering all appeals and all proposed exceptions or variations to this Code, the board shall, before making any exceptions or variations from the ordinance in a specific case, first determine that it will not impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent property or unreasonably increase the congestion in public streets, or increase the danger of fire or endanger the public safety, or unreasonably diminish or impair established property values within the surrounding area, or in any other respect impair the public health, safety, comfort, morals or welfare of the inhabitants of the City of Carthage.
E. To hear and decide other matters authorized by an ordinance adopted under the zoning statutes.
A fee of $50.00 shall be paid to the building inspector at the time the notice of appeal is filed, which the inspector shall forthwith pay over to the city treasurer to the credit of the general revenue fund of the City of Carthage.
(Ord. No. 2002-04, 1-28-2002; Ord. No. 2007-21, 12-10-2007)