Article 7

ARTICLE 7

PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR APPEALS AND
 VARIANCES

 

7.0                   General       

Appeals and variances shall conform to the procedures and requirements of 7.1 to 7.11 inclusive, of this Resolution.  The Board of Zoning Appeals has appellate jurisdiction relative to appeals and variances.


7.1                   Appeals   

Appeals to the Board of Zoning Appeals concerning interpretation or administration of this Resolution may be taken by any person aggrieved or by any officer or bureau of the legislative authority of the Township affected by any decision of the Zoning Inspector.  Such appeal shall be taken within twenty (20) days after the decision by filing, with the Zoning Inspector and with the Board of Zoning Appeals, a notice of appeal specifying the grounds upon which the appeal is being taken.  The Zoning Inspector shall transmit to the Board of Appeals all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.


7.2                  Stay of Proceedings       

An appeal stays all actions by the Zoning Inspector seeking enforcement of or compliance with the order or decision appealed from, unless the Zoning Inspector certifies to the Board of Appeals that (because of facts stated in the certificate) a stay would, in his opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property.  In that case, proceedings shall not be stayed except by order of the Board of Appeals or a court, issued on application of the party seeking the stay, for due cause shown, after notice to the Zoning Inspector.


7.3                   Variances

A variance may be granted by the Board of Appeals if it concludes that strict enforcement of the resolution would result in unnecessary hardships for the applicant and that, by granting the variance the spirit of the resolution will be observed, public safety and welfare secured and substantial justice done.  No nonconforming use of neighboring lands, structures or buildings in the same district and no permitted or nonconforming use of lands, structures or buildings in other districts shall be considered grounds for issuance of a variance.  Variances shall not be granted on the grounds of convenience or profit, but only where strict application of the provisions of this Resolution would result in unnecessary hardship.


    1. 7.4 Application and Standards for Variances

 

Except as otherwise permitted in this Resolution, no variance in the strict application of the provisions of this Resolution shall be granted by the Board of Zoning Appeals unless the Board shall find that the written application for the requested variance contains all of the following requirements:

  1. Name, address and phone number of applicant(s);
  2. Legal description of property;
  3. Description or nature of variance requested;
  4. A fee as established by resolution;
  5. Narrative statements establishing and substantiating that the variance conforms to the following standards:

 

  1. The granting of the variance shall be in accordance with the general purpose and intent of the regulations imposed by this Resolution on the district in which it is located and shall not be injurious to the area or otherwise detrimental to the public welfare.
  2. The granting of the variance will not permit the establishment of any use which is not otherwise permitted in the district.
  3. There must exist special circumstances or conditions, fully described in the finding, applicable to the land or buildings for which the variance is sought, which are peculiar to such land or buildings and do not apply generally to land or buildings in the area and which are such that the strict application of the provisions of this Resolution would deprive the applicant of the reasonable use of such land or building.  Mere loss in value shall not justify a variance;  there must be deprivation of beneficial use of land.
  4. There must be proof of hardship created by the strict application of this Resolution.  It is not sufficient proof of hardship to show that greater profit would result if the variance were granted.  Furthermore, the hardship complained of cannot be self-created;  nor can it be established on this basis by one who purchases with or without knowledge of the restrictions;  it must result from the application of this Resolution;  it must be suffered directly by the property in question;  and evidence of variances granted under similar circumstances need not be considered.
  5. The granting of the variance is necessary for the reasonable use of the land or building and the variance as granted in the minimum variance that will accomplish this purpose.
  6. The proposed variance will not impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent property, substantially increase the congestion in the public streets, increase the danger of fire, endanger the public safety or substantially diminish or impair property values of the adjacent area.
  7. The granting of the variance requested will not confer on the applicant any special privilege that is denied by this regulation to other lands, structures or buildings in the same district.

  1. 7.5 Additional Conditions and Safeguards

The Board may further prescribe any conditions and safeguards that it deems necessary to insure that the objectives of the regulations or provisions to which the variance applies will be met.  Any violation of such conditions and safeguards, when they have been made a part of the terms under which the variance has been granted, shall  be deemed a punishable violation under this Resolution.


  1. 7.6 Public Hearing by the Board of Zoning Appeals

The Board of Zoning Appeals shall hold a public hearing within a reasonable time after the receipt of an application for an appeal or variance from the Zoning Inspector or an applicant.


    1. 7.7 Notice of Public Hearing in Newspaper

 

Before conducting the public hearing required in Section 7.06, notice of such hearing shall be given in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the County at least ten (10) days before the date of said hearing.  The notice shall set forth the time and place of the public hearing and the nature of the proposed appeal or variance.


    1. 7.8 Notice to Parties in Interest

 

Before conducting the public hearing required in Section 7.6, written notice of such hearing shall be mailed by the Chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals, by first class mail, at least ten (10) days before the day of the hearing to all parties in interest.  The notice shall contain the same information required of notices published in newspapers as specified in Section 7.7.


    1. 7.9 Action by the Board of Zoning Appeals

 

Within thirty (30) days after the public hearing required in Section 7.6, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall either approve, approve with supplementary conditions or disapprove the request for appeal or variance.  The Board of Zoning Appeals shall further make a finding in writing that the reasons set forth in the application justify the granting of the variance that will make possible reasonable use of the land, building or structure.  Appeals from the Board’s decision shall be made in the manner specified in Section 4.14.


    1. 7.10 Term of Variance

 

No order of the Zoning Board of Appeals granting a variance shall be valid for a period longer than twelve (12) months from the date of such order unless the building permit or zoning approval is obtained within such period and the erection or alteration of a building is started or the use is commenced within such period.


    1. 7.11 Authorized Variances

 

Variances from the regulations of this Resolution shall not be granted unless the Board makes specific findings of fact, based directly on the particular evidence presented to it, which support conclusions that the standards and conditions imposed in Section 7.4 and Section 7.5 if applicable, have been met by the applicant.  Variances may be granted as guided by the following:

  1. To permit any yard or setback less than the yard or setback required by the applicable regulations.
  2. To permit the use of a lot or lots for a use otherwise prohibited solely because of the insufficient area or width of the lot or lots should not be less than eighty (80%) percent of the required area and width.
  3. To permit the same off premises parking facility to qualify as required facilities for two or more uses, provided that substantial use of such facility by each user does not take place at approximately the same hours of the same days of the week.
  4. To reduce the applicable off street parking or loading facilities required, but generally by not more than thirty (30%) percent of the required facilities.
  5. To allow for the deferment of required parking facilities for a reasonable period of time, such period of time to be specified in the variance.
  6. To increase the maximum distance that required parking spaces are permitted to be located from the use served, but generally not more than forty (40%) percent.
  7. To increase the maximum allowable size or area of signs on a lot, but generally by not more than twenty five (25%) percent
  8. To increase the maximum gross floor area of any use so limited by the applicable regulations, but generally not more than twenty five (25%) percent.