Board of Zoning Appeals

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Regular Meetings, first Tuesday of each month, 7:00 p.m., Common Council Chambers, City Hall, 108 East Green Street.    

Agendas & Minutes

Duties:§ 325-40. Board of Appeals; variances. [Amended 3-18-1994 by L.L. No. 2-1994]
A. Creation, appointment and organization.
(1) Appointment of members. The Mayor, with the consent of the Common Council, shall appoint a Board of Appeals consisting of five members. The Board of Appeals, at the first regular meeting each year, shall elect one of its own members as Chairperson. In the absence of the Chairperson at any meeting, the Board of Appeals may designate a member to serve as Acting Chairperson. The Building Commissioner shall be the Secretary of the Board of Appeals. In making such appointments, the Mayor may require Board of Appeals members to complete training and continuing education courses. [Amended 4-22-1997 by L.L. No. 2-1997;EN 8-7-1996 by L.L. No. 10-1997EN] (2) Legislative body members ineligible. No person who is a member of the Common Council shall be eligible for membership on such Board of Appeals. (3) Terms of members first appointed. In the creation of a new Board of Appeals or the re-establishment of terms of the existing Board of Appeals, the appointment of members to the Board of Appeals shall be for terms so fixed so that one member's term shall expire at the end of 1994; that two members' terms shall expire at the end of 1995; and that two members' terms shall expire at the end of 1996. At the expiration of each original member's appointment, the replacement member shall be appointed for a term of three years. (4) Vacancy in office. If a vacancy shall occur otherwise than by expiration of term, the Mayor, with the consent of Common Council, shall appoint the new member for the unexpired term. (5) Removal of members. The Mayor shall have the power to remove, after public hearing, any member of the Board of Appeals for cause. Any Board of Appeals member may be removed for noncompliance with any minimum requirements relating to meeting attendance and training established by the Common Council. (6) Compatibility of offices. Municipal officials or employees on the Board of Appeals shall not, by reason of membership thereon, forfeit their right to exercise the powers, perform the duties, or receive the compensation of the municipal office held by them during such membership. No municipal officer or employee shall be appointed to the Board of Appeals in the event such officer or employee cannot carry out his or her position without a conflict in the performance of his or her duties as a member of the Board of Appeals. (7) Chairperson's duties. All meetings of the Board of Appeals shall be held at the call of the Chairperson and at such other times as the Board of Appeals may determine. Such Chairperson, or, in his or her absence, the Acting Chairperson, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. B. Board of Appeals procedure. (1) Procedure pursuant to state law. Except as provided herein to the contrary, the procedure of the Board of Appeals shall be governed by § 81-a of the General City Law of the State of New York, as follows: (a) Meetings, minutes, records. Meetings of such Board of Appeals shall be open to the public to the extent provided in Article 7 of the Public Officers Law. Such Board of Appeals shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon every question, or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall also keep records of its examinations and other official actions. (b) Filing requirements. Every rule, every regulation, every amendment or repeal thereof and every order, requirement, decision or determination of the Board of Appeals shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk within 30 days and shall be a public record. (c) Assistance to the Board of Appeals. Such Board of Appeals shall have the authority to call upon any department, agency or employee of the city for such assistance as shall be deemed necessary and as shall be authorized by the legislative body. Such department, agency or employee may be reimbursed for any expenses incurred as a result of such assistance. (d) Hearing appeals. Except as otherwise provided by local law or ordinance, the jurisdiction of the Board of Appeals shall be appellate only and shall be limited to hearing and deciding appeals from and reviewing any order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination made by the administrative official charged with the enforcement of any ordinance or local law adopted pursuant to this article. The concurring vote of a majority of the members of the Board of Appeals shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of any such administrative official, or to grant a use variance or area variance. Such appeal may be taken by any person aggrieved, or by an officer, department, board or bureau of the city. (e) Time of appeal. Such appeal shall be taken within 60 days after the filing of any order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination of the administrative official charged with the enforcement of such ordinance or local law by filing with such administrative official and with the Board of Appeals a notice of appeal, specifying the grounds thereof and the relief sought. The administrative official from whom the appeal is taken shall forthwith transmit to the Board of Appeals all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken. (f) Stay upon appeal. An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the administrative official charged with the enforcement of such ordinance or local law, from whom the appeal is taken, certifies to the Board of Appeals, after the notice of appeal shall have been filed with the administrative official, that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would, in the official's 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 Appeals or by a court of record on application, on notice to the administrative official from whom the appeal is taken and on due cause shown. (g) Hearing on appeal. The Board of Appeals shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal or other matter referred to it and give public notice of such hearing by publication in a paper of general circulation in the city at least five days prior to the date thereof. The cost of sending or publishing any notices relating to such appeal, or a reasonable fee relating thereto, shall be borne by the appealing party and shall be paid to the Board of Appeals prior to the hearing of such appeal. Upon the hearing, any party may appear in person, or by agent or attorney. (h) Time of decision. The Board of Appeals shall decide upon the appeal within 62 days after the conduct of said hearing. The time within which the Board of Appeals must render its decision may be extended by mutual consent of the applicant and the Board of Appeals. (i) Filing of decision and notice. The decision of the Board of Appeals on the appeal shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk or the zoning office, if such office has been established, within 30 days after the day such decision is rendered, and a copy thereof mailed to the applicant. (j) Notice to park commission or planning agency. At least five days before such hearing, the Board of Appeals shall mail notice thereof to the parties; to the regional state park commission having jurisdiction over any state park or parkway within 500 feet of the property affected by such appeal; and to the county, metropolitan or regional planning agency, as required by § 239-m of the General Municipal Law, which notice shall be accompanied by a full statement of the matter under consideration, as defined in Subdivision 1 of § 239-m of the General Municipal Law. (k) Compliance with State Environmental Quality Review Act. The Board of Appeals shall comply with the provisions of the State Environmental Quality Review Act under Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law and its implementing regulations. (l) Rehearing. A motion for the Board of Appeals to hold a rehearing to review any order, decision or determination of the Board of Appeals not previously reviewed may be made by any member of the Board of Appeals. A unanimous vote of all members of the Board of Appeals then present is required for such rehearing to occur. Such rehearing is subject to the same notice provisions as an original hearing. Upon such rehearing the Board of Appeals may reverse, modify or annul its original order, decision or determination upon the unanimous vote of all members present, provided that the Board of Appeals finds that the rights vested in persons acting in good faith in reliance upon the reviewed order, decision or determination will not be prejudiced thereby.