Board of Zoning Appeals
The Board of Zoning Appeals consists of seven members appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council to three-year terms. An alternate member may also be appointed to serve in place of any member temporarily unable to perform his/her duties. Members of the Board shall be residents of the City. No member may also be a member of the Planning Commission.
About the Board
As noted in Chapter 154.560 of the Zoning Code, the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) has been established to hear appeals from decisions of the Zoning Inspector or the City Planning Commission. The Board's other main function is to authorize variances or exceptions to the provisions of the Zoning Code when a strict application of the code would result in unreasonable hardship to the property owner.
Conditions Necessary for Granting a Variance - See Chapter 154.561(C)
In determining whether a variance should be granted, the Board’s decisions shall be guided by the following factors:
- Special conditions or unusual circumstances exist, which create practical difficulties in complying with the standard zoning requirements. The special conditions or unusual circumstances are peculiar to the land, building or other structures involved and are not generally applicable to other lands, structures, or buildings in the same district.
- The literal interpretation and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by similar property owners in the same zoning district.
- The special conditions and unusual circumstances leading to the practical difficulties were not created by actions of the applicant.
- Granting the variance will not adversely impact the delivery of public services.
- Granting the variance will be consistent and harmonious with the general purpose and intent of the zoning code; and will not alter the essential character of the land; will not have a substantially adverse impact on neighboring properties; or otherwise be detrimental to the public welfare.
- The zoning code, as applied to the applicant’s property, is inequitable and creates a practical difficulty that cannot be reasonably alleviated by other means and the variance is the minimum required to relieve the practical difficulty and make possible the reasonable use of the land, building or structure.
To printout a variance application form, view BZA - Variance Application (PDF).
If appealing a decision of the zoning inspector in the administration and/or enforcement of the zoning code or if appealing the Planning Commission's refusal to issue a conditional zoning certificate or site plan approval, use the following application: BZA - Appeal Application (PDF).
For more information about application filing fees, view Fees.
What if I'm Not Satisfied With the Board's Decision Regarding My Application?
Decisions of the Board may be appealed to the Court of Common Pleas. The City suggests that you contact your legal representative for additional information.