Subd. 1.   Establishment and composition.
      A.   A Sign Code Board of Appeals is hereby established as specified herein below.
      B.   All references in this section to the Board of Appeals are references to the Sign Code Board of Appeals.
      C.   The Council of the city is hereby constituted and established as the Sign Code Board of Appeals.
   Subd. 2.   Powers and duties.
      A.   The Board of Appeals shall have the power and duties of hearing and deciding appeals or requests on the following cases:
         1.   Appeals from any action of the Administrator, as indicated in Chapter 4, in granting or denying a sign permit;
         2.   Appeals where it is alleged there is an error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative officer in the enforcement of the Sign Code; and
         3.   Requests for variances from the literal provisions of the Sign Code in instances where their strict enforcement would cause undue hardship because of circumstances unique to the individual property under consideration. In granting a variance, the Board may impose conditions to insure compliance and to protect adjacent properties. The Board may not permit, as a variance, any sign which is not permitted in the zoning district in question by the Sign Code.
      B.   No appeal shall be heard by the Board of Appeals until the appellant files with the City Recorder a written document specifying the action of the Administrator or literal provision of the ordinance appealed from and the grounds for the appeal.
      C.   After filing of a request for a variance or an appeal from an administrative order or determination, the Board of Appeals shall refer the matter to the Planning Commission for review and a report thereon and shall set a date for hearing thereon and shall hear such persons as wish to be heard, either in person or by agent or attorney. Notices of any such hearing shall be mailed no less than ten days before the date of hearing to the persons who filed the appeal or request. Within a responsible time after the hearing, the Board shall make its order deciding the matter and serving a copy of the order upon the appellant or petitioner by mail.
      D.   The Administrator shall take no further action on the matter pending the Board’s decision, except for unsafe signs which present an immediate and serious danger to the public, as provided elsewhere in the Sign Code.
      E.   The Board of Appeals may grant a variance only if the petitioner proves that:
         1.   There are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances applicable to the property or to the intended use that do not apply generally to other property in the same vicinity and zoning district;
         2.   The variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of substantial property right possessed by other property in the same vicinity and zone, but which is denied to the property in question;
         3.   The strict application of the ordinance would constitute an undue hardship; and
         4.   The granting of the variance would not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity or zone in which the property is located.
      F.   The Board of Appeals shall provide for a record of its proceedings, which shall include the minutes of its meetings, its findings and the action taken on each matter heard by it, including its final order.
      G.   Any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by any decision of the Board of Appeals may appeal to the District Court of the county by filing a petition setting forth that such a decision is illegal in whole or in part, specifying the grounds of the illegality.
(`80 Code, § 2.55) (Ord. 1323, passed 4-17-78)
   Sign Code, see § 4.50