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(A) Creation and membership. There is hereby established a Zoning Board of Appeals, which shall perform its duties and exercise its powers as provided in Public Act 210, 2006, being M.C.L.A. §§ 125.3107 et seq., as amended, and in such a way that the objectives of this chapter shall be observed, public safety secured, and substantial justice done.
(1) The Board shall consist of five members appointed by the City Council, one of whom shall be a member of the City Planning Commission with appointment coinciding with Planning Commission term, and one of whom shall be a member of the City Council with appointment coinciding with City Council term.
(2) The City Council may appoint two alternate members serving the same term as regular members to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
(3) Appointments shall be for a period of one, two and three years, respectively, so as nearly as may be to provide for appointment of an equal number each year, thereafter each member to hold office for the full three-year term.
(4) Each member of the Board of Appeals shall have been a resident of the city for at least one year prior to the date of his or her appointment, and shall be a qualified and registered elector of the city on such day and throughout his or her tenure of office.
(5) Appointed members may be removed for misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance by the City Council only after consideration of written charges and a public hearing.
(6) Any appointive vacancies in the Board of Appeals shall be filled by the City Council for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(7) The Board of Appeals shall annually elect its own Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Secretary.
(8) The compensation of the appointed members for the Board of Appeals shall be fixed by the City Council.
(`73 Code, 15.411, § 5.161)
(1) All meetings of the Board of Appeals shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such times as such Board may determine. All hearings conducted by the Board shall be open to the public.
(2) The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings showing the vote of each member upon each question, or if absent; or failing to vote, indicating such fact; and shall also keep records of its hearings and other official action.
(3) Four members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of its business.
(4) The Board shall have the power to subpoena and require the attendance of witnesses, administer oaths, compel testimony and the production of books, maps, papers, files and other evidence pertinent to the matters before it.
(`73 Code, 15.412, § 5.162)
(C) Appeal and variance procedure and standards.
(1) Appeals to the Appeals Board.
(a) A demand for a zoning appeal that is received by the Zoning Board of Appeals can be filed by:
1. Aggrieved parties.
2. An officer, department, board, or bureau of the State or local unit of government (City of Cheboygan).
(b) The Appeals Board shall have the authority to hear appeals concerning:
1. All questions that arise in the administration of the zoning ordinance, including interpretation of the zoning map.
2. All administrative orders, requirements, decisions or determinations made by an administrative official or body charged with enforcement of the zoning ordinance.
3. All decisions of the Zoning Administrator.
4. All decisions of the Planning Commission concerning uses subject to special conditions.
(c) Upon receipt of a demand for appeal, the Administrator will review the demand for appeal to ensure it is complete and the fee is paid.
1. If the application is not complete, the administrator will return the application to the applicant with a letter that specifies the additional material required.
2. If the application is complete, the Administrator and Chairman of the Appeals Board shall establish a date to hold a hearing on the appeal.
(d) The appeal stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed, unless the body or officer from whom the appeal is taken certifies to the Zoning Board of Appeals that by reason of facts stated in the certificate, a stay would in the opinion of the body or officer cause imminent peril of life or property, in which case proceedings may be stayed by a restraining order issued by the Zoning Board of Appeals or a circuit court.
(e) The notices shall be given not less than 15 days before the date of the hearing on an appeal.
1. Notices shall be sent to:
A. The individual demanding the appeal.
B. The owner (or other owners) of the property, if different.
C. The owners of all real property within 300 feet of the boundary for the property for which the approval has been requested, as shown by the latest assessment roll, regardless of whether the owner and property is located in the zoning jurisdiction or not.
D. Occupants of any structures within 300 feet of the zoning jurisdiction or not.
E. The general public by publication in a newspaper which circulates in the county.
F. Members of the Appeals Board.
2. The notice shall include:
A. The nature of the appeal being requested.
B. The property/ies for which the appeal or variance has been made.
C. A listing of all existing street addresses within the property/ies which is/are subject of the appeal. (Street addresses do not need to be created and listed if no such addresses currently exist. If there are no street addresses another means of identification may be used.)
D. The location where the demand for appeal can be viewed and copied prior to the date of the zoning amendment hearing.
E. The date, time and location of when the hearing before the Appeals Board will take place.
F. The address to which written comments should be directed prior to the hearing;
G. For members of the Zoning Board of Appeals only, a copy of the demand for appeal, the entire record of the case, the staff report, and subdocuments in the record.
(f) The Zoning Board of Appeals shall hold a hearing on the demand for appeal.
1. Representation at hearing. Upon the hearing, any party or parties may appear in person or by agent or by attorney.
2. Standards for variance decisions by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
A. In consideration of all appeals and all proposed variations to this chapter, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall, before making any variations from the chapter in a specific case, first determine that the proposed variations 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.
B. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall base its decision on variances from the strict requirements of this section so that the spirit of this section is observed, public safety secured, and substantial justice done based on the following standards:
i. For dimensional variances: A dimensional variance may be granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals only in cases where the applicant demonstrates in the official record of the public hearing that practical difficulty exists by showing all of the following:
a. That the need for the requested variance is due to unique circumstances or physical conditions of the property involved, such as narrowness, shallowness, shape, water, or topography and is not due to the applicant’s personal or economic difficulty.
b. That the need for the requested variance is not the result of actions of the property owner or previous property owners (self-created).
c. That strict compliance with regulations governing area, setback, frontage, height, bulk, density or other dimensional requirements will unreasonably prevent the property owner from using the property for a permitted purpose, or will render conformity with those regulations unnecessarily burdensome.
d. That the requested variance is the minimum variance necessary to do substantial justice to the applicant as well as to other property owners in the district.
e. That the requested variance will not cause an adverse impact on surrounding property, property values, or the use and enjoyment of property in the neighborhood or zoning district.
ii. For use variances: A use variance may be granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals only in cases where the applicant demonstrates in the official record of the public hearing that undue hardship exists by showing all of the following:
a. The building, structure, or land cannot be reasonably used for any of the uses permitted by right or by special use permit in the zoning district in which it is located.
b. That the need for the requested variance is due to unique circumstances or physical conditions of the property involved, such as narrowness, shallowness, shape, water, or topography and is not due to the applicant’s person or economic hardship.
c. That the proposed use will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood.
d. That the need for the requested variance is not the result of actions of the property owner or previous property owners (self-created).
(g) If the demand for appeal is for a variance, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall either grant, grant with conditions, or deny the application. The Zoning Board of Appeals may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or modify the order, requirement, decision or determination and may issue or direct the issuance of a permit. A majority vote of the membership of the Zoning Board of Appeals is necessary to grant a dimensional variance and rule on an interpretation of the ordinance. A two-thirds majority vote of the membership of the Zoning Board of Appeals is necessary to grant a use variance. The decision shall be in writing and reflect the reasons for the decision.
1. At a minimum, the record of the decision shall include:
A. Formal determination of the facts;
B. The conclusions derived from the facts (reasons for the decision).
C. The decision.
2. Within eight days of the decision the record of decision shall be certified and a copy delivered by first class mail to the person demanding the appeal, the Administrator, and other parties.
(h) Any person having an interest affected by the decision shall have a right to appeal to the circuit court within 30 days of the certified decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals, as provided by law.
(Ord. eff. 4-19-07; Ord. eff. 6-6-08)