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(A) The Board of Adjustments shall consist of five members who are property owners in the city, each to be appointed for a term of two years and removable for cause by the City Council upon written charges and after public hearing. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term of any member whose term becomes vacant.
(B) (1) The Board shall adopt rules in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(2) Meetings of the Board shall be held at the call of the Chairperson and at such other times as the Board may determine. Such Chairperson or, in his or her absence, the acting Chairperson, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All meetings of the Board shall be open to the public.
(3) 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 keep records of its examinations and other official action all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the Board and shall be a public record.
(4) The concurring vote of four members of the Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of any administrative official or to decide in favor of the applicant on any matter upon which it is required to pass under any such ordinance or to effect any variation in such ordinance.
(C) Appeals to Board of Adjustment may be taken by an officer, department head or bureau of the city by anyone affected by any decision of the Building Inspector. Such appeal shall be taken within a reasonable time, as provided by the rules of the Board of Adjustments a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof and by paying a filing fee of $3 to the Tax Collector of the city at the time the notice is filed, which shall be credited to the General Fund of the city. The officer from whom the appeal is taken shall forthwith transmit to the Board all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken. An appeal stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from unless the officer from whom the appeal is taken certifies to the Board of Adjustments after the notice of appeal shall have been filed with him or her that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would, in his or her opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property. In such cases, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order which may be granted by the Board of Adjustments or by a court of record on application or notice to the officer from whom the application is appealed and on the cause shown.
(D) The Board of Adjustment shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal, giving public notice thereof, as well as due notice to the parties in interest, and decide the same within a reasonable time. Upon the hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or by attorney.
(E) The Board of Adjustment shall have the following powers:
(1) To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is an error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official in the enforcement of this chapter;
(2) When a property owner can show that a strict application of the terms of this chapter relating to the use, construction or alteration of buildings or structures or the use of land will impose upon him or her practical difficulties or particular hardship, the Board may consider and allow variations of the strict application of the variations are in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this chapter, and the Board is satisfied under the evidence heard by it that a granting of the variation will not merely serve as a convenience to the applicant, but will alleviate some demonstrable hardship or difficulty so great as to warrant a variation from the comprehensive plan by this chapter created; and
(3) The Board may authorize a variance where by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness or shape of a specific piece of property of record at the time of the adoption of this chapter or by reason of exceptional topographical conditions or other extraordinary or exceptional situation or condition of a specific piece of property, the strict application of a provision of this chapter would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties and particular hardship upon the owner of the property and amount to a practical confiscation of the property as distinguished from a mere inconvenience to the owner; provided, the variation can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially impairing the general purpose and intent of the Comprehensive Plan as established by the regulations and provisions contained in this chapter.
(F) Where, in its judgment, the public convenience and welfare will not be substantially or permanently injured, the Board of Adjustment may in a specific case, after public notice and hearing and subject to appropriate conditions and safeguards, authorize special exceptions to the regulations herein established as follows:
(1) To permit a transitional use between a business or industrial district and a dwelling district where the side of a lot in a one-family district or a two-family district abuts upon a lot zoned for a business or industrial purpose as follows.
(a) On a lot in a single-family dwelling district which sides upon a lot zoned for business or industrial purposes, the permit the extension of a building or use into a more restricted district immediately adjacent thereto, but not more than 50 feet beyond the boundary line of the district in which such building or use is authorized.
(b) Grant in undeveloped sections of the city temporary and conditional permits for not more than two years. The granting or existence of such temporary or conditional permit shall not be reason or cause for extension of such permit.
(2) Permit such modification of yard, open space, lot area or lot width regulations as may be necessary to secure an appropriate improvement of a parcel of land if such parcel is separately owned at the time of the original passage of this chapter or subsequent annexation of the city and is of such restricted area that it cannot be appropriately improved without such modification;
(3) To determine in cases of uncertainty the classification of any use not specifically named in this chapter;
(4) To grant a permit for the extension of a use, height or area regulation into an adjoining district where the boundary line of the district divided a lot in a single ownership at the time of the adoption of this chapter;
(5) To permit as an accessory use of a parking area for passenger automobiles on a lot or lots in a single-family, duplex or apartment house district adjoining or across a street of not more than 50 feet in width from a R-1 or R-2 District, subject however, to the following provisions.
(a) The area shall be properly enclosed with a hedge, screen, fence, wall or other suitable enclosure having a height of not less than three feet, nor more than six feet. Such fence or enclosure shall conform to the front yard regulations of the district in which it is located.
(b) The area shall be paved.
(c) No parking of vehicles shall be permitted within six feet of any adjoining lot on which is located a single-family residence, duplex or multiple dwelling.
(d) One sign, not exceeding two and one-half square feet in area, may be erected identifying the lot.
(e) No charges may be made for parking area shall be so arranged as to direct the light away from any adjoining premises used for residential purposes.
(6) Permit the reconstruction of a building occupied by a non-conforming use or permit the extension of a non-conforming use of a building upon the lot occupied by such use or building at the time of the passage of this chapter.
(G) (1) Any appeal or permit granted by the Board of Adjustments shall not be valid if construction authorized by said permit is not begun within a period of 60 days.
(2) In exercising the above-mentioned powers, such Board may, in conformity with the provisions of this act, reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as ought to be made and, to that end, shall have all the powers of the officer from whom the appeal is taken.
(3) In considering all appeals and all proposed variations to this chapter, the Board shall, before making any finding in a specific ease, first determine that the proposed variation shall not constitute any change in the district map and will not impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent property or materially increase the congestion in public streets or increase the public danger of fire and safety or materially diminish or impair established property values with in the surrounding area or in any respect impair the public health, safety, comfort, morals and welfare to the city.
(4) Every variation granted or denied by the Board shall be accompanied by a written finding of fact based on sworn testimony and evidence specifying the reason for granting or denying the variation.
(2012 Code, § 93-13)