§ 153.005  APPEALS AND VARIANCES.
   (A)   Pursuant to A.R.S. § 9-462.06, a Hearing Officer is hereby established to hear and decide requests for variances from the terms of the land use ordinances, appeals from decisions applying the land use ordinances, and appeals from a land use fee charged. The Hearing Officer shall be appointed by resolution of the Town Council. The Hearing Officer shall act in a quasi-judicial manner and serve as arbiter of issues involving the interpretation or application of land use ordinances.
   (B)   Any appeal proceeding shall be conducted in a public meeting called for that purpose. The Hearing Officer shall fix a reasonable time to hear the appeal or variance. The hearing officer shall have the power to administer oaths and take evidence. Minutes of the proceedings and actions shall be filed with the office of Town Clerk.
   (C)   As a condition precedent to judicial review, each aggrieved person shall specifically file a notice of appeal from a land use decision with the Town Clerk within 15 days of the decision, specifying the grounds thereof. Only those decisions in which the town has applied a land use ordinance to a particular application, person, or parcel may be appealed.
   (D)   An appeal stays all proceedings in the matter appealed from, unless the Planning and Zoning Administer certifies by the facts stated in the certificate, a stay would cause imminent peril to life or property. Upon such certification, proceedings shall not be stayed except by restraining order granted by the Hearing Officer, Board of Adjustment or by a court of record on application and notice to the Planning and Zoning Administrator. Proceedings shall not be stayed if the appeal requests relief which has previously been denied by an appeal except pursuant to a special action in district court.
   (E)   The town shall fix a reasonable time for hearing the appeal, and shall give notice of hearing by both publication in a newspaper of general circulation and posting the notice in conspicuous places close to the property as well as due notice to the parties in interest. Upon the hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or by attorney. The appellant has the burden of proving that the town erred.
   (F)   The Hearing Officer may grant a variance if:
      (1)   Literal enforcement of the ordinance would cause an unreasonable hardship for the applicant that is not necessary to carry out the general purpose of the land use ordinances. The Hearing Officer may not find an unreasonable hardship if the hardship is self-imposed or economic;
      (2)   There are special circumstances attached to the property that do not generally apply to other properties in the same zone such as size, shape, topography, location, or surroundings;
      (3)   Granting the variance is essential to the enjoyment of a substantial property right possessed by other property in the same zone;
      (4)   The variance will not substantially affect the general plan and will not be contrary to the public interest; and
      (5)   The spirit of the land use ordinance is observed and substantial justice done.
   (G)   In granting a variance, the Hearing Officer may impose additional requirements or conditions on the applicant that will mitigate any harmful effects of the variance or serve the purpose of the standard or requirement that is waived or modified. Variances run with the land.
   (H)   The Hearing Officer shall determine the correctness of a decision of the town in its interpretation and. application of a land use ordinance. The Hearing Officer shall make written findings of facts and conclusions of law giving the facts upon which it acted and its legal conclusions from such facts in reversing, affirming, or modifying any order requirement, decision or determination which comes before it. The decision must be made within a reasonable time (15 to 45 days). A decision of the Hearing Officer takes effect on the date when a written decision is issued.
   (I)   The Hearing Officer may not make any changes in the uses permitted in any zoning classification or zoning district, or make any changes in the terms of the zoning ordinance except for granting variances pursuant to the conditions listed above.
   (J)   A Board of Adjustment is hereby created in accordance with the provisions of A.R.S. § 9-462.06, and shall hear and decide appeals from the decisions of the Hearing Officer.
   (K)   The Board of Adjustments shall consist of 5 members appointed by the Council. Members shall be selected without respect to political affiliation and shall receive a stipend pay for each Board of Adjustments meeting attended, as set by the Town Council.
   (L)   The initial terms of office for the appointive members of such Board of Adjustments shall be 2 years for 2 members, 4 years for 2 members and 6 years for the remaining member. Thereafter, the terms of office for each appointive member, shall be 6 years.
   (M)   Vacancies occurring otherwise than through the expiration of term shall be filled by appointment by the Town Council. Notwithstanding the length of term, members shall serve at the pleasure of the Town Council and may be removed at any time with or without cause.
   (N)   The Board of Adjustments shall act in a quasi-judicial manner to hear appeals from decisions of the Hearing Officer. Appeal proceedings shall be conducted as outlined in subsections (B) through (I) above. Action taken by the shall be by concurrence of a majority of the members of the Board of Adjustments.
(Ord. 2015-04, passed 5-11-2015; Am. Ord. 2017-03, passed 11-13-2017)