(A)   There shall be a Planning Commission/Board of Adjustment consisting of five members appointed by the City Council for three-year terms. The Board of Adjustment shall meet at least once each month if there are any petitions then pending for action before the Board, in accordance with the terms of this section.
   (B)   Appeals to the Board of Adjustment may be taken by any person aggrieved. 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. At the hearing any party may appear in person, or by agent, or by attorney.
   (C)   The Board of Adjustment shall adopt rules necessary to the conduct of its affairs and in keeping with the provisions of this chapter. Meetings shall be held at the call of the Chairperson and at any other times as the Board may determine. The Chairperson, or in his or her absence the Acting Chairperson, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All meetings shall be open to the public. The Board of Adjustment shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon each question, or if absent or failing to vote indicating the fact and shall keep records of its examinations and other official actions, all of which shall be public record and be immediately filed in the office of the Board.
   (D)   The Board of Adjustment shall always act with due consideration to promoting the public health, safety, convenience and welfare, encouraging the most appropriate use of land and conserving property value, shall permit no building or use detrimental to a neighborhood, and may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards in each case.
   (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 the Zoning Officer; and
      (2)   To hear requests for variances from the requirements of the zoning ordinance including restrictions placed on nonconformities. Variances shall only be permitted when they are in harmony with the general purposes and intent of the zoning ordinance and when the variances are consistent with the comprehensive plan. Variances may be granted when the applicant for the variance establishes that there are practical difficulties in complying with this chapter. PRACTICAL DIFFICULTIES, as used in connection with the granting of a variance, means that the property owner proposes to use the property in a reasonable manner not permitted by the zoning ordinance, the plight of the property owner is due to circumstances unique to the property not created by the property owner, and the variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the locality. Economic considerations alone do not constitute practical difficulties. The Board of Adjustment may not permit as a variance any use that is not allowed under this chapter for property in the zone where the affected person’s land is located. The Board of Adjustment may impose conditions in the granting of variances, which must be directly related to and must bear a rough proportionality to the impact created by the variance.
   (F)   In exercising the above mentioned powers the Board may reverse or affirm wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and may make the 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.
   (G)   The majority vote of the members of the Board shall be sufficient to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of the Zoning Officer, or to decide in favor of the applicant on any matter which it is required to pass under this chapter, or to effect any variation in this chapter.
(Ord. 110, passed 4-23-1991; Ord. 194, passed 9-13-2011)