Section 3.  Board of Zoning Appeals.
   There shall be established a Board of Zoning Appeals which shall consist of five (5) members, all of whom shall be electors of the Municipality not holding other public office, who shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by a majority vote of the members of Council, for a term of five (5) years. At the end of each expired term, appointments to the Board of Zoning Appeals shall be made in a manner to retain the initial pattern of five (5) staggered terms with one term expiring each year.
   A vacancy occurring during the term of any member of the Board of Zoning Appeals shall be filled for the unexpired term in the manner authorized for an original appointment.
   The Board of Zoning Appeals by action at any regularly convened meeting may determine the application and vary the provisions of the zoning ordinances of the Municipality in harmony with the general purpose and intent thereof in cases where there are practical difficulties or particular hardships in the way of carrying out the strict letter of any provisions of the zoning ordinances relating to the use, construction and alterations of buildings, structures, or land. However, such variations shall be limited to specific cases where the hardship or difficulty is caused by the peculiar size, shape, topography, or geology of the premises, or by conditions created prior to applicable and specific zoning ordinances, which differentiate them from other premises in the same district causing the owner to lose any reasonable use thereof.
   In no event shall a variance be permitted or granted so as to:
   (a)   Alter or change the character of the immediate area surrounding said premises;
   (b)   Constitute a change of zoning or district or so as to permit a nonconforming building or use where none previously existed;
   (c)   Constitute a violation of the terms and provisions of the zoning ordinances of the Municipality.
   Except as otherwise provided by this Charter, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall have the powers conferred upon such boards by the general laws of Ohio and by ordinance of the Municipality; and shall hear and determine appeals made to it for exceptions to and variances from the application of the provisions of the zoning ordinances of the Municipality, in harmony with the intent and purposes thereof, and from any ordinances, regulations, rules, restrictions, or limitations, or orders from any administrative official or agency in connection therewith.
   Decisions of the Board of Zoning Appeals shall be final within the Municipality, except that an appeal therefrom may be taken to any court of record in accordance with the laws of the State of Ohio, by any proper and interested party, including the Municipality.
   After each meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Board shall within fifteen (15) days advise in writing the Council and Planning and Zoning Commission of the actions taken at that meeting.
(Amended 11-4-1980; 11-6-1990; 11-7-2000)