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(a) Organization. The board of zoning appeals is composed of five members who shall be appointed for a term of five years each. Three members of the board shall be appointees of the mayor, and two members shall be appointees of council. Members of the board shall be ineligible to succeed themselves unless the member is completing a term for which he or she was appointed to fill a midterm vacancy. The appointing authority may remove the appointed member for cause. The planning staff, housing and building staff, and person acting in the capacity of the city engineer shall furnish any technical advice and services as required by the board.
(b) Officers. The board shall elect its own chairperson and vice chairperson. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum to do business. The city's chief planning officer or his or her designee shall be the secretary to the board and shall be responsible for the preparation of the docket and the minutes for all board meetings and shall perform all other duties incident to the office of secretary. The secretary shall have no vote.
(c) Powers and Duties. The board of zoning appeals shall hear and decide appeals from any regulation, order, decision, requirement, or determination made by administrative officials or agents in the application of ordinances governing zoning in the city. The board shall hear and decide all appeals made for variances in the application of ordinances governing zoning in the city, except that no variance shall be granted unless the board finds:
(1) there exists practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship that would deprive the owner of the reasonable use of the land or building involved;
(2) there are special circumstances or conditions applying to the land or buildings and not applying generally to land or buildings in the neighborhood, and that the circumstances or conditions exist so that strict application of the provisions of the ordinances of the city would deprive the applicant of the reasonable use of the land or buildings;
(3) the granting of the variance is necessary for the reasonable use of the land or building and that the variance granted by the board is the minimum variance that will accomplish this purpose; and
(4) the granting of the variance will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the ordinances of the city and will not be injurious to the neighborhood or otherwise detrimental to the public welfare.
The board shall perform other duties and functions as may be imposed upon the board by this charter or by council, and it may establish rules and regulations for its own procedure not inconsistent with this section or any ordinances of the city.