§ 16.20.010  ZONING MAP AND TEXT AMENDMENT.
   A.   Purpose. The regulations imposed and the districts created by this Ordinance may be amended from time to time in accordance with this section. This process for amending the text or the map is intended to permit modifications in response to changed conditions or changes in County policy.
   B.   Initiation. A zoning application for a zoning text or map amendment may be filed by a property owner, or other person expressly authorized by the owner, in a notarized letter of authorization, or by the Planning and Development Committee.
   C.   Authority. The County Board, after receiving a recommendation from the Zoning Board of Appeals, will take formal action on requests for zoning text or map amendments. Zoning text amendments can be applied for only in relation to the zoning standards of this Ordinance, including signs. Standards for subdivisions do not require the zoning text amendment process for changes. Chapter 16.24 (Subdivision Applications) and Chapter 16.76 (Subdivision Standards) can be amended directly by the County Board.
   D.   Procedure. All applications are filed with the Department of Planning and Development in accordance with the requirements of § 16.16.020 (Application). Once it is determined that the application is complete, the Department of Planning and Development will schedule the application for consideration by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Amendments initiated by the County also require an application.
      1.   Action by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
         a.   The Zoning Board of Appeals will conduct a public hearing on a proposed zoning amendment in accordance with § 16.16.040 (Public Hearing) within ninety (90) calendar days after receipt of a complete application. Notice for the public hearing shall be in accordance with § 16.16.030 (Notice).
         b.   The Zoning Board of Appeals will evaluate the application, based upon the evidence presented at the public hearing, pursuant to each of the applicable standards in subsection E. below (Approval Standards for Zoning Amendments). For zoning text amendments, the Zoning Board of Appeals may recommend approval, modified approval, or denial of the application. For zoning map amendments, the Zoning Board of Appeals may recommend approval or denial of the application.
         c.   The Department of Planning and Development shall prepare and submit an ordinance to the County Board for the next available meeting in accordance with the County Board rules.
      2.   Action by the County Board.
         a.   The County Board will consider the application upon receiving the Zoning Board of Appeals recommendation. However, the County Board shall not act on a map amendment until thirty (30) calendar days following the close of the public hearing. The County Board shall take action in the form of approval or denial on applications for zoning text and map amendments. The County Board shall take action within one hundred eighty (180) calendar days of the close of the public hearing, unless an extension of time has been authorized by the County Board prior to the expiration of the one hundred eighty (180) calendar day timeframe. If the County Board does not act within the one hundred eighty (180) calendar day timeframe, plus any authorized extension of time, the application is deemed denied.
         b.   A majority vote of all the members of the County Board is required to pass a zoning text or zoning map amendment, unless any of the following conditions apply:
            (1)   A favorable vote of three-fourths (¾) of all the members of the County Board is required to pass a zoning map amendment if a written protest signed by the owner(s) of at least twenty percent (20%) of the land to be rezoned is filed with the County Clerk.
            (2)   A favorable vote of three-fourths (¾) of all the members of the County Board is required to pass a zoning map amendment if a written protest signed by the owner(s) of land contiguous to or located directly across a public right-of-way from at least twenty percent (20%) of the perimeter of the land to be rezoned is filed with the County Clerk.
            (3)   A favorable vote of three-fourths (¾) of all the members of the County Board is required to pass a zoning map amendment if the land affected by a proposed amendment lies within one and one-half (1½) miles of the limits of a zoned municipality and a resolution objecting to the amendment is passed by the municipal board/council and filed with the McHenry County Clerk.
            (4)   A favorable vote of three-fourths (¾) of all the members of the County Board is required to pass a zoning map amendment or a text amendment if a township plan commission objects to a map amendment or a text amendment affecting an unincorporated area of the township and the township board of trustees submits its written objection to the County Board. The letter of objection shall be delivered to the County Board chairman with a copy sent to the Zoning Enforcement Officer within thirty (30) calendar days of the close of the Zoning Board of Appeals public hearing.
            (5)   A favorable vote of three-fourths (¾) of all the members of the County Board is required to pass a zoning text amendment if a written protest against the proposed text amendment is signed by five percent (5%) of property owners in the County and filed with the McHenry County Clerk.
            A copy of the written protest or objection must be served by the protestor or objector on the applicant for the proposed amendment and a copy on the applicant’s attorney, if any, by certified mail at the address of the applicant and attorney shown in the zoning application and the proof of delivery shall be filed with the McHenry County Clerk prior to the County Board meeting where the zoning map or text amendment is to be considered.
   E.   Approval Standards for Zoning Amendments. The Zoning Board of Appeals recommendation and the County Board decision shall consider the following standards. However, the Zoning Board of Appeals’ recommendation and the County Board’s decision on any zoning text or map amendment is not controlled by any one factor under the following standards, but rather the approval of amendments is based on a balancing of the factors under each standard.
      1.   Approval Standards for Map Amendments.
         a.   The compatibility of the proposed zoning with the existing use and zoning of nearby property.
         b.   The extent to which property values of the subject property are diminished by the existing zoning.
         c.   The extent to which the public health, safety, and welfare of the public are promoted by the existing zoning.
         d.   The relative gain to the public, as compared to the hardship imposed upon the applicant, if the proposed zoning is denied.
         e.   The suitability of the property for the purposes for which it is presently zoned.
         f.   The length of time the property has been vacant as zoned considered in the context of land development in the vicinity of the subject property.
         g.   The community need for the proposed use.
         h.   The consistency of the proposed amendment with the adopted comprehensive plan and the appropriateness of the comprehensive plan to the subject property.
      2.   Approval Standards for Text Amendments.
         a.   The extent to which the proposed amendment promotes the public health, safety, and welfare.
         b.   The consistency of the proposed amendment with the purpose and general regulations of this Ordinance.
         c.   Whether the proposed amendment corrects an error or omission, adds clarification to existing requirements, or reflects a change in policy or conditions.
         d.   The extent to which the proposed amendment creates nonconformities.
   F.   Limitations on Denials. No application for an amendment which has been denied by the County Board may be resubmitted to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a period of one (1) year from that date of denial, except as described in § 16.16.020G. (Successive Applications).
(Ord. O-201410-10-035, passed 10-14-2014; Ord. O-201601-ZBA-006, passed 1-19-2016; Ord. O-201603-ZBA-010, passed 3-17-2016, § 5.1; Ord. O-201803-ZBA-10-08, passed 3-19-2018; Ord. O-201808-10-033, passed 8-21-2018)