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(A) Powers. The Board of Zoning Appeals shall have all of the powers, duties and responsibilities as set forth in S.C. Code §§ 6-29-310 through 6-29-860, as amended, unless otherwise stated herein. Specifically, the Board has the following powers:
(1) To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in an order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative official in the enforcement of the zoning ordinance;
(2) To hear and decide appeals for variance from the requirements of the zoning ordinance when strict application of the provisions of the ordinance would result in unnecessary hardship.
(a) A variance may be granted in an individual case of unnecessary hardship, if the Board makes and explains, in writing, the following findings:
1. There are extraordinary and exceptional conditions pertaining to the particular piece of property;
2. These conditions do not generally apply to other property in the vicinity;
3. Because of these conditions, the application of the ordinance to the particular piece of property would effectively prohibit or unreasonably restrict the utilization of the property; and
4. The authorization of a variance will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property or to the public good, and the character of the district will not be harmed by the granting of the variance.
(b) The Board may not grant a variance the effect of which would be to:
1. Allow the establishment of a use not otherwise permitted in a zoning district;
2. Extend physically a nonconforming use of land; or
3. Change the zoning district boundaries shown on the official zoning map.
(c) The fact that property may be utilized more profitably if a variance is granted may not be considered grounds for a variance.
(d) In granting a variance, the Board may attach to it such conditions regarding the location, character, or other features of the proposed building, structure, or use as the Board may consider advisable to protect established property values in the surrounding area, or to promote the public health, safety, or general welfare.
(3) To permit uses by special exception, subject to such uses being so designated in the use district regulations of this chapter, and to the following specific terms and conditions:
(a) Adequate provision is made for such items as setbacks, fences, and buffered or planting strips to protect adjacent properties from the possible adverse influence of the proposed use, such as noise, vibration, dust, glare, odor, traffic congestion, and similar factors.
(b) Vehicular traffic and pedestrian movement on adjacent roads shall not be hindered or endangered.
(c) Off-street parking and loading areas and the entrance and exits of these areas shall be adequate in terms of location, amount, design, and construction to serve the proposed use.
(d) The proposed use shall be compatible with existing uses to the extent that such use will not adversely affect the level of property values, general character or general welfare of the nearby area.
(e) In approving a special exception, the Board may attach to it such reasonable terms and conditions as it may consider necessary to accomplish the intent of this section and this entire zoning chapter.
(f) Requests by property owners or their authorized agent(s) for special exceptions may be taken to the Board. An application for same along with any applicable fee must be submitted to the Board pursuant to the terms stated on said application.
(4) To remand a matter to an administrative official, upon motion by a party or the board's own motion, if the Board determines the record is insufficient for review.
(a) A party's motion for remand may be denied if the Board determines that the record is sufficient for review.
(b) The Board must set a rehearing on the remanded matter without further public notice for a time certain within sixty days unless otherwise agreed to by the parties.
(c) The Board must maintain a list of persons who express an interest in being informed when the remanded matter is set for rehearing, and notice of the rehearing must be mailed to these persons prior to the rehearing.
(5) Appeals to the Board may be taken by any person aggrieved or by any officer, department, board, or bureau of the municipality or county.
(a) The appeal must be taken within 30 days from the date the appealing party has received actual notice of the action from which the appeal is taken, by filing with the officer from whom the appeal is taken and with the Board of Zoning Appeals notice of appeal specifying the grounds for appeal.
(b) The officer from whom the appeal is taken immediately shall transmit to the Board all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.
(1) An appeal stays all legal proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the officer from whom the appeal is taken certifies to the Board, after the notice of appeal has been filed with him or her, that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would, in his or her opinion, cause imminent peril to life and property.
(2) In that case, proceedings may not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order, which may be granted by the Board or by a court of record on application, on notice to the officer from whom the appeal is taken, and on due cause shown.
(1) The Board shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal or other matter referred to it, and give at least 15 days' public notice of it in a newspaper of general circulation in the community, as well as due notice to the parties in interest, and decide the same within a reasonable time.
(2) At the hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or by attorney.
(D) Exercise of powers and duties.
(1) In exercising the above power, the Board of Zoning Appeals may:
(a) In conformity with the provisions of this chapter, reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, or modify the order, requirements, decision, determination, and to that end shall have all the powers of the officer from whom the appeal is taken; and
(b) Issue or direct the issuance of a permit.
(2) In the execution of the duties specified in this chapter, the Board may subpoena witnesses and, in case of contempt, may certify this fact to the circuit court having jurisdiction.
(E) Final decisions and orders.
(1) All final decisions and orders of the Board must be, in writing, and permanently filed in the office of the Board as a public record.
(2) All findings of fact and conclusions of law must be separately stated in final decisions or orders of the Board, which must be delivered to parties of interest by certified mail.
(F) Consideration for Planning Commission and Town Council procedures. As a matter of process and procedure, properties involving applications for variances and special exceptions, which also require separate review by the Planning Commission and/or separate Town Council approval, shall not be considered by the Board of Zoning Appeals until the referenced review and/or approval is completed.
('81 Code, § 155.51) (Ord. passed 8-13-79; Am. Ord. 99012, passed 4-21-99; Am. Ord. 01042, passed 8-14-01; Am. Ord. 02024, passed 6-11-02; Am. Ord. 14047, passed 8-12-14)