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(a) The Board of Zoning and Building Appeals under this chapter shall be the same Board created under the City Charter.
(b) The Board of Zoning and Building Appeals shall consider appeals from the decisions of officials charged with the enforcement of this chapter, in order that the provisions of this chapter may be reasonably applied and substantial justice done, where practical difficulties are apparent or where unnecessary hardship would result in carrying out the strict letter of this chapter. The Board may reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, or may modify, the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and shall make such determination as, in its opinion, ought to be made in the premises, if the case involved is, in its judgment, not in violation of the intent of this chapter, and if public health and safety will not be jeopardized.
Appeals from the decisions of officials charged with the enforcement of this chapter may be made to the Board. The appellant shall file with the Superintendent of Building and Zoning Inspection a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof. The Superintendent shall forthwith transmit to the Board all of the papers constituting the record upon which the actions appealed from were taken. Appeals will be heard at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board. In the event the notice of violation was issued as the result of a condition constituting an immediate danger to the life, health or safety of the occupant or the public, the Superintendent shall, within forty-eight hours of the filing of the notice, notify the Board of the receipt of the notice and ascertain the earliest date a quorum can be obtained and a special meeting held. The Superintendent shall notify the aggrieved party, in writing, of the time and place of such meeting. The Board shall render a decision within five days after such meeting. The decision of the Board shall be final.
A fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00) shall be required before an appeal will be considered, provided, however, that the Board may waive the payment of such fee where there is a showing of financial distress such that payment of the fee would result in hardship.
(c) Whenever the Superintendent finds that a building or premises qualify for demolition under Section 1496.05, and the interested person has failed to comply with a notice of violation directing remedial action, the Superintendent may request that the Board issue its findings that the building or premises so qualify.
Upon receipt of the Superintendent’s request, the Board shall set a time and place for a hearing, and written notice thereof shall be given, not less than fifteen days in advance, to all interested persons. Such notice shall be in a form approved by the Solicitor and shall be served personally if the person can be found. If, after diligent effort, a person cannot be found within the City, the notice may be served by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed, with postage pre-paid, to the last known address of the person. In the event that a person cannot be found within the City and no address is known or can be found, then upon approval of the Solicitor, the notice may be served by publication once each week, for three successive weeks, in a newspaper of general circulation in the City. In every case, a copy of the notice shall be posted in a prominent place on the building or premises at least fifteen days prior to the hearing.
For the purpose of this section, an interested person shall be any person listed on the assessment roll, found upon the premises or revealed by a standard search of the title thereof. Proof of service of the notice upon all interested persons shall be filed with the Board on or before the date of the hearing.
At the hearing, the Board shall receive evidence and examine into the question. An interested person shall have the right to counsel of his or her own choice, to introduce relevant evidence, to cross-examine witnesses and to be fully heard. The Superintendent may be represented by counsel assigned by the Solicitor. The Board shall define, by rule, the conduct and procedure to govern hearings under this chapter. Before making any finding, the Board shall require that photographs sufficient and adequate to portray the interior and exterior condition of the building or premises be submitted to it and entered in its files.
The Board shall determine its findings by a preponderance of the evidence and enter the same in writing. If the Board finds that the building or premises qualify for demolition as aforesaid, the written finding shall recite the basis thereof in sufficient detail to identify the evidence relied on to reach such finding. Certified copies of the finding shall be delivered to the Superintendent and to each interested person.
(Ord. 42-1981. Passed 2-23-81.)