The Hearing Officer shall have all the powers and duties prescribed by law and by this chapter, including the following.
   (A)   Appeals. Upon an appeal from a decision by any administrative official, to decide any question involving the interpretation of any provision or term of this chapter, including the determination of the exact location of any district boundary if there is uncertainty with respect thereto, or other claimed error in the, decision or determination made by an administrative official in the enforcement of this chapter; provided that, such decision shall be bound by and  consistent with the language of the ordinance or regulation at issue.
   (B)   Variances. The Hearing Officer may vary the application of the requirements of this chapter, except for use variances, as provided in this subchapter. The corporate authorities may reserve, by ordinance, any class of variance for approval only by the corporate authorities. In such cases where the City Council has reserved
decision making authority, the Hearing Officer shall still conduct a hearing and provide notice in compliance with ILCS Ch. 65, Act 5, § 11-13-6. Any variance granted by the Hearing Officer, not exercised within 12 months from the date of approval, shall be deemed expired and may be revoked by the Hearing Officer.
   (C)   Use variances.
      (1)   To hold public hearing for applications for use variances and to forward a written report containing findings of fact and a separate conclusion recommendation thereon to the City Council, consistent with ILCS Ch. 65, Act 5, § 11-13-14.1.C(1), which Council may by ordinance without further public hearing adopt any proposed use variance, or the Council may refer it back to the Hearing Officer for further consideration or deny the use variance request as a final action. For purposes of this section, USE VARIANCES shall be any variation that authorizes any use or classification of use to continue or commence in a zoning district in which that use is not a permitted use by right. Any proposed use variance which fails to receive the approval of the Hearing Officer shall not be approved, except by the favorable vote of two-thirds of all Council members. No variance shall be granted that shall authorize a use that may be granted by special use or planned use procedures.
      (2)   Use variances are not favored and shall be granted only when failure to authorize the use denies all economically viable use of the property or similar extreme hardship is demonstrated by the evidence presented.
   (D)   Airport zoning. To hear and decide any appeal, exception or variance as allowed under ILCS Ch. 620, Act 25, § 27.
   (E)   Other authority. To hear and decide all other matters referred to it by the City Council or upon which it is required to pass under applicable ordinance.
(Ord. 3382, passed 11-7-2005)