(A)   Rules of procedure. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall adopt its own rules of procedure as may be necessary to conduct its meetings and carry out its functions. The Board shall choose its own chairperson, and, in his or her absence, an acting chairperson.
   (B)   Meetings. Meetings shall be held the second Thursday of each month or as otherwise scheduled. All meetings by the Board shall be open to the public in accordance with the Open Meetings Act, Public Act 267 of 1976, being M.C.L.A. §§ 15.261 et seq. The Board may declare any meeting, or part of any meeting, a study meeting to pursue matters of business without comment or interruption from the public in attendance. A quorum (three members) is required. The Board may choose to not hold a meeting if there is a lack of substantial business for the agenda.
   (C)   Records. Minutes shall be recorded of all proceedings which shall contain the evidence received, the findings of fact and data relevant to every case considered, together with the votes of the members and the final disposition of each case. The minutes shall be filed in the city administration office and shall be made available to the general public. The City Clerk shall act as secretary to the Zoning Board of Appeals and all records of the Board's action shall be taken and recorded under the City Clerk's direction.
   (D)   Counsel. An attorney for the city shall act as legal counsel for the Board and shall be present at all meetings upon request by the Board as approved by the Zoning Administrator.
   (E)   Hearings. Within a reasonable amount of time following the filing of an appeal by a party permitted to appeal by law, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall hold a hearing of the appeal. Notice of the hearing shall be given in accordance with § 154.179. Upon the hearing, any party may appear in person, or by agent, or by attorney.
   (F)   Decisions.
      (1)   The Zoning Board of Appeals shall return a decision on a case within 45 days after a request or appeal has been heard, unless a further time is agreed upon with the parties concerned.
      (2)   Any decision of the Board shall not become final until the expiration of five days from the date of entry of the order, unless the Board shall find the immediate effect of the order is necessary for the preservation of property or personal rights and shall so certify on the record.
   (G)   Vote required. The concurring vote of a majority of the members of the Board shall be necessary to reverse an order, requirement, decision or determination of the Zoning Administrator or Planning Commission, or to decide in favor of the applicant, a matter upon which they are required to pass under this chapter or to effect a variation in this chapter, provided, however, that a concurring vote of two-thirds of the members of the Board shall be necessary to grant a variance from uses of land permitted in this chapter.
   (H)   Report to City Council and Planning Commission. Each February the Zoning Board of Appeals Chairperson shall report to the City Council and Planning Commission, list all applications and appeals made to it since its last report, and shall summarize its decisions on the applications and appeals.
   (I)   Powers and duties. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall have the power and duties prescribed by law and by this chapter which are more particularly specified as follows.
      (1)   Generally. Upon appeal, the Zoning Board of Appeals may reverse or affirm, wholly, or in part, or may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination, as in its opinion ought to be made in the premise, and to that end shall have all the power of the official from whom the appeal is taken, and may direct the issuance of a permit.
      (2)   Interpretation. Upon appeal from a decision of the Zoning Administrator or Planning Commission, to decide any question involving the interpretation of any provision of this chapter including determination of the exact location of any zoning boundary if there is uncertainty with respect thereto; and
      (3)   Variances. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall be empowered to issue variances under conditions set forth in this chapter.
   (J)   Validity of permit. Any decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals which has resulted in granting a zoning permit, or variance shall be valid for a period of one year, with the Zoning Administrator to have the power to extend the permit for an additional year upon showing of a practical need.
   (K)   Right of court review. Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals shall have the right to review of same by appeal to the County Circuit Court. Upon appeal, the Circuit Court shall review the record and decision of the Board of Appeals to ensure that the decision:
      (1)   Complies with the Constitution and laws of the state;
      (2)   Is based upon proper procedure;
      (3)   Is supported by competent, material an substantial evidence on the record;
      (4)   Represents the reasonable exercise of discretion granted by law to the Board of Appeals; and
   (L)   If the court finds the record of the Board of Appeals inadequate to make the review required, or that additional evidence exists which is material and with good reason was not presented to the Board of Appeals, the court shall order further proceedings before the Board of Appeals on conditions which the court considers proper. The Board of Appeals may modify its findings and decision as a result of the new proceedings, or may affirm its original decision. Any supplementary record and decision shall be filed with the court.
   (M)   Authority of court. As a result of the review required by this section, the court may affirm, reverse, or modify the decision of the Board of Appeals.
(Ord. 02-02, passed 2-11-2002; Am. Ord. 071008-01, passed 10-8-2007; Am. Ord. 141013-1, passed 10-13-2014)