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1213.11 ADMINISTRATIVE INTERPRETATIONS.
A. Authority. The Zoning Administrator, subject to the procedures, standards, and limitations of this Chapter, may, in writing, render interpretations, including use interpretations, of the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance and of any rule or regulation issued pursuant to it.
B. Purpose. The interpretation authority established by this Chapter is intended to recognize that the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance, though detailed and extensive, cannot, as a practical matter, address every specific situation to which they may have to be applied. Many such situations can be readily addressed by an administrative interpretation of the specific provisions of this Zoning Ordinance in light of the general and specific purposes for which those provisions have been enacted. Because the interpretation authority established is an administrative rather than a legislative authority, it is not intended to add to or change the essential content of this Zoning Ordinance but is intended only to allow authoritative application of that content to specific cases.
C. Parties Entitled to Seek Interpretations. Applications for interpretations may be filed by any person having a legal interest in property, such as a title, lease, or purchase agreement, in property that gives rise to the need for an interpretation provided that interpretations shall not be sought by any person based solely on hypothetical circumstances or where the interpretation would have no effect other than as an advisory opinion. The Zoning Administrator may elect not to render an interpretation on a matter which, in the Zoning Administrator’s opinion, is based on hypothesis.
1. Application. Applications for interpretations of this Zoning Ordinance shall be filed in writing by letter and shall contain information describing the nature of the requested interpretation and written evidence of the applicant’s interest in the property. The Zoning Administrator may request any additional information necessary to make the interpretation.
2. Action on Application. Within a reasonable time following the receipt of a properly completed application for interpretation, the Zoning Administrator shall inform the applicant in writing of his or her interpretation, stating the specific precedent, reasons, and analysis upon which the determination is based.
3. Record. A record of all applications for interpretations shall be kept on file in the office of the Zoning Administrator.
4. Appeal. The Board of Zoning Appeals shall, pursuant to Section 1213.02, Appeals, of this Zoning Ordinance, hear and decide appeals from any order or final decision of the Zoning Administrator acting pursuant to his or her authority and duties under this Zoning Ordinance. Except as expressly provided otherwise, an application for appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals may be filed not later than forty-five (45) calendar days following the action being appealed.
E. Standards for Use Interpretations. The following standards shall be factors considered by the Zoning Administrator and the City Planning Commission in issuing use interpretations:
1. Any use defined in Chapter 1211, Definitions and Rules of Word Usage, of this Zoning Ordinance shall be interpreted as therein defined.
2. Evidence must demonstrate that the use will comply with the district regulations established for that particular district.
3. A use must be substantially similar to other uses permitted in the particular district and more similar to those uses than to uses permitted or conditionally permitted in a more restrictive district.
4. If the proposed use is most similar to a use permitted only as a conditional use in the district in which it is proposed, then any use interpretation shall require the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit for such use pursuant to Section 1213.05, Conditional Uses.
5. No use interpretation shall permit the establishment of any use that would be inconsistent with the statement of purpose of the district in question.
F. Effect of Favorable Use Interpretations. No use interpretation which finds a particular use to be permitted or specially permitted in a particular district shall authorize the establishment of such use nor the development, construction, reconstruction, alteration, or moving of any building or structure, but shall merely authorize the preparation, filing, and processing of applications for any permits and approvals that may be required by the codes and ordinances of the City including, but not limited to, a building permit, a certificate of occupancy, subdivision approval, and site plan approval.
G. Limitations on Use Interpretations. A use interpretation which finds a particular use to be permitted, or permitted as a conditional use, shall authorize only the use for which it was issued, and that interpretation shall not authorize any allegedly similar use for which a separate use interpretation has not been issued.