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(a) Board Membership. There shall be a Board of Zoning Appeals which shall consist of five (5) members appointed by the Mayor with the approval of a majority of members elected to Council. Members of the Board of Zoning Appeals shall hold no other Municipal office or appointment. Present members of the Board of Zoning Appeals at the time this Charter amendment is adopted shall continue to serve until their terms are completed. Members may succeed themselves. The term of members shall be four (4) years. The Mayor shall have the right to remove any member of the Board of Zoning Appeals for cause.
(b) Powers. It shall be the duty of the Board of Zoning Appeals to hear and decide appeals made for exceptions to and variations in the Zoning Ordinance of the Municipality in conformity with the purpose and intent thereof and to hear and decide all appeals made for exceptions to and variations in the application of Zoning Ordinances, or orders and regulations of administrative officials or agencies in regard thereto. The Board of Zoning Appeals shall permit an exception or variance from the Zoning Ordinance only when there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in the way of carrying out the strict interpretation of said Zoning Ordinance and so long as the granting of such exception or variance will be in harmony with general purpose and intent of said Ordinance and that the public health, safety and general welfare will continue to be secured and substantial justice done.
(c) Council Review. Any order of the Board granting a variance or exception shall not be final and take effect until the twentieth (20th) day after the date of approval of the order by the Board. During such time period, the applicant, the Building Commissioner or an elected official of the City may request a review by the Council of the City of the findings and determination of the Board. A request for review may be granted by the Council if it finds and determines that one or more matters at issue in such a request significantly affect or involve the implementation of any part of a master or comprehensive plan for the City, a purpose of the Planning and Zoning Code of the City, or the intent of the Council in their adoption. If a request for review is approved by the Council, then, the Council shall hear the application or appeal de novo, and may reverse, amend or modify the findings and determination of the Board. When a request for review is approved by Council, any variance or exception granted by the Board shall be void and of no effect, unless Council shall fail to hear and decide the matter de novo within thirty (30) days after the date of approval by it of the request for review, or within such enlargement of time as may be determined by the Council for good cause shown.