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(A) Establishment and membership.
(1) Pursuant to G.S. 160A-388, a Board of Adjustment is hereby established. Said board shall consist of at least five members, each to be appointed for three year terms. At least four members will be residents of the Town of Wilkesboro and appointed by the Town of Wilkesboro Board of Commissioners ("Town Board") and the remaining members will be residents of the town's extraterritorial jurisdiction and will be appointed by the Wilkes County Board of Commissioners. Any vacancy in the membership shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the initial appointment.
(2) One alternate member will be appointed by the Town Board, who will serve in the absence of a regular member. The alternate member will be appointed for a term of three years. While serving in the absence of a regular member, the alternate shall have and may exercise all the powers and duties of a regular member.
(3) Members shall serve with such compensation as shall be determined by the Town Board. Also, members may be removed by the Board for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office, and such removal shall be reported at the next meeting of the Town Board and recorded in the minutes of such meeting.
(4) The Board of Adjustment shall adopt by-laws and rules of procedure that shall govern its proceedings.
(B) Powers of the Board of Adjustment.
(1) To hear and decide appeals from and review any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by any administrative official charged with the enforcement of this chapter;
(2) To hear and decide requests for variances from the requirements of this chapter;
(3) To review applications for conditional use permits as authorized under this chapter;
(4) To make interpretations of the Official Zoning Map and to pass upon disputed questions of lot lines or district boundary lines and similar questions as arise in the administration of this chapter;
(5) To enter, at reasonable times, upon private lands and make examinations or surveys as necessary for the performance of its official duties;
(6) To request City Council to hold public hearings on matters within the purview of the Board;
(7) To hear and decide any other matter as required by the provisions of this chapter or the Town of Wilkesboro Code of Ordinances.
(C) Appeals of administrative decisions.
(1) The Board of Adjustment shall hear and decide appeals from and review any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official charged with the enforcement of this chapter. An appeal may be taken by any person aggrieved by such decision or by an officer, department or board of the town.
(2) After notice of appeal, the chairperson of the Board of Adjustment shall schedule a hearing, which shall be at a regular or special meeting within 60 days from the filing of such notice of appeal.
(3) A notice of hearing that states the time, place, location of affected property, and the general issue involved, shall be given in at least two of the following ways:
(a) An advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of Wilkesboro at least five days before the date of the hearing;
(b) Mailed notice to the parties to the action appealed from, and to such other persons as the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall direct, at least five days before the hearing;
(c) Posting of signs in the neighborhood of the affected property.
(4) An appeal stays all legal proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the Zoning Enforcement Officer certifies to the Board of Adjustment, after the notice of appeal has been filed, that because of facts stated in the certificate, a stay would cause imminent peril to life or property or that because the violation charged is transitory in nature, a stay would seriously interfere with enforcement of this chapter. In such case proceedings shall not be stayed except by a restraining order, which may be granted by the Board or by a court of record on application, on notice to the Zoning Enforcement Officer, and on due cause shown.
(D) Conditional use permits (See § 156.063).
(1) A variance from the literal requirements of this chapter may be granted by the Board of Adjustment if it determines, pursuant to findings of fact, that:
(a) strict enforcement of the regulations would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships to the applicant for the variance;
(b) the variance is in harmony with general purpose and intent of the ordinance and preserves its spirit; and
(c) in granting the variance the public safety and welfare have been secured and substantial justice has been done.
(2) An application and required submittals shall be done in accordance with forms available from the Zoning Enforcement Officer.
(3) After receipt of the required application materials, the chairperson of the Board of Adjustment shall schedule a hearing, which shall be at a regular or special meeting within 60 days from the filing of an application.
(4) Written notice of the public hearing shall be mailed at least five days prior to the date of the public hearing to the applicant and the owners of any property adjoining the property for which the variance is applied for.
(F) Majority vote required. The concurring vote of four-fifths (4/5) of the members of the Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision, or determination of any administrative official charged with the enforcement of this chapter, or to decide in favor of the applicant any matter upon which it is required to pass under any ordinance, or to grant a variance from the provisions of this chapter.
(G) Judicial review. Every decision of the Board of Adjustment may be appealed to the Superior Court by any aggrieved party. Such appeal shall be in the nature of certiorari and must be filed within 30 days after the filing of the decision in the office of the Zoning Enforcement Officer, or after a written a copy thereof is delivered to every aggrieved party who has filed a written request for such copy with the chairman of the Board at the time of its hearing of the case, whichever is later. The copy of the decision of the Board may be delivered to aggrieved parties either by personal service or by registered mail or certified mail return receipt requested.
(Am. Ord. passed 9-14-2016)