BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
SECTION 16.1. CREATION OF BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS.
There is hereby established a Board of Zoning Appeals, which shall perform its duties and exercise its power as provided by Act 184 of Public Acts of 1943, as amended, in such a way that the objectives of this Ordinance shall be attained, public safety secured and substantial justice done.
SECTION 16.2. BOARD MEMBERSHIP.
The Board of Zoning Appeals shall be composed of five (5) members appointed by the Township Board to staggered, three year terms.
Members of the Board of Zoning Appeals shall be removable by the Township Board for non-performance of duty or misconduct in office upon written charges and after public hearing by the Township Board. Failure of a member to disqualify himself or herself from a vote in which the member has a conflict of interest shall constitute misconduct in office.
SECTION 16.3. MEETINGS.
All meetings of the Board of Zoning Appeals shall be held at the call of the Chairman, and at such times as the Board of Zoning Appeals may determine. All meetings of the Board of Zoning Appeals shall be open to the public. The Board of Zoning Appeals shall maintain a record of its proceedings, and shall keep records of its findings, proceedings at hearings, and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the Township Clerk and shall be a public record.
SECTION 16.4. NOTICE OF HEARING.
The Board of Zoning Appeals shall make no recommendation except in a specific case and after a public hearing, conducted by the Board of Zoning Appeals, has been held. Notice of the hearing of the appeal shall be given to all owners of record of property and occupants within a radius of three hundred (300) feet of the premises involved, such notice to be delivered personally or by mail addressed to the respective owners or occupants at the addresses given in the latest assessment roll. A notice of the time and place of such public hearing shall be published in a paper of general circulation in the Township of White Oak at least five days prior to the hearing, and no more then 15 days prior to the hearing. Such notice shall contain the address, if available, and location of the property for which a variation or other ruling is sought of the Board of Zoning Appeals as well as brief description of the nature of the appeal.
SECTION 16.5. POWERS OF BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS CONCERNING VARIANCES.
The Board of Zoning Appeals shall have the following specific powers and duties concerning appeals and requests for variances:
A. The Board of Zoning Appeals shall hear and decide appeals from and review any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official charged with enforcement and of any provisions of the Ordinance. They shall also hear and decide all matters referred to them or upon which they are required to pass under this Ordinance. The concurring vote of a majority of the members of the Board of Zoning Appeals shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of any such administrative official or to decide in favor of the applicant any matter upon which they are required to pass under this Ordinance or to effect any variation in this Ordinance.
B. The Board of Zoning Appeals shall have the power to:
1. Interpret, upon request, the provisions of this Ordinance in such a way as to carry out the intent and purpose of the Ordinance.
2. Determine the precise location of zoning district boundary lines on the Zoning Map accompanying this Ordinance.
3. To classify a use which is not specifically mentioned so that it conforms to a comparable permitted or prohibited use, in accordance with the purpose and intent of each district.
C. The Board of Zoning Appeals shall have the power to permit the erection and use of a building or an addition to an existing building, of a public service corporation or for public utility purposes, in any permitted district to a greater height or larger area than the district requirements herein established, and permit the location in any use district of a public utility building, structure, or use; if the Board shall find such use, height, area, building or structure reasonably necessary for the public convenience and service, provided such building, structure or use is designed, erected and landscaped to conform harmoniously with the general architecture and plan of such district.
D. The Board of Zoning Appeals shall have the power to permit the modification of the off-street automobile parking space or loading space requirements where, in the particular instance, such modifications will not be inconsistent with the purpose and intent of such requirements.
E. The Board of Zoning Appeals shall have the power to permit temporary buildings and uses for periods not to exceed one (1) year.
F. Where owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the use provisions of this Ordinance would involve practical difficulties or cause unnecessary hardships within the meaning of this Ordinance, the Board shall have power upon appeal in specific cases to authorize such variation or modifications of the use provisions of this Ordinance with such conditions and safeguards as it may determine to be in harmony with the spirit of this Ordinance and so that public safety and welfare be secured and substantial justice done. No such variance or modification of the use provisions of this Ordinance shall be granted unless it appears beyond a reasonable doubt that all the following facts and conditions exist:
1. That there are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applicable to the property involved or to the intended use of the property that do not apply generally to other properties or class of uses in the same district or zone.
2. That such variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right possessed by other property in the same zone and vicinity.
3. That the granting of such variance or modification will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or materially injurious to the property or improvements in such zone or district in which the property is located.
4. That the granting of such variance will not adversely affect the purposes or objectives of this Ordinance.
5. In consideration of all appeals and all proposed variations to this Ordinance, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall, before making any variations from the Ordinance in a specific case, first determine that proposed variation will not impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent property, or unreasonably increase the congestion in public streets, or increase the danger of fire or endanger the public safety, or unreasonably diminish or impair established property values within the surrounding area, or in any other respect impair the public health, safety, comfort, morals or welfare of the inhabitants of the Township of White Oak. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to give or grant to the Board the power or authority to alter or change the Zoning Ordinance or the Zoning Map, such power and authority being reserved to the Township Board of the Township of White Oak in the manner provided by law.
G. In exercising the above powers, the Board of Zoning Appeals may reverse, or affirm wholly or partly, or modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from, and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as ought to be made, and to that end shall have all the powers of the Zoning Administrator from whom the appeal is taken.
SECTION 16.6. BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS APPROVAL.
The Board of Zoning Appeals may require the appellant or applicant requesting a variance to submit all necessary surveys, plans, or other information the Board may reasonably require. The Board of Zoning Appeals may impose such conditions or limitations in granting a variance as it may deem necessary to comply with the spirit and purposes of this Ordinance.
SECTION 16.7. APPROVAL PERIOD.
No order of the Board of Zoning Appeals permitting the erection or alteration of a building shall be valid for a period longer than one (1) year, unless a building permit for such erection or alteration is obtained within such period and such erection or alteration is started and proceeds to completion in accordance with the terms of such permit.
No order of the Board of Zoning Appeals permitting a use of a building or premises shall be valid for a period longer than one (1) year unless such use is established within such period; provided, however, that where such use permitted is dependent upon the erection or alteration of a building, such order shall continue in force and effect if a building permit for said erection or alteration is obtained within such period and such erection or alterations are started and proceed to completion in accordance with the terms of such permit.
SECTION 16.8. FILING FEE.
Application for a Board of Zoning Appeals hearing shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by a filing fee as established by the Township Board which shall be paid over to the Township Treasurer at the time the notice of appeal or request for special approval is filed.
SECTION 16.9. ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS BYLAWS.
following rules of procedure are hereby adopted by the White Oak Township Zoning
Board of Appeals to facilitate the performance of its duties as outlined in the
Township Zoning Act, Public Act 184 of 1943, as amended.
SECTION 1: Officers
Selection and Tenure—At the first regular meeting in (month) of each year, the zoning board of appeals shall select
from it’s membership a chairperson, vice chairperson and secretary. An elected
township official shall not serve as
chairperson. All officers shall serve a term of one year, or until their successors are selected and assume office, except as noted in B and C
below. All officers shall be for eligible for reelection for consecutive terms
for the same office.
chairperson shall preside at all meetings, appoint committees and perform such other duties as
ordered by the zoning board of appeals
or township board.
Chairperson—The vice chairperson shall act in the capacity of the chairperson
in his/her absence. In the event the office of chairperson becomes vacant, the
vice chairperson shall succeed to this office for the unexpired term and the
zoning board of appeals shall select a successor to the office of vice
chairperson for the unexpired term.
secretary shall execute documents in the name of the zoning board of appeals,
perform the duties hereinafter listed below and shall perform such other duties
as the zoning board of appeals may determine.
Minutes—The secretary shall be responsible
for a permanent record of the minutes of each meeting
and shall have them recorded in suitable permanent records retained by the
township clerk. The minutes shall contain a
brief synopsis of the meeting, including a complete restatement of all motions and record of votes, conditions, or recommendations made on
any action and record of attendance.
Correspondence—The secretary shall be
responsible for issuing formal written correspondence with other groups or
persons, as directed by the zoning board of appeals. All communications, petitions, reports, or other written materials received by the secretary
shall be brought to the attention of the zoning
board of appeals.
Attendance –The secretary will be responsible for maintaining an
attendance record for each zoning
board of appeals member and report those records annually to the zoning board of appeals
for inclusion in the annual report to the
secretary shall issue such notices as may be required by the zoning board
E. The planning commission representative to the zoning board appeals shall report the actions of the Zoning Board of Appeals to the planning Commission and update the Zoning
board of appeals on actions by the Planning Commission that relate to the
functions and duties of the zoning board of appeals.
SECTION 2: Meetings
Meetings—Meetings of the zoning board of appeals shall be held on (day
of week) of each month, or as noted below. All meetings shall take place at (location,
street address) at (time).
Notice—Meetings shall be noticed in accordance with the requirements of
the zoning ordinance. Meeting notices shall state the purpose, time, and
location of meetings and shall be posted in accordance with the Open Meetings
Records—All meetings, minutes, records, documents, correspondence and other
materials of the zoning board of
appeals shall be open to public inspection in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act, except as may otherwise be provided by law.
majority of the membership of the zoning board of appeals shall constitute a
quorum for transacting business and taking official action for all matters. The
zoning board of appeals shall not conduct business unless a majority of the regular
members is present.
pass or deny any variance, appeal or other official action required by the
zoning ordinance, an affirmative vote of at least a majority of the total
membership of the zoning board of appeals is required. Voting shall be by voice
vote; a roll call vote shall be required if requested by any zoning board of
appeals member or directed by the chairperson. All zoning board of appeals
members, including the chairperson, shall vote on all matters, but the
chairperson shall vote last.
chairperson shall be responsible for preparing an agenda for zoning board of
appeals meetings. The order of business for meetings shall be as follows:
Call to Order
Approval of Minutes
Approval of Agenda
Scheduled Public Hearings
Matters to be Reviewed by the Zoning Board of Appeals a. Correspondence
Received b. Zoning Board of
Report of Planning Commission Representative
Hearings—All public hearings held by the zoning board
of appeals must be held as part of a regular or special meeting of the zoning hoard of appeals. The following
rules of procedure shall apply to
public hearing held by the zoning board of appeals:
Chairperson opens public hearing and announces the subject.
Chairperson summarizes procedures/rules to be followed during the
Applicant presents request.
4. Township zoning
administrator/planning consultant presents a summary or analysis of the request.
Persons wishing to comment on the request are recognized.
Chairperson closes public hearing and returns to the regular/special
Zoning board of appeals deliberates and decides.
To ensure that everyone has the opportunity to speak,
the zoning board of appeals may elect to limit the time permitted for each
person to speak, except that the applicant may be permitted additional time as
the chairperson allows. The chairperson may also elect to allow persons to speak
only once, until all persons have had the opportunity to speak, at which time
the chairperson, in his/her discretion, may permit additional comments.
All comments by the public and the zoning board
of appeals shall be directed to the chairperson.
Meetings—Applicants to the zoning board of appeals may request a special
meeting, of which all costs shall
be paid by the applicant: if there is more than one applicant, the costs shall
be shared equally between all applicants. The business the zoning board of
appeals may perform shall be
conducted at a public meeting held in compliance with the Open Meetings Act.
Special meetings shall also be noticed as required by the Township Zoning Act,
as amended, the Open Meetings Act and these bylaws.
SECTION 3: Duties of
the Zoning Board of Appeals
The zoning board of appeals shall perform the
on applications for variances, appeals, interpretations, or other matters as
required by, the zoning ordinance and Township Zoning Act, Public Act 184 of 1943, as amended.
Prepare an annual budget for the zoning board of appeal's activities and
submit to the township board. (Some communities also require the zoning board of appeals to prepare an
annual report to the township board.)
Attend training sessions, conferences, or meetings as needed to properly
fulfill the duties of a zoning board of appeals member, and for which
appropriations of funds have been approved by the township board,
other duties and responsibilities as requested by the township board or as may
be specified in another
Conduct site visits as deemed necessary to evaluate an application and
supporting material. Site visits shall be conducted individually.
4: Duties of the Zoning Administrator and Planning Consultant
zoning board of appeals shall be assisted by the zoning administrator and
planning consultant in the performing the duties of the zoning board of appeals,
as noted in section 3.
zoning administrator and planning consultant shall be responsible for the
professional and administrative work
in coordinating the functions of the zoning board of appeals.
C. The zoning
1. Supervise and
review the work of the planning consultant and township staff.
applications for matters to be reviewed by the zoning board of appeals and
ensure that such applications are
application materials to the zoning board of appeals at least one week prior to
the meeting at which such matters will be considered.
the zoning board of appeals of administrative and enforcement actions taken on
behalf of the township
related to the zoning ordinance or other appropriate ordinance.
The planning consultant shall:
Attend zoning board of appeals meetings, if
with the zoning board of appeals, zoning administrator and other township
concerning interpretation, procedural questions, and other matters arising from the zoning
ordinance, as requested.
one planning/zoning workshop each year for the township board, zoning board of appeals, and zoning administrator.
and forward to the zoning administrator written reviews and recommendations, if
appropriate, for all requests and development proposals to be considered by the zoning board of appeals, if requested by the chairperson of the zoning board of appeals. Perform other duties as may be directed by the zoning board of appeals.
zoning board of appeals may be assisted by other professional or township staff
as needed, including the build inspector, township
attorney, township engineer, or other person or agency.
SECTION 5: Absences, Removals,
Resignations, Vacancies, and Alternates
To be excused, zoning
appeals members shall notify the township supervisor, zoning board of appeals
chairperson or other zoning board of appeals member when they intend
to be absent from a meeting. Failure to make this notification
prior to a meeting shall result in an unexcused absence.
B. Members of the zoning board of appeals may be removed
by the township board, after written charges have been prepared and a hearing conducted, for nonperformance of duty, misconduct in office, or upon failure to declare a conflict of interest. For purposes of
this section, nonperformance of duty shall
mean two or more consecutive, unexcused absences. Alternates shall
be notified to attend a meeting any time a regular member will be absent for two or more regular meetings or
more than 30 days.
C. A member may resign
from the zoning board of appeals by sending
a letter of resignation to the township supervisor, township board or
zoning board of appeals chairperson.
Vacancies shall be
filled by the township board within one month of resignation or
removal of a
member of the zoning
board of appeals. Successors shall serve out the unexpired term of the member
being replaced, with the exception of the planning commission
representative, whose term shall run consecutively with the term as planning commissioner.
township board may appoint not more than two alternates to the zoning
board of appeals. The alternate member may be called to sit as a
regular member as provided in the zoning
ordinance and the
Township Zoning Act.
SECTION 6: Conflict of Interest
Zoning board of
members shall declare a conflict of interest and abstain from
participating in a hearing or deliberations on a request when:
relative or other family member is involved in any request for which the zoning board of appeals is asked to make
2. The zoning board of appeals member has a business or financial interest
in the property involved in the request, or has a business or financial interest in the applicant's
company, agency or association;
3. The zoning board of appeals member owns or has a financial interest in neighboring property. For purposes of this
section, a neighboring property shall include any property falling within
radius for the proposed development, as required by the
zoning ordinance or other applicable ordinance, or
There is a reasonable appearance of a conflict of interest as determined by the zoning board of appeals
member declaring such conflict.
B. The zoning board of appeals member declaring a conflict of interest should state the
nature of the conflict and whether he or she believes he or she could impartially consider
the request before the zoning board of appeals.
He or she should individually decide to abstain from
any discussion or votes relative to the matter that is the subject of the conflict. (If he
the member declaring a conflict may ask the other
zoning board of appeals members to decide if he or she
although this is not required. The zoning board of appeals should establish the procedure it will follow in its bylaws if this is requested.) The member declaring a conflict may absent him/herself from the room in which the discussion takes place, unless doing so would violate his or her constitutionally protected rights to participate. He or she should not make any presentations to the zoning board of appeals as a representative of the proposal.
SECTION 7: Amendments
bylaws may be amended at any meeting by a vote of a majority of the membership of the zoning board of appeals.