The Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) meets to consider requests for variances to the City zoning and fence ordinances (i.e., building setbacks, height, lot coverage, and materials, and fence height and location) generally on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. A study session precedes the meeting (see agenda, Zoning Board of Adjustments).
The ZBA consists of five members and two alternates. All board members participate in discussion of each case, but only five vote. In case of the absence of a regular member, a designated alternate will vote on the case(s).
The ZBA receives its power from state law, which allows the board to grant variances when strict application of setback, height, or area regulations would result in an unnecessary hardship on a particular piece of property. When determining whether or not a hardship exists, the applicant must demonstrate that: (1) the hardship is not self-imposed; (2) the hardship is unique to the property (size, shape, topography of the lot or tract); (3) the hardship is not financial in nature; and (4) the hardship does not simply preclude development of the land for its “highest and best use”.
The ZBA is the final City authority on variance requests. An appeal to a ZBA ruling must be made to district court.