Zoning Board of Examiners and Appeals
The Zoning Board of Examiners and Appeals is made up of 9 private citizens appointed by the Mayor for 3-year terms. The appointed Board members are not municipal employees. The Board meets at least once a month, sometimes more, on Thursdays.
The Zoning Board of Examiners and Appeals performs two roles. The Board is an advisory body to the Assembly on legislative planning matters such as amending the land use laws regarding zoning. The Board is the final authority on regulatory matters such as zoning dimensional variances and appeals to some zoning enforcement actions.
Matters before the Board will appear on the Board's agenda. Zoning matters that do not require a public hearing will be placed on the Board's Consent Agenda. The Board takes action of the Consent Agenda in one vote except when a Board member asks for an item to be removed from the Consent Agenda. Removed items are dealt with individually.
When the Board gets to a public hearing item the Chair will announce the matter, usually by referring to its agenda item number or its case number. Copies of the Board Agenda and each public hearing item are available in the rack in Assembly Chambers Lobby at the meeting, from the Planning Division prior to the meeting, and online on the Planning Division's website.
The Board strictly limits the amount of time for anyone's testimony to one time per agenda item and to time limits. The petitioner has 10 minutes. Part of which can be saved for rebuttal. Representatives of groups have 5 minutes and individuals have 3 minutes. A timer visible from the public's podium advises of the time remaining. On completion of an individual's testimony, the Board members may ask questions. There is no time limit imposed for Board member questions.
When all persons who desire to speak on the case have been heard and any rebuttal testimony has been presented, the Chair will close the public hearing and make a decision.
Motions and Voting
No matter what the issue, the starting point for the Zoning Board of Examiners and Appeals will be a positive motion. One Board member will move to approve the item and another Board member will second the motion. The conversation will be something like:
- "Move to approve case 2003-051."
- "The item has been moved and seconded. Is there any debate?"
When debate has ceased, the Board will vote on the motion and any amendments. The amendments will be dealt with one by one until all have been handled. Then a vote will be taken on the amended motion. To pass or approve the motion, the Board must have at least 5 positive votes.
The Zoning Board of Examiners and Appeals is a quasi-judicial body and contact with the applicant or general public outside the hearing process is prohibited.