The Zoning Board of Appeals hears and decides appeals of code enforcement and building permit decisions, interprets the Town zoning code, and grants zoning variances and temporary and special use permits as appropriate and authorized by the Town code.
A SIGN (PROVIDED BY THE TOWN) INFORMING THE AREA RESIDENTS OF THE PUBLIC HEARING MUST BE POSTED ON THE PROPERTY AT LEAST TEN (10) DAYS PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED HEARING.(Signs shall be returned to the Town at the Public Hearing).
THE LETTER OF INTENT The letter of intent addressed to the Zoning Board of Appeals shall include the following:
The date of application, address of the property, and signature of applicant or agent.
A description of the proposed project or use. Applications for construction should include the dimensions, height, area, materials of construction, & purpose of any proposed project.
Each Area Variance requested must be clearly stated, i.e. the proposed rear setback will be 27' as opposed to the 30' minimum required.
The Area or Use Variance factors below should be included in the Letter of Intent.
AREA VARIANCE Area Variance Test is a balancing of interests. Balance the benefit to the Applicant if the Area Variance is granted versus the burden to the Health, Safety and General Welfare of the community and its residents. Five Factors Must be Considered When Deciding to Grant an Area Variance:
Possible change to neighborhood character. Will the granting of the variance result in an undesirable change to the character of the neighborhood or will it be detrimental to nearby properties?
Are there alternative solutions that would not require a variance? An applicant should present his/her reasons for choosing one alternative over another, i.e. better view, better internal pattern, cheaper construction, better overall aesthetics.
Consider whether the requested area variance is substantial, i.e. amount of variance requested, magnitude of variance requested.
Consider whether the area variance will have an adverse effect on physical or environmental conditions in the neighborhood or district, i.e. block a view, cause a drainage problem, impact a wetland, cause a parking shortage.
Is the situation self-created? (Because it is self-created, the granting of the variance is not precluded.)
USE VARIANCE A Use Variance is required in order for an Applicant to use land for a purpose not allowed in the Zoning regulations. The alternative would be to Re-zone the property. No use variance will be granted without a showing by the applicant that applicable zoning regulations and restrictions have caused unnecessary hardship. A Four-Part Test Must be Applied When Deciding to Grant a Use Variance
No reasonable return on investment
No change in the character of the neighborhood
The applicant must pass EVERY test for a Use Variance.
** It is recommended that applicants discuss with their neighbors the proposed variance or Special Use Permit requested. The Town sends agendas of the public hearing to property owners within 200' of the subject property.
** Applicants may submit letters from neighbors and others in favor of requested variances.
Any questions regarding Zoning Board Applications may be addressed to the Department of Planning and Zoning.