9. BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
9-1. Membership and organization.
9-1.1. Establishment of board; membership. Pursuant
to the provisions of section 15.1-494 of the Code of Virginia,
1950, as amended, a board of zoning appeals is hereby created
which shall consist of five (5) members who shall be residents
of the county and shall be appointed by the circuit court.
One (1) of the members of the board shall be appointed from
among the members of the county planning commission. The
terms of the members of the board, reappointments, the filling
of vacancies and procedures for the removal of members shall
be as set forth in section 15.1-494 of the Code of Virginia,
1950, as amended.
9-1.2. Officers. The board of zoning appeals shall
elect from among its members a chairman, a vice chairman,
who shall serve in the absence of the chairman, and a secretary,
all of whom shall serve annual terms and may succeed themselves.
9-1.3. Staff and support services. With the approval
of the county board of supervisors and within the limits
of funds that may be appropriated for such purposes, the
board of zoning appeals may employ or contract for such
clerical, technical or legal services necessary for it to
carry out its responsibilities.
9-2.1. Adoption of rules. The board of zoning appeals
shall adopt rules necessary for the conduct of its affairs
in keeping with the applicable provisions of this article
and the provisions of title 15.1 of the Code of Virginia,
1950, as amended. Copies of such rules shall be available
to the public.
9-2.2. Forms for applications and appeals. The board
of zoning appeals shall see that forms necessary for applications
and appeals are available, which forms shall be provided
to applicants by the zoning administrator.
9-2.3. Meetings. The board of zoning appeals shall,
in accordance with its rules, schedule regular meetings
which shall be open to the public. The board may also hold
such special meetings as it deems necessary in accordance
with its rules.
9-2.4. Public hearings. The board shall make no decision
on any application or appeal until it has conducted a public
hearing after giving public notice as required by the provisions
of section 15.1-431 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended,
which provisions shall be incorporated within or attached
to the rules of the board.
9-2.5. Quorum. A quorum of not less than a majority
of all members of the board shall be required for the conduct
of any hearing and the taking of any action.
9-2.6. Records. The board of zoning appeals shall
keep minutes of its proceedings, including the vote of each
member on each question, and shall keep records of its official
actions. Minutes and records shall be public and shall be
filed in the office of the board. The board shall submit
an annual report of its activities to the county board of
9-3. Powers and duties.
Pursuant to the provisions of section 15.1-495 of the Code
of Virginia, 1950, as amended, the board of zoning appeals
shall have such powers and duties as set forth in this section.
9-3.1. Appeals. The board of zoning appeals shall
have the power to hear and decide appeals from any order,
requirement, decision or determination made by the zoning
administrator or any other administrative officer in the
administration or enforcement of this Ordinance.
board of zoning appeals shall have the power to authorize
upon application in specific cases, such variance as
defined in section 15.1-430 (p) of the Code of Virginia,
1950, as amended, from the terms of this Ordinance as
will not be contrary to the public interest, when, owing
to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the
provisions of this Ordinance will result in unnecessary
hardship, provided that the spirit of this Ordinance
shall be observed and substantial justice shall be done.
variance shall be authorized by the board unless a property
owner can show to the satisfaction of the board that:
property was acquired in good faith;
reason of the exceptional narrowness, shallowness,
size or shape of the property at the time of the
effective date of this Ordinance or subsequent amendment
thereto, or where by reason of exceptional topographic
conditions or other extraordinary situation or condition
of such piece of property or of the condition, situation
or development of property immediately adjacent
thereto, strict application of the terms of this
Ordinance would effectively prohibit or unreasonably
restrict the utilization of the property; or that
the granting of the variance requested will alleviate
a clearly demonstrable hardship approaching confiscation,
as distinguished from a special privilege or convenience
sought by the applicant.
variance shall be authorized by the board unless it
finds from the evidence presented that:
variance will be in harmony with the intended spirit
and purpose of this Ordinance;
strict application of this Ordinance would produce
undue hardship, and that such hardship is not shared
generally by other properties in the same zoning
district and the same vicinity as the subject property;
authorization of such variance will not be of substantial
detriment to adjacent property and that the character
of the district will not be changed by the granting
of the variance;
condition or situation of the property concerned
is not of so general or recurring nature as to make
reasonably practicable the formulation of a general
regulation to be adopted by the board of supervisors
as an amendment to this Ordinance;
variance will not include a departure from the use
regulations set forth in this Ordinance.
the authorization of a variance, the board may impose
such conditions regarding the location, character and
other features of the proposed structure or use as it
may deem necessary in the public interest, and may require
a guarantee or bond to ensure that the conditions imposed
are being and will continue to be satisfied.
9-3.3. Interpretation of official zoning district map.
The board of zoning appeals shall have the power to hear
and decide applications for interpretation of the official
zoning district map where there is any uncertainty as to
the location of a district boundary, and where the rules
for interpretation of district boundaries set forth in Article
2 of this Ordinance do not satisfactorily resolve such uncertainty.
After notice to the owners of the property affected by any
such question, and after public hearing with notice as required,
the board may interpret the map in such way as to carry
out the intent and purpose of this Ordinance for the particular
section or district in question. The board shall not have
the power to change substantially the locations of district
boundaries established by this ordinance.
9-3.4. Special exceptions. The board of zoning appeals
shall have the power to hear and decide applications for
such special exceptions as may be authorized elsewhere in
this Ordinance. In the granting of any such special exception,
the board may impose such conditions relating to the use
provided for as it may deem necessary in the public interest,
and may require a guarantee or bond to ensure that the conditions
imposed are being and will continue to be satisfied.
9-3.5. Prohibition on rezoning of property. No provision
of this article shall be construed as granting the board
of zoning appeals the power to rezone property, which power
shall be vested in the board of supervisors.
9-4. Appeal procedure.
appeal to the board of zoning appeals may be taken by
any person aggrieved or by any officer, department,
board or bureau of the county affected by any decision
of the zoning administrator or by any order, requirement,
decision or determination made by any other administrative
officer in the administration or enforcement of this
appeal shall be taken within thirty (30) days after
the decision appealed from by filing with the zoning
administrator and with the board, a notice of appeal
specifying the grounds thereof. Copies of the notice
of appeal shall also be submitted to any other individual,
officer, department or agency involved in the appeal.
The zoning administrator shall forthwith transmit to
the board all papers and other materials constituting
the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.
appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of
the action appealed from unless the zoning administrator
certifies to the board that, by reason of facts stated
in the certificate, a stay would in his or her opinion
cause imminent peril to life or property, in which case
proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a
restraining order granted by the board or by a court
of record, on application and with notice to the zoning
administrator, and for good cause shown.
9-5. Applications for variances, special exceptions and
interpretation of the official zoning district map.
for variances, special exceptions and interpretation
of the official zoning district map may be made by any
property owner, tenant, government official, department,
board or bureau on forms provided for such purpose by
the board of zoning appeals.
shall be submitted to the zoning administrator in accordance
with rules adopted by the board. The zoning administrator
shall transmit all applications and accompanying maps
and documents to the secretary of the board who shall
place the matter on the docket of the board. The zoning
administrator shall also transmit copies of all applications
to the county planning commission, which may send a
recommendation to the board or appear as a party at
the same application for a variance, special exception
or interpretation of the official zoning district map
which has been decided by the board shall not be considered
again by the board within twelve (12) months of the
date of its decision, except that the board may, pursuant
to its rules, reconsider an application if it finds
that new or additional information is available which
would have a direct bearing on the case and which could
not reasonably have been presented at the initial hearing.
9-6. Public hearings and decisions.
board of zoning appeals shall fix a reasonable time
for the hearing of an application or appeal, give public
notice thereof, as well as due notice to the parties
in interest, and decide the same within ninety (90)
days of the filing of the application or appeal. In
exercising its powers, the board may reverse or affirm,
wholly or partly, or may modify an order, requirement,
decision or determination appealed from.
concurring vote of not less than three (3) members of
the board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement,
decision or determination of an administrative officer,
or to decide in favor of the applicant in any matter
upon which it is required to pass under this Ordinance,
or to effect any variance from the provisions of this
chairman of the board or in his or her absence the acting
chairman may administer oaths and compel the attendance
9-7. Expiration of variance or special exception.
A variance or special exception granted by the board of
zoning appeals shall lapse and be of no effect if, after
the expiration of one (1) year from the date of such action
by the board, no construction or change in use pursuant
to such variance or special exception has taken place, provided
that the board may, for good cause shown, specify a longer
period of time in conjunction with its action to grant a
variance or special exception.
9-8. Amendment of variance or special exception.
The procedure for amendment of a variance or special exception
granted by the board of zoning appeals, including any changes
in the conditions attached thereto, shall be the same as
for a new application.
9-9. Enforcement of decisions.
Decisions of the board of zoning appeals shall be administered
and enforced by the zoning administrator. Noncompliance
with any action taken by the board, including conditions
imposed by the board, shall constitute a violation of the
provisions of this Ordinance.
9-10. Appeals from decisions of the board.
Appeals from decisions of the board of zoning appeals shall
be presented to the circuit court of the county in accordance
with the procedures set forth in section 15.1-497 of the
Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended. Any person or persons
jointly or severally aggrieved by any decision of the board,
or any taxpayer or any officer, department, board or bureau
of the county may present to the circuit court a petition
specifying the grounds on which aggrieved within thirty
(30) days after the filing of the decision in the office
of the board.
A filing fee in such amount as established by general rule
by the board of supervisors shall be submitted with each
appeal to the board of zoning appeals and each application
for a variance, special exception or interpretation of the
official zoning district map.