Zoning Appeals

A Zoning Appeal is a challenge of the Zoning Administrator’s action, which is adjudicated by the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), as detailed in Section 14-11 of the Zoning Ordinance. Upon submission of an appeal, all proceedings in furtherance of the Zoning Administrator’s action shall be stayed (temporarily stopped) until the BZA’s decision on the action, unless the Zoning Administrator certifies to the BZA that a stay would cause “imminent peril to life or property.” When ruling on an appeal, the BZA may reverse or affirm (wholly or partly) or modify the Zoning Administrator’s action.

Process

A Zoning Appeal Application (with the accompanying $275 fee) must be submitted to the Department of Planning and Zoning within 30 days after the Zoning Administrator’s action. Within 60 days of receipt of a Zoning Appeal, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall notify the public of the date of a hearing, hold the hearing, and make a decision of the application.

During this hearing, staff will present the Zoning Administrator’s action, including references to any applicable Zoning Ordinance sections and explanation of any interpretations, and application for appeal to the BZA. Similarly, the BZA will allow the applicant to present their reason for appealing the Zoning Administrator’s action. Although this hearing is open to attendance by the public, only the Zoning Administrator and applicant are permitted to speak before the BZA.

When deciding on a Zoning Appeal, the Board of Zoning Appeals may reverse or affirm (wholly or partly) or modify any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by the Zoning Administrator. If the BZA chooses to reverse the Zoning Administrator’s action, a majority vote in favor of reversing the action shall be established and a tied vote shall be ruled as affirming the Zoning Administrator’s action.

All appeals to individual actions by the Zoning Administrator or actions regarding different requirements of the Zoning Ordinance shall constitute separate appeals and, therefore, require individual applications and the associated review fee. Similarly, appeals made by different individuals, organizations, or other entities shall also constitute separate appeals, even if each appeal challenges the same action, and, therefore, require individual applications and the associated review fee. Separate applications challenging the same or different actions may be reviewed and decided upon by the Board of Zoning Appeals on the same or a different date from each other as long as the hearing is held and ruling made within 60 days of receipt of the appeal.

Forms for the Zoning Appeal Application can be found on the department’s Forms and Policies page.