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Thread: How much use of board of adjustment?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
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    How much use of board of adjustment?

    Our zoning code leaves a lot of the older lots in our town non-conforming, so currently there are almost monthly Board of Adjustment meetings about various issues in that part of town.

    Should you update your zoning code to just deal with a lot of the problems? Go on with BOA meetings? Is there a right or wrong answer?

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    You should definitely re-evaluate the zoning regs for the older part that has the non-conforming issues. The BOA shouldn't have to deal with the ineffectiveness/poorly developed zoning code. It should be there for situations that even a well constructed zoning code can't account for.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    What mendelman said. Each time I have work on zoning revisions, I first look at variance and appeals requests. The best board of adjustment is the one that does not have to meet.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    It normally a sign that your code needs to be redone or updated if you are getting a lot of variance/special use/conditional use requests. They also handle the odd ball request that were not anticipated in your code. As stated earlier, the best BZA is one that meets the least and I like our BZA.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  5. #5
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    It normally a sign that your code needs to be redone or updated if you are getting a lot of variance/special use/conditional use requests. They also handle the odd ball request that were not anticipated in your code. As stated earlier, the best BZA is one that meets the least and I like our BZA.
    Same here. Ours meets about 6 times out of the year as needed, with usually only 1-2 items when they do. From what I've been told, the new development code has helped to reduce their workload.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  6. #6
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    I've worked for five different jurisdications and none of them had a board of adjustment. Everything went to either a zoning administrator or planning commission public hearing.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian permaplanjuneau's avatar
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    Jul 2004
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    Juneau, AK
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    Our BOA is also our Planning Commission. After the biweekly PC meetings, they adjourn and reconvene as the Board of Adjustment. They only to this to hear variance requests, so the BOA meetings don't take place as often as the PC meetings. One really nice thing about having the two boards be made up of the same people is that they are aware of all the issues--they know how many variances they grant, and for what issues, so they can recommend that staff review the code as needed. This has resulted in chages to setbacks and parking requirements in the last year--and presto, people stop asking for the same variances over and over and over...

  8. #8
    Our BOA usually sees one or less item per month.........none this month.........last place I worked (Rye NH) we had about 6 per month............

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Indiana
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    Yes, you should evaluate your Ordinance if there are a lot of similar variances being requested and granted. We have four hearings and average 30+ variances a month. We give out variances like candy. Over the course of 80 years, I would suspect that there have been about 35,000 variances issued.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    We always look at whether or not a particular issue comes up routinely. If it does, we evaluate our code and may adjust it to deal with those routine issues.

    Our BOA is very strict and does not approve many adjustments, therefore they do not meet very often. Very rarely do we consider a text change. In fact, we cannot apply to change the text; it must come from a CC official.

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