[R.O. 2009 §156.260; CC 1981 §30-233; Ord. No. 77-31, 7-5-1977; Ord. No. 98-209, 5-15-1998]
The Board of Adjustment is created with the powers and duties as set forth in this Article.
The City Council shall provide for the appointment of a Board of Adjustment, and in the regulations and restrictions adopted pursuant to the authority of Sections 89.010 to 89.140, RSMo., may provide that the Board of Adjustment may determine and vary their application in harmony with their general purpose and intent and in accordance with general or specific rules therein contained. The Board of Adjustment shall consist of five (5) members, who shall be residents of the City except as provided in Section 305.410, RSMo. The membership of the first (1st) Board appointed shall serve respectively, one (1) for one (1) year, one (1) for two (2) years, one (1) for three (3) years, one (1) for four (4) years, and one (1) for five (5) years. Thereafter members shall be appointed for terms of five (5) years each. Three (3) alternate members may be appointed to serve in the absence of or the disqualification of the regular members. All members and alternates shall be removable for cause by the appointing authority upon written charges and after public hearing. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term of any member whose term becomes vacant. The Board shall elect its own Chairperson who shall serve for one (1) year. The Board shall adopt rules in accordance with the provisions of any ordinance adopted pursuant to Sections 89.010 to 89.140, RSMo. Meetings of the Board shall be held at the call of the Chairperson and at such other times as the Board may determine. Such Chairperson, or in his/her absence the Acting Chairperson, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All meetings of the Board shall be open to the public. The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon question, or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall keep records of its examinations and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the Board and shall be a public record. All testimony, objections thereto and rulings thereon, shall be taken down by a reporter employed by the Board for that purpose.
The Board of Adjustment shall have the following powers:
To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative official in the enforcement of Sections 89.010—89.140, RSMo., or of any ordinance adopted pursuant to such Sections;
To hear and decide all matters referred to it or upon which it is required to pass under such ordinance;
In passing upon appeals, where there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship in the way of carrying out the strict letter of such ordinance, to vary or modify the application of any of the regulations or provisions of such ordinance relating to the construction or alteration of buildings or structures or the use of land so that the spirit of the ordinance shall be observed, public safety and welfare secured and substantial justice done, provided that, in any City with a population of three hundred fifty thousand (350,000) or more inhabitants which is located in more than one (1) County, the Board of Adjustment shall not have the power to vary or modify any ordinance relating to the use of land.
In exercising the above-mentioned powers such Board may, in conformity with the provisions of Sections 89.010—89.140, RSMo., reverse or affirm wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as ought to be made and to that end shall have all the powers of the officer from whom the appeal is taken. The concurring vote of four (4) members of the Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision, or determination of any such administrative official, or to decide in favor of the applicant on any matter upon which it is required to pass under any such ordinance or to effect any variation in such ordinance except as provided in Section 305.410, RSMo.
[R.O. 2009 §156.263; CC 1981 §30-236; Ord. No. 77-31, 7-5-1977; Ord. No. 92-317, 12-23-1992; Ord. No. 95-155, 6-7-1995; Ord. No. 98-209, 5-15-1998; Ord. No. 04-176, 8-4-2004]
Applications for appeals and variances to this Chapter shall be processed in the following manner:
All appeals and variances shall be taken within sixty (60) days from the date of the action which is appealed.
The application for an appeal or variance shall be addressed to the Board of Adjustment and submitted to the Department of Community Development.
An application shall be filed with the Board of Adjustment for review. Such application shall show the location and intended use of the site and any other material pertinent to the application.
An appeal stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed, unless the Department of Community Development certifies to the Board of Adjustment that, by reason of facts in the record, a stay would cause imminent peril to life and property, in which case proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a court order.
The Department of Community Development shall review the application and determine that the application contains sufficient data to adequately describe the situation to the Board of Adjustment. If the data is not adequate, the Department of Community Development shall return the application to the applicant for additional information. Applications that are completed shall be forwarded to the Board of Adjustment.
Unless otherwise specified at the time a variance is granted, the variance applies to the subject property and not to the individual who applied. Consequently, the variance is transferable to any future owner of subject property, but cannot be transferred by the applicant to a different site.
A variance shall continue for an indefinite period of time unless specified by the Board.
The procedure for amendment of a variance already approved, or a request for a change of conditions attached to an approval, shall be the same as for a new application, except where the Department of Community Development determines the change to be minor, relative to the original approval, it shall transmit the same to the Board, with the original record, without requiring that a new application be filed.
The Board of Adjustment shall hold a public hearing on applications for appeals and variances to this Chapter.
Notice of public hearings before the Board shall be given by publishing the date, time, place and nature of the hearing at least fifteen (15) days before the date of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the City. The notice shall contain the time and place within the City where the text, maps, plans, ordinances, appeals or variances may be examined. In addition, the Department of Community Development shall erect a sign containing the notice on the property at least fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing and shall notify the applicant and the property owners of record within three hundred (300) feet of the boundaries of the subject property, in writing, of the hearing at least fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing. In the event an application is tabled by the Board, it shall be the developer's responsibility to provide written notification to the Department of Community Development at least fifteen (15) days prior to the next regularly scheduled Board meeting of their intent to have the item removed from the table. The developer shall also be responsible for providing written notification to all property owners within three hundred (300) feet of the subject property of their intent to request their application be taken off the table and acted upon by the Board at least fifteen (15) days prior to such meeting. Should the developer wish an application to be tabled that has been advertised for public hearing, the developer must provide written notification to the Department of Community Development at least four (4) working days prior to the scheduled meeting to ensure the public can be made aware of the request.
Following the public hearing, a concurring vote of four (4) of the members of the Board who are present and voting at a meeting shall be necessary for the approval of any application for an appeal or variance.
[Ord. No. 14-220 §1, 10-21-2014]
In considering an application for an area variance, i.e., regulations relative to height, density, setbacks and green space, the Board of Adjustment is to determine whether strict application of the zoning regulation would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship for the applicant. The following factors are relevant to determining whether strict application of the regulations would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship:
Size of the variance. The relationship of the requested variance to the requirements of the applicable zoning regulations, i.e., a five-foot variance is substantial if the required setback is seven (7) feet; it is not as substantial if the required setback is one hundred (100) feet.
Effect on government services. The effect of the requested variance on population, density and available government facilities such as water, fire and police protection and sanitary services.
Effect on neighbors or neighborhood. The effect of the requested variance on adjoining properties or on the character of the neighborhood generally.
Alternatives to a variance. The existence of a feasible alternative to the applicant's proposal or other means of alleviating the hardship.
Justice. The granting of the variance is a just action. The cause of the difficulty — the hardship should be unique to the land rather than to the applicant and should be related to the topography, configuration of the lot or other characteristics of the land. The applicant or economic conditions should not be the cause of the difficulty.
The following policies will be considered by the Board of Adjustment before ruling on a variance:
Financial disadvantages to the property owner shall not constitute conclusive proof of unnecessary hardships within the purpose of zoning.
The Board does not possess the power to grant a zoning variance permitting the use of land or buildings that is not included as a use in the district involved.
In granting a variance, the Board may attach thereto any conditions and safeguards it deems necessary or desirable in furthering the purposes of this Chapter. Violation of any of these conditions or safeguards shall be deemed a violation of this Chapter.
The Board shall study the effect of such proposed buildings or use upon the character of the neighborhood, traffic conditions, public utilities and other matters pertaining to the general welfare.
[R.O. 2009 §156.265; CC 1981 §30-236.1; Ord. No. 88-249, 12-22-1988; Ord. No. 98-209, 5-15-1998; Ord. No. 04-119, 6-29-2004; Ord. No. 04-176, 8-4-2004]
No appeal, request or application under the provisions of Sections 400.1060 through 400.1110 to the Board of Adjustment shall be allowed on the same piece of property concerning the same provision of this Chapter and any other zoning ordinance of the City prior to the expiration of one (1) year from a ruling of the Board on any appeal, request or application to the Board. Notwithstanding the foregoing, upon the written consent of the Councilmember in whose ward the property is located, the one (1) year period may be reduced to sixty (60) days.
[R.O. 2009 §156.266; CC 1981 §30-237; Ord. No. 77-31, 7-5-1977; Ord. No. 98-209, 5-15-1998]
An appeal of any action, decision, ruling, judgment or order of the Board of Adjustment may be taken by any person or any taxpayer, officer, department, board or official of the City to the Circuit Court of St.Charles County.