City of Coldwater, MI
Branch County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
(a) 
A Zoning Board of Appeals consisting of five members and two alternates having the powers authorized by the Michigan Planning Enabling Act (P.A. 110 of 2006, as amended), except as such powers are modified in this chapter, is hereby established.
(b) 
The members and alternates shall be appointed by the Mayor with the consent of Council for three-year terms.
(c) 
The alternates shall be called upon on a rotating basis to sit as regular members in the absence of a regular member.
(d) 
An alternate also shall be called to serve for the purpose of the Zoning Board of Appeals reaching a decision on a particular case, question or matter in which a regular member has abstained for reasons of conflict of interest, in which event the alternate shall serve in the case, question or matter until a final decision has been made.
(e) 
When serving as a regular member pursuant to division (c) or (d) hereof, an alternate shall have the same voting rights as a regular member, and shall be deemed a member for purposes of Section 1264.03(c).
(f) 
One of the members of the Zoning Board of Appeals may be a member of the Planning Commission with appointment coinciding with Planning Commission term, and one member of the Zoning Board of Appeals that, if desired, may be a member of the City Council with appointment coinciding with City Council term.
(g) 
If appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals, a member from the City Council cannot chair the Zoning Board of Appeals.
(h) 
An employee or contractor of the City may not serve as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall elect from its membership a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and such other officers, as it may deem necessary.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
(a) 
The Board shall adopt rules and regulations. Copies of such regulations shall be made available to the public at the office of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
(b) 
Meetings of the Zoning Board of Appeals shall be held at such times as the Zoning Board of Appeals may determine. The time of regular meetings shall be specified in the rules and regulations. There shall be a fixed place of meeting and all hearings shall be open to the public.
(c) 
The presence of three members shall constitute a quorum. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall act by resolution. The concurring vote of three members of said Zoning Board of Appeals shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of the Zoning Administrator or to decide in favor of the applicant on any matter upon which it is required to pass by this Zoning Code, or to grant variances from the requirements of this Zoning Code, provided, however, that the granting of use variances, where permitted pursuant to Section 1264.04(e), shall require a concurring vote of four members of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
(d) 
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the action of the Zoning Board of Appeals and the vote of each member upon each 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 filed promptly in the office of the City Clerk/Assessor and shall be a public record.
(e) 
The Zoning Board of Appeals may call on any other departments for assistance in the performance of its duties, and it shall be the duty of such other departments to render such assistance to the Zoning Board of Appeals as may be reasonably required.
(f) 
A member of the Zoning Board of Appeals may be removed by City Council for misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance in office upon written charges and after public hearing. A member shall disqualify himself or herself from a vote in which the member has a conflict of interest. Failure of a member to disqualify himself or herself from a vote in which the member has a conflict of interest constitutes malfeasance in office.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
(a) 
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall perform its duties and exercise its powers as provided in the Michigan Planning Enabling Act (P.A. 110 of 2006, as amended), so that the objectives of this Code shall be attained, the public health, safety and welfare, shall be secured, and substantial justice done.
(b) 
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall hear and decide, as provided herein, on all questions and decisions regarding the following:
(1) 
Interpretation of the official City Zoning Map, including the interpretation of the location of zoning district boundaries when in doubt.
(2) 
The interpretation of the language of this Zoning Code when its meaning is unclear, or when there is uncertainty as to whether the language applies to a particular situation.
(3) 
Requests for appeals from any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative body or official charged with the enforcement of this Zoning Code.
(4) 
Requests for variances from any adopted dimensional or numerical standard or requirement contained in this Zoning Code.
(5) 
The hearing and determination of questions at issue regarding the continued use, change or expansion of nonconforming uses, structures or lots.
(c) 
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall not change the zoning district classification of any property or make any change in the terms of this Zoning Code and shall not take any action which would, as a result, make what otherwise is required to be changed in or in any way negate any provision of this Code as it is intended to apply generally.
(d) 
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall not have authority to grant variances from the decisions of the Planning Commission or City Council regarding special use or planned development projects.
(e) 
Notwithstanding the authority granted under the Michigan Planning Enabling Act (P.A. 110 of 2006, as amended), the Zoning Board of Appeals is, under the terms of this Zoning Code, without authority to grant land use variances unless such variance is brought forth as an appeal from one or more of the provisions contained in Chapter 1298 (Nonconforming Uses).
(f) 
A member of the Zoning Board of Appeals who is also a member of the Planning Commission or the City Council shall not participate in a public hearing or vote on the same matter that the member voted on as a member of the Planning Commission or the City Council. However, the member may consider and vote on other unrelated matters involving the same property.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
No variance from the provisions of this Zoning Code shall be authorized by the Zoning Board of Appeals unless the appellant demonstrates the existence of a practical difficulty and that the Zoning Board of Appeals finds from reasonable evidence that all of the following conditions exist:
(a) 
That special conditions and circumstances exist which are peculiar to the land, land use, structure or building in the same zoning district so as to present such a unique situation that a precedent will not be established for other properties in the district to also ask the same or similar change through the zoning appeal procedure.
(b) 
Such variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right similar to that possessed by other properties in the same zoning district and in the vicinity. The possibility of increased financial return shall not of itself be deemed sufficient to warrant a variance.
(c) 
The authorization of such variance will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property and will not naturally impair the intent and purpose of this Zoning Code or the public interest.
(d) 
That granting of the variance requested will not confer on the applicant any special privilege that is denied by the provisions of this Zoning Code to other lands, structures or buildings in the same zoning district.
(e) 
That the reasons set forth in the application for the variance justify the granting of the variance and the variance is the minimum variance that will make possible the reasonable use of the land, building or structure in the zoning district in which it is located.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
In authorizing a variance or exception, the Zoning Board of Appeals may, in addition to the specific conditions of approval called for in this Zoning Code attach thereto such other conditions regarding the location, character, landscaping or treatment reasonably necessary to the furtherance of the intent and spirit of this Zoning Code and the protection of the public interest.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
The following procedure shall be required:
(a) 
An appeal for variance from any ruling of the Zoning Administrator or other administrative officer administering any portion of this Zoning Code may be taken by any person or any governmental department aggrieved.
(b) 
An application for special exceptions authorized by this Zoning Code may be taken by any person or governmental department affected.
(c) 
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall not consider any application or appeal without the payment by the applicant or appellant Zoning Administrator of a fee as determined by Council resolution. Such application or appeal shall be filed with the Zoning Administrator who shall transmit the same, together with all plans, specifications and other papers pertaining to the application or appeal, to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
(d) 
When an application or appeal has been filed in proper form and with the required data, the Zoning Administrator shall immediately place the said application or appeal upon the calendar for hearing in the manner described in Section 1262.08 of this Zoning Code. Any party may appear at such hearings in person or by agent or by attorney.
(e) 
Upon the day for hearing any application or appeal, the Zoning Board of Appeals may adjourn the hearing in order to permit the obtaining of additional information, or to cause such further notice as it deems proper to be served upon such other property owners as it decides may be interested in said application or appeal. In the case of an adjourned hearing, persons previously notified and persons already heard need not be notified of the time of resumption of said hearing unless the Zoning Board of Appeals so decides.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall decide all applications and appeals within 30 days after the final hearing thereon. A copy of the Zoning Board of Appeal's decision shall be transmitted to the applicant or appellant and to the Zoning Administrator. Such decision shall be binding upon the Zoning Administrator and observed by him or her, and he or she shall incorporate the terms and conditions of the same in the event a building permit is required by the Building Inspector. A decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals shall not become final until the expiration of five days from the date that such decision is made, unless the Zoning Board of Appeals shall find the immediate effect of such decision is necessary for the preservation of property or personal rights and shall so certify on the record. The minutes of each meeting shall contain the reasons for the board's decision.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
An appeal shall stay all proceedings in the furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the Zoning Administrator certifies to the Zoning Board of Appeals after notice of appeal shall have been filed with him or her, that by reason of fact stated in the certificate, a stay would, in his or her opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property. In such case, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order which may, on due cause shown, be granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals or by the Circuit Court on application, after notice to the Zoning Administrator.