Town of Fort Edward, NY
Washington County
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[Amended 6-27-1988 by L.L. No. 3-1988]
A. 
There is hereby established a Zoning Board of Appeals having the powers authorized under the Consolidated Laws of the State of New York. Said Board shall consist of five members appointed by the Town Board. Appointments shall be in accordance with the Consolidated Laws of the State of New York. An appointment to a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of a term shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term.
B. 
The Town Board shall appoint two alternate members of the Zoning Board to substitute for any regular member in the event of a conflict of interest or other factor such as illness, vacation, or other absences. The alternate member(s) shall be appointed by resolution of the Town Board for terms of three year(s). The Chairperson of the Zoning Board may designate an alternate member to substitute for a regular member when such regular member is unable to participate in an application or matter before the Zoning Board. When so designated, the alternate member shall possess all of the powers and responsibilities of such regular member. Such designation shall be entered into the minutes of the initial Zoning Board meeting at which the substitution is made. All provisions relating to Zoning Board member training and continuing education, attendance, conflict of interest, compensation, eligibility, vacancy in office, removal and service on other boards shall also apply to alternate members.
[Added 6-9-2003 by L.L. No. 3-2003]
A. 
Appointment of officers; meetings.
(1) 
The Town Board shall appoint a Chairman.
(2) 
The Zoning Board shall adopt rules and regulations consistent with law or ordinance.
(3) 
Meetings of the Zoning Board shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such other times as the Zoning Board may determine.
(4) 
The Chairman or, in his absence, the Acting Chairman may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses.
B. 
Hearings open to the public; records:
(1) 
Hearings of the Zoning Board shall be public.
(2) 
The Zoning Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the action of the Zoning Board 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 inspections and other official actions, all of which shall be a public record.
C. 
Quorum; voting.
[Amended 6-27-1988 by L.L. No. 3-1988; 3-14-2005 by L.L. No. 4-2005]
(1) 
The Zoning Board shall act by resolution.
(2) 
The concurring vote of a majority of the members of the Zoning Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement or decision or determination of the Zoning Administrator and/or Building Inspector or the Planning Board or to decide in favor of the applicant any matter upon which it is required to pass under this chapter or to grant any variation from the requirements of this chapter.
D. 
Public hearing; notice.
[Added 3-14-2005 by L.L. No. 4-2005]
(1) 
The Zoning Board shall conduct a public hearing on the appeal or other matter referred to it and shall give public notice of the hearing by publication one time in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town as follows:
(a) 
Each notice of hearing upon an application for building in the bed of a mapped street shall be published at least 10 days prior to the date of the public hearing; and
(b) 
Each notice of hearing upon any other application shall be published at least five days prior to the date of the public hearing.
(2) 
In addition, notices shall be mailed to all owners of property within 500 feet of the exterior boundary of the property for which the application is made at least five days prior to the date of the hearing.
E. 
Fees. A fee in the amount adopted by the Town Board pursuant to Town Code § 50-1 and listed on the Fee Schedule[1] shall be paid at the time an application is filed with the Zoning Board of Appeals.
[Added 6-13-2005 by L.L. No. 6-2005]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Fee Schedule is on file in the Town offices. See § 50-1.
[Amended 6-27-1988 by L.L. No. 3-1988; 3-14-2005 by L.L. No. 4-2005]
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall have the following powers and duties:
A. 
To hear and decide appeals. The Zoning Board may hear and decide appeals made pursuant to § 108-56 where it is alleged that error or misinterpretation in any order, requirement, decision, grant or refusal was made by the Zoning Administrator and/or Building Inspector or other administrative official in the carrying out or enforcement of the provisions of this chapter or any ordinance pursuant thereto. The Zoning Board may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination appealed from and shall make whatever order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination as in its opinion ought to have been made in the matter by the administrative official charged with the enforcement of the ordinance or local law and to that end shall have all the powers of the administrative official from whose order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination the appeal is taken.
B. 
To grant variances.
(1) 
Use variances.
(a) 
The Zoning Board, on appeal from the decision or determination of the Zoning Administrator and/or Building Inspector, shall have the power to grant use variances, as defined herein.
(b) 
No use variance shall be granted by the Zoning Board without a showing by the applicant that applicable zoning regulations and restrictions have caused unnecessary hardship. In order to prove unnecessary hardship, the applicant must demonstrate to the Zoning Board for each and every permitted use under the zoning regulations for the particular district where the property is located that the:
[1] 
Applicant cannot realize a reasonable return, and that the lack of return is substantial as demonstrated by competent financial evidence;
[2] 
Alleged hardship relating to the property in question is unique, and does not apply to a substantial portion of the district or neighborhood;
[3] 
Requested use variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood; and
[4] 
Alleged hardship has not been self-created.
(c) 
In the granting of use variances, the Zoning Board shall grant the minimum variance that it deems necessary and adequate to address the unnecessary hardship proven by the applicant, and at the same time preserve and protect the character of the neighborhood and the health, safety and welfare of the community.
(2) 
Area variances.
(a) 
The Zoning Board shall have the power, upon an appeal from a decision or determination of the Zoning Administrator and/or Building Inspector, to grant area variances as defined herein.
(b) 
In making its determination, the Zoning Board shall take into consideration the benefit to the applicant if the variance is granted as weighed against the detriment to the health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood or community by the variance. In making this determination the Board shall also consider whether:
[1] 
An undesirable change will be produced in the character of the neighborhood or a detriment to nearby properties will be created by the granting of the area variance;
[2] 
The benefit sought by the applicant can be achieved by some method, feasible for the applicant to pursue, other than an area variance;
[3] 
The requested area variance is substantial;
[4] 
The proposed variance will have an adverse effect or impact on the physical or environmental conditions in the neighborhood or district; and
[5] 
The alleged difficulty was self-created, which consideration shall be relevant to the decision of the Zoning Board, but shall not necessarily preclude the granting of the area variance.
(c) 
In granting area variances, the Zoning Board shall grant the minimum variance that it deems necessary and adequate and at the same time preserve and protect the character of the neighborhood and the health, safety and welfare of the community.
(3) 
Imposition of conditions. In granting both use variances and area variances, the Zoning Board shall have the authority to impose reasonable conditions and restrictions which are directly related to and incidental to the proposed use of the property. These conditions shall be consistent with the spirit and intent of the Zoning Ordinance and shall be imposed for the purpose of minimizing any adverse impact the variance may have on the neighborhood or community.
C. 
To hold public hearings as required and as may be permitted by this chapter.
D. 
To authorize the Zoning Administrator and/or Building Inspector to issue a zoning permit for a special use.
E. 
To permit building in the bed of mapped streets. After due notice and hearing as provided for in the Consolidated Laws of the State of New York and in accordance with the provisions set forth therein, the Zoning Board may grant a permit for a building in the bed of a mapped street or highway shown upon the Official Map or Plan of the Town of Fort Edward, as it may be adopted and from time to time amended.
F. 
To authorize temporary uses. After due notice and hearing, the Zoning Board may grant the temporary occupancy and use of a structure in any district for a purpose that does not conform to the district requirements, provided that the proposed occupancy and use are truly of a temporary nature and subject to any reasonable conditions and safeguards which the Zoning Board may impose to minimize any injurious effect upon the neighborhood or to protect contiguous property. The approval of the Zoning Board and any permit based on that approval for temporary occupancy and use shall not be granted for a period of more than 12 months and shall not he renewable more than once, and then for a period of not more than 12 months.