City of Union, MO
Franklin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 400.010 Establishment.

[R.O. 2012 §400.010]
There is hereby created and established a Planning and Zoning Commission for the City, to be known as the "Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Union". The word "Commission" when used herein shall be construed to mean the Planning and Zoning Commission. The Commission shall consist of ten (10) members, including the Mayor, if the Mayor chooses to be a member; a member of the Board of Aldermen selected by the Board, if the Board chooses to have a member serve on the Commission; and not more than ten (10) nor less than eight (8) citizens appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Aldermen. The term of each of the citizen members shall be for four (4) years, except that the terms of the citizen members first appointed shall be for varying periods so that succeeding terms will be staggered. Citizen members may be reappointed in the manner prescribed above. Any vacancy in a membership shall be filled for the unexpired term by appointment as aforesaid. The Board of Aldermen may, by majority vote, remove any citizen member for cause stated in writing and after public hearing.

Section 400.020 Organization and Operation.

[R.O. 2012 §400.020]
The Commission shall elect a Chairman and Secretary from among the citizen members. The term of Chairman and Secretary shall be for one (1) year with eligibility for reelection. Election of such officers shall be held in June of each year. The Commission shall hold regular meetings and special meetings as provided by rule, and shall adopt rules for the transaction of business, and keep a record of its proceedings. These records shall be public records. The Commission shall appoint the employees and staff necessary for its work, and may contract with City planners and other professional persons for the services that it requires. The City Administrator, the City Engineer or other department staff shall provide assistance to the Planning and Zoning Commission depending on the nature of the issue. The expenditures of the Commission, exclusive of grants and gifts, shall be within the amounts appropriated for the purpose by the Board of Aldermen. The City of Union shall provide a Clerk.

Section 400.030 Quorum.

[R.O. 2012 §400.030]
A quorum of the Planning and Zoning Commission shall consist of a majority of the members appointed thereto. No power shall be exercised by the Planning and Zoning Commission at any regular or special meeting unless there is a quorum. Any recommendation or decision made shall require a majority of the members present.

Section 400.040 Powers and Duties.

[R.O. 2012 §400.040]
The Commission shall perform all the functions and duties, and have such powers, as may be provided for in Sections 89.010 through 89.140 and 89.300 through 89.490, RSMo., as amended, or as may be provided further by ordinance.

Section 400.050 Establishment.

[R.O. 2012 §400.050]
A Board of Adjustment is hereby established. The Board of Adjustment shall consist of five (5) members, and three (3) alternates, and every effort shall be made to select members whom shall have knowledge of the community; who practice in the fields of architecture, landscaping, engineering, construction, real estate, and skill in reading blueprints and building specifications, all of whom shall be residents of the City of Union appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Aldermen. Three (3) alternate members may be appointed to serve in the absence of or the disqualification of the regular members.

Section 400.060 Term of Office.

[R.O. 2012 §400.060]
The term of office of the members of the Board of Adjustment shall be for five (5) years, excepting that the membership for the first Board appointed shall serve respectively for terms of 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 each. Members may be reappointed for subsequent terms in the manner prescribed. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term only. Members may be removed for cause upon written charges and after public hearing.

Section 400.070 Quorum.

[R.O. 2012 §400.070]
A. 
Four (4) members shall constitute a quorum.
B. 
In the event a regular member is absent or is disqualified, then one (1) or more alternates shall sit on the Board to insure that a quorum is present. Each member sitting on the Board for a given appeal, whether a regular or alternate, shall have one (1) vote. The concurring vote of four (4) members of the Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of any administration 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.

Section 400.080 Election of Officers.

[R.O. 2012 §400.080]
The Board of Adjustment shall elect its own Chairman and Vice Chairman who shall serve for one (1) year.

Section 400.090 Rules and Regulations.

[R.O. 2012 §400.090; Ord. No. 3921 §1, 1-12-2015]
A. 
The Board of Adjustment shall adopt from time to time such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary to carry out the provisions of this Chapter.
B. 
Board members shall not permit interviews, formal or informal, written or verbal, with any interested party, elected official, developer or applicant relative to a case before the Board. These ex-parte contacts are improper or give the appearance of impropriety, since all interested parties are not included.
C. 
No member or members of the Board shall permit interviews, formal or informal, written or verbal, to any petitioner or petitioners, nor to any representative of such party or parties or to any individuals, or group. Nor shall any Board member in any way pledge themselves to such a party or group or in any way express themselves to such party or group prior to a required public hearing or prior to a Board meeting at which time the matter will be considered. However, this shall not preclude the discussion by members of procedural or other matters unrelated to the merits of a proposal awaiting Board consideration.
D. 
No informal requests for advice on moot questions will be considered by the Board or any individual members of the Board.

Section 400.100 Meetings.

[R.O. 2012 §400.100; Ord. No. 3921 §1, 1-12-2015]
A. 
Meetings of the Board of Adjustment shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such other times as the Board of Adjustment may determine. Such Chairman, or in his/her absence, the Vice Chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All meetings of the Board of Adjustment shall be open to the public. The Board of Adjustment shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing 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 immediately filed in the office of the City Clerk and shall be a public record. All testimony, objections thereto, and rulings thereon, shall be taken down by a reporter employed for the purpose.
B. 
Parliamentary Procedure. In the absence of any provision in these rules to the contrary, the rules of procedure provided by Robert's Rules of Order shall prevail.
C. 
Order Of Business. The order of business at the hearing shall be as follows:
1. 
Call to order and roll call, with recording of members present.
2. 
Adoption of minutes from the previous meeting (or as may be corrected).
3. 
Communications.
4. 
Reading of the standards of Review.
5. 
Unfinished business.
6. 
New business.
7. 
Any other matters.
8. 
Adjournment.
D. 
Presentation Of Dockets. The appellant or applicant may appear in his/her own behalf or be represented by a duly authorized agent or attorney at said hearing. In the absence of any personal appearance or communication on behalf of the appellant or applicant, the Board may proceed to dispose of the matter on the record before it or may defer the matter to a subsequent meeting.
E. 
The order of business for each matter of new business shall be as follows:
1. 
Presentation by the City staff;
2. 
Presentation by the applicant or his/her representative.
a. 
For variances, special exceptions, or any other requests not specified herein but as provided for by law, the presentation shall be limited to a maximum of five (5) minutes for each applicant/representative speaker, but in no event shall the cumulative presentation total by applicant(s) or their representative(s) exceed fifteen (15) minutes.
b. 
For appeals of the decision of the City Zoning Enforcement Officer, the presentation shall be limited to a maximum of five (5) minutes for each applicant/representative speaker, but in no event shall the cumulative presentation total by applicant(s) or their representative(s) exceed fifteen (15) minutes.
3. 
Public comment.
a. 
For variances, special exceptions, or any other requests not specified herein but as provided for by law, comments by the public in support or in opposition shall be limited to a maximum of three (3) minutes.
b. 
For appeals of the decision of the City Zoning Enforcement Officer, comments by the public in support or in opposition shall be limited to a maximum of three (3) minutes.
4. 
Rebuttal by the applicant or his/her representative.
a. 
For variances, special exceptions, or any other requests not specified herein but as provided for by law, the rebuttal shall be limited to a cumulative maximum of three (3) minutes; and
b. 
For appeals of the decision of the City Zoning Enforcement Officer, the rebuttal shall be limited to a cumulative maximum of five (5) minutes.
F. 
The Board shall include in any motion authorizing or denying any variance or special exception one of the following:
1. 
If the motion concurs with the analysis in the staff report, the motion shall include a statement of concurrence with the staff's analysis;
2. 
If the motion is contrary to any or all of the staff's analysis in the staff report, the motion shall specifically state the rationale for determining compliance or non-compliance with the applicable standards of review.

Section 400.110 Powers, Duties and Procedures.

[R.O. 2012 §400.110; Ord. No. 3921 §1, 1-12-2015]
A. 
The Board of Adjustment shall have the following powers:
1. 
Powers relative to error. To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is an error in any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by the Building Inspector or Zoning Enforcement Official or other designated official in the enforcement of this Chapter.
2. 
Powers relative to variation. When, by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness, or shape of a specific piece of property at the time of adoption of this Chapter, or by reason of exceptional topographical conditions or other extraordinary or exceptional situation or condition of a specific piece of property, which condition is not generally prevalent in the neighborhood, the strict application of the area regulations would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties or exceptional and undue hardship upon the owner of such property, the Board of Adjustment shall be empowered to authorize upon an appeal relating to such property, a variation from such strict application so as to relieve such difficulty or hardship. The Board shall determine that the special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant or any other person who may have or had interest in the property and that strict adherence to the regulation for the property would result in a demonstrable hardship upon the owner, as distinguished from mere inconvenience.
3. 
Powers relative to exception. Upon appeal, the Board of Adjustment shall be empowered to permit the following exceptions:
a. 
To permit the extension of a district where the boundary line of a district divides a lot of record in single ownership so long as the division is not the result of activity performed by the applicant.
b. 
To permit the reconstruction of a non-conforming building which has been damaged by explosion, fire, act of God or the public enemy to the extent of more than fifty percent (50%) of its original structure when the Board of Adjustment finds some compelling public necessity requiring a continuance of the non-conforming use, but in no case shall such a building permit be issued if its primary function is to continue a monopoly.
c. 
To interpret the provisions of this Chapter where the street layout actually on the ground varies from the street layout as shown on the Zoning District Map.
d. 
To vary parking regulations wherever the character or use of the building is such as to make unnecessary the full provision of parking facilities or when such regulations would impose an unreasonable hardship upon the use of the lot, as contrasted with merely granting an advantage or a convenience.
4. 
Determinations. In exercising the above powers, the Board of Adjustment may reverse or affirm, wholly, or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision, or determination appealed from and make such order, requirements, 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. In considering all the appeals the Board of Adjustment shall, before making any finding in a specific case, first determine that the proposed change will not constitute a change in the District Map and will not impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent property, or increase congestion in public streets, or increase the danger of fire, or materially diminish or impair established property values within the surrounding area, or in any other respect impair the public health, safety, comfort, morals, and welfare of the City of Union. Every change granted or denied by the Board of Adjustment shall be accompanied by a written finding of fact based on sworn testimony and evidence, specifying the reason for granting or denying the variation. The decision of the Board of Adjustment shall be made a part of any building permit or zoning compliance certificate in which variation is allowed.
5. 
Termination of approval. In its order, the Board of Adjustment shall place into effect a timetable for the request and approval to be acted upon, and in the event no timetable is stated, the approval will terminate if not acted upon within twelve (12) months. If under unusual circumstances, the grantee may come back to the Board of Adjustment for extension of one (1) more year if needed and approved by the Board of Adjustment; however, no further extension shall be allowed.

Section 400.120 Appeals.

[R.O. 2012 §400.120; Ord. No. 3200 §1, 2-12-2007; Ord. No. 3921 §1, 1-12-2015]
A. 
Appeals to the Board of Adjustment may be taken by any person aggrieved, by any neighborhood organization as defined in Section 32.105, RSMo., representing such person, or by any officer, department, board or bureau of the municipality affected by any decision of the administrative officer. Every appeal or application made to the Board shall be made on the forms provided by the Board specifying the grounds thereof. The application form shall be accompanied by the data required in such form so as to supply all the information necessary for a clear understanding and intelligent action of the Board. An application is complete only upon receipt of all items required by the Board of Adjustment.
B. 
The staff may request from the appellant or applicant such additional information and data as may be required to fully advise the Board, whether such information and data is called for by the official forms or not. Any failure or refusal on the part of the appellant or applicant to furnish such additional information or data may be grounds for the denial or deferral of the appeal or application by the Board.
C. 
The action in each case must be based largely on the information so furnished. The condition(s) of the approval of the Board will be incorporated in the findings of fact and conclusions of law granting the approval. Such conditions may be required to be fulfilled prior to the final granting of the request.
D. 
Every appeal of the decision of the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall be taken within thirty (30) days from the date of refusal of a permit or date of order, ruling, decision or determination by the Zoning Enforcement Officer. Appeals or applications taken after thirty (30) days from the date aforesaid shall not be considered by the Board.
E. 
The City Clerk shall forthwith transmit to the Board all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.
F. 
An appeal stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the officer from whom the appeal is taken certifies to the Board of Adjustment after the notice of appeal shall have been filed with him/her that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would, in his/her opinion, cause immediate peril to life or property. In such case proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order which may be granted by the Board of Adjustment or by a court of record on application or notice to the officer from whom the appeal is taken and on due cause shown.
G. 
The Board of Adjustment shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal, give not less than fifteen (15) days' public notice thereof in a newspaper of general circulation, as well as due notice to the parties in interest no later than five (5) days preceding the hearing date, and decide the same within a reasonable time. Such a hearing shall be held within forty-five (45) days following the receipt of the application in correct form, and a decision on the disposition of the matter shall be given within a period of forty-five (45) days following the hearing date.
H. 
The party filing a notice of appeal to the Board of Adjustment shall pay at the time of filing a deposit of five hundred dollars ($500.00) toward all costs associated with the appeal. Costs associated with the appeal shall include notice and publication of hearing, all expenses incurred for the services of a court reporter and the production of the transcript of the hearing, fees of the attorney for the Board of Adjustment, all recording fees associated with the hearing and any other expenses incurred by the Board of Adjustment regarding the hearing. The deposit shall be paid to the City Clerk who shall give a receipt therefor, and a copy of the receipt shall be presented to the Board of Adjustment with the notice of appeal as evidence that the deposit has been paid. The deposit thus collected by the City Clerk shall be paid to the credit of the General Revenue Fund of the City of Union. At the conclusion of the proceedings, the City Clerk shall calculate the total amount of expenses associated with the appeal and shall direct that such amount be retained in the General Fund with any balance remaining refunded to the person who made the deposit. In the event the total of the expenses incurred exceed the deposit, the City Clerk shall cause a statement for the balance to be sent to the applicant requesting immediate reimbursement for the balance. The City Clerk shall take no action regarding the decision until the balance due has been paid.
I. 
Each application shall be filed in proper form with the required data, shall be numbered serially, docketed and placed upon the agenda of the Board. The docket numbers shall begin anew on January 1 of each year, and shall be hyphenated with the number of the year in which the said appeal or application is filed.
J. 
Incomplete applications will not be docketed. Items shall be heard in the order in which they appear on the agenda, except that an appeal or application may be advanced for hearing by order of the Board upon good cause shown.
K. 
Upon docketing of an application for variance, special exception or reasonable accommodation, the staff shall prepare staff reports and submit them to the Board.
L. 
The appellant or applicant may withdraw his appeal or application at any time before a decision of the Board, but if withdrawn after notice for public hearing, filing fees shall not be returned.
M. 
The procedure for amendment of a special exception or variance already approved, or a request for a change of conditions attached to an approval, shall be the same as for a new application

Section 400.130 Judicial Review.

[R.O. 2012 §400.130]
Any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by any decision of the Board of Adjustment, any neighborhood organization as defined in Section 32.105, RSMo., representing such person or persons or any officer, department, board or bureau of the municipality, may present to the Circuit Court of the County in which the property affected is located a petition, duly verified, setting forth that such decision is illegal, in whole or in part, specifying the grounds of the illegality. Such petition shall be presented to the court within thirty (30) days after the filing of the decision in the office of the Board.