Town of Tonawanda, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 215-103 Establishment; membership.

There is hereby established a Zoning Board of Appeals to consist of five members, to be appointed by the Town Board.

§ 215-104 Designation of Chairman.

The Town Board shall designate the Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

§ 215-105 Designation of Clerk.

The Town Clerk shall be Clerk of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

§ 215-106 Terms of office.

Of the members first appointed, one shall hold office for the term of one year, one for the term of two years, one for the term of three years, one for the term of four years and one for the term of five years after his appointment. Their successors shall be appointed for terms of five years from and after the expiration of the terms of their predecessors in office.

§ 215-107 Residency and property ownership requirements.

[Amended 4-19-2004 by L.L. No. 3-2004]
Every member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, at the time of his appointment and throughout his term of office, shall be a resident of the Town and the record owner of real property in the Town.

§ 215-108 Filling of vacancies.

[Amended 4-19-2004 by L.L. No. 3-2004]
If a vacancy shall occur in the Zoning Board of Appeals otherwise than by expiration of term, it shall be filled by the Town Board by appointment for the unexpired term. Removal of a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals from the district for which he shall have been appointed shall create a vacancy if he shall move outside of the territorial limits of the Town of Tonawanda.

§ 215-109 Removal from office.

The Town Board shall have the power to remove any member of the Zoning Board of Appeals for cause and after public hearing.

§ 215-109.1 Alternate members of Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board.

[Added 11-20-2000 by L.L. No. 4-2000]
A. 
From time to time, the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board of the Town of Tonawanda have experienced difficulty in securing a quorum necessary for the conducting of business due either to conflict of interest, absence, illness or inability of some members to attend meetings.
B. 
In order to alleviate that problem, the Town Board of the Town of Tonawanda deems that it is necessary to appoint additional and alternate board members to function as set forth below:
(1) 
Authorization to appoint. The Town Board is hereby authorized to appoint two additional and alternate members to both the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board for a term of two years. When sitting as a regular member, the additional and alternate members shall have the same qualifications, authority and power as a duly and regularly appointed member of the respective Board.
(2) 
Powers. The additional and alternate Board members shall sit as members of the respective Board, exercising full power as if they were regular members, when regular members on the Board are unable to attend, so as to make up a quorum for the Board to conduct business upon designation of the Board Chairman. When such an additional and alternate Board member(s) shall sit as a full member of the Board, the Town Clerk, or the Secretary of either Board, shall make an entry in the minutes of the Board meeting certifying that a regular member or members of the Board were unable to attend and that the alternate and additional member or members were sitting as a full member of the Board and giving the date, time, place and purpose of such meeting. The additional and alternate members shall receive the same compensation for attendance as regular Board members, whether in an official capacity or not.
(3) 
All provisions of state law relating to Zoning Board of Appeals or Planning Board member eligibility, vacancy in office, removal, compatibility of office and service on other boards, as well as any provision of a local law/local ordinance relating to training, continuing education, compensation and attendance, shall also apply to alternate members.
(4) 
Supersession of Town Law. This section, adopted pursuant to the provisions of § 10 of the New York State Municipal Home Rule Law, supersedes New York State Town Law § 271 and § 267 to the extent that said sections limit the number of board members, fail to provide for appointment of and substitution by alternate board members and prohibit new board members from taking part in the consideration of any matter for which an application was on file prior to the member's appointment. This section shall also supersede any inconsistent provision of state law enacted subsequent to adoption of this section.

§ 215-110 Meetings.

All meetings of the Zoning Board of Appeals shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such other times as such Board may determine. All meetings shall be open to the public.

§ 215-111 Powers of Chairman.

The Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, or in his absence the Acting Chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses.

§ 215-112 Records to be kept.

The Zoning Board of Appeals shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing a vote of each member upon every question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall also keep records of its examinations and other official actions.

§ 215-113 Filing of regulations and determinations.

[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
Every rule, regulation, every amendment or repeal thereof and every order, requirement, decision or determination of the Zoning Board of Appeals shall immediately be filed in the office of the Zoning Board of Appeals and in the office of the Code Enforcement Officer and shall be a public record.

§ 215-114 Quorum.

Three members of the Zoning Board of Appeals shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

§ 215-115 Powers of Board.

[Amended 11-20-2000 by L.L. No. 4-2000]
A. 
Such Zoning Board of Appeals shall hear and decide appeals from and review any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the Code Enforcement Officer, the Director of Community Development, or Planning Board. It shall also hear and decide all matters referred to it or upon which it is required to pass under this chapter. The concurring vote of a majority of the members of the Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of the Code Enforcement Officer or any other administrative official, or to decide in favor of the applicant any matter upon which it is required to pass under this chapter or to effect any variation in such chapter.
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007; 8-29-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
B. 
Within these powers, the Board of Appeals may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination appealed from and shall make such 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 such 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.
C. 
The Board of Appeals shall also have, on appeal from the decision or determination of the administrative official charged with enforcement, the power to grant use and/or area variances, including the power to impose reasonable conditions and restrictions.
D. 
Rehearing. A motion for the Zoning Board of Appeals to hold a rehearing to review any order, decision or determination of the Board not previously reheard may be made by any member of said Board. A unanimous vote of all members of the Board then present is required for such rehearing to occur. Such rehearing is subject to the same notice provisions as an original hearing. Upon such rehearing, the Board may reverse, modify or annul its original order, decision or determination upon the unanimous vote of all members then present, provided that the Board finds that the rights vested in persons acting in good faith in reliance upon the reheard order, decision or determination will not be prejudiced thereby.

§ 215-116 Appeals.

[Amended 11-20-2000 by L.L. No. 4-2000]
A. 
Appeals may be taken by any person aggrieved or by an officer, department, board or bureau of the Town by presentation to the Clerk of said Zoning Board of Appeals a petition accompanied by the sum of $100.
B. 
Such appeals shall be taken within 60 days after the filing in the Town Clerk's office of any order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination of the Code Enforcement Officer, the Director of Community Development, or by the Planning Board by filing a variance request with the Code Enforcement Officer or the Planning and Development Department. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall specify the grounds thereof and relief sought. The Code Enforcement Officer or Director of Community Development shall transmit to the Zoning Board of Appeals all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken. The Code Enforcement Officer or his assistants shall, within five days, notify any petitioner of the denial of a petition presented to the Building Department for a building permit on account of violation of the Zoning Local Law.
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007; 8-29-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
C. 
An appeal stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from unless the Code Enforcement Officer, after the notice of appeal shall have been filed with him, certifies to the Zoning Board of Appeals that, by reason of acts stated in the certificate, a stay would, in his opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property, in which case proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order which may be granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals, Town Board or by a court of record on application, on notice to the Code Enforcement Officer and on due cause shown.
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]

§ 215-117 Public hearings on appeals; notice; variances.

[Amended 11-20-2000 by L.L. No. 4-2000]
A. 
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal or other matters referred to it.
B. 
Notice. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall give due notice advising the public of the nature of the application, relief sought, development proposed, if any, and the time, date and place of the hearing. Public notice of said hearing shall be by publication in a paper of general circulation in the Town of Tonawanda at least five days prior to the date thereof. The cost of sending and/or publishing any notices relating to such appeal shall be borne by the appealing party and shall be paid to the Zoning Board of Appeals prior to the hearing of such appeal. At least five days before such hearing, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall also mail notices thereof, accompanied by a full statement of the matter under consideration, to the parties; to the regional state park commission having jurisdiction over any state park or parkway within 500 feet of the property affected by such appeal; and to the county, metropolitan or regional planning agency. Upon a hearing, the party may appear in person or by agent or attorney.
C. 
Time of decision. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall decide upon the appeal within 62 days after the conduct of such hearing. The time within which the Zoning Board of Appeals must render its decision may be extended by mutual consent of the applicant and said Board.