[HISTORY: Adopted City of Norwalk Common Council: Article I, 5-14-1957; Article II, effective 10-16-1929, amended in its entirety 3-5-1981. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Pursuant to the provisions of that certain act entitled "An Act Concerning Zoning in Certain Cities and Towns," adopted by the Legislature of the State of Connecticut at its January session, 1923, and approved June 7, 1923, as amended, a Zoning Board of Appeals for the city shall be appointed, which Board shall consist of five members and, respectively, shall have and exercise all of the powers set forth in the act aforesaid, to be exercised, respectively, by the Board of Appeals.
Editor's Note: Opinions of the City of Norwalk Corporation Counsel made 11-12-1965 and 5-17-1977 indicate that CGS Section 3-5 places authority for appointing and providing for a Zoning Board of Appeals upon the chief executive officer of the city.
The Mayor, subject to the approval of the Common Council, shall appoint the members of the Board of Appeals, and each of such appointees shall qualify by taking the oath prescribed by the City Charter for appointive officers.
The first members of the Zoning Board of Appeals shall be appointed for terms of one, two, three, four and five years, respectively, in order of their appointment by the Council. Annually, after such first appointments, there shall be appointed one member of such Board for the term of five years. Each member of such Board shall continue to serve until his successor shall have been appointed and qualified. In the event that a vacancy shall occur, the Council shall appoint to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.
[Effective 10-16-1929; amended in its entirety 3-5-1981]
At the organization meeting of the Board to be held annually at 8:00 p.m. on the first Thursday in November, the Board shall elect from its membership a Chairman and a Secretary.
The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Board. During his absence or disability, the Board shall elect a Chairman pro tempore.
The Chairman, subject to these rules, shall decide all points of order or procedure unless otherwise directed by a majority of the Board in session at the time.
The Chairman shall designate the time for the members of the Board to make an inspection and, unless otherwise directed by a majority of the Board, shall appoint any committee that may be found necessary.
Subject to these rules and the direction of the Chairman, the Secretary shall conduct all official correspondence, compile the required records, maintain and keep in order the necessary files and indexes and supervise the clerical work of the Board.
Regular meetings shall be held at a time and place which the Board, from time to time, shall designate.
The Chairman and the Secretary shall file the schedule of regular meetings for the ensuing year with the City Clerk not later than the 31st day of January of each year.
Special meetings shall be held at the call of the Chairman or at the request of two members. Notice of such special meeting, showing time and place thereof, shall be posted in the office of the City Clerk not less than 24 hours prior to such special meeting.
All meetings of the Board shall be open to the public.
A quorum of the Board shall consist of three members.
Meetings shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order.
Applications for a variance of the Building Zone Regulations, special permits, appeals from the ruling of the Zoning Inspector or certificates of approval for motor vehicle licenses shall be on forms prescribed by the Board. The Board shall, with the concurrence of the Common Council make and alter from time to time a schedule of reasonable rates and fees for the processing of applications. The Board shall establish a schedule of proposed rates and fees and shall hold a public hearing thereon no less than seven and no more than 14 days from the date of notice of the time and place of such hearing, published in the form of a legal notice in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the city. Within 90 days of receipt by the City Clerk of notice of the action taken by the Board, subsequent to such public hearing, the Common Council shall act upon the fee schedule. If the Council takes no action within such 90 days, the rates and fees shall be deemed approved, and the City Clerk shall issue a notice so stating, which notice shall be maintained with the records of the Common Council. If the Council votes to disapprove all or a portion of the fee schedule, it may itself establish any such rates and fees or ask the Board to submit a revised fee schedule to the Common Council.
All applications shall include three copies of a plot plan of the property involved. Such plot plans shall be certified by a surveyor or engineer licensed by the State of Connecticut, except in those cases where the Zoning Inspector deems such plot plan or such certification not necessary.
The Zoning Inspector shall assign each completed application for a hearing immediately after receipt. If an application is incomplete, the Zoning Inspector shall so notify the applicant in writing. No incomplete application shall be scheduled for a hearing.
The Zoning Inspector shall notify the applicant of the date the application will be heard. Such notice shall be mailed at least five days before the date of the hearing.
At the hearing, the applicant shall present his case in person or by agent or attorney. After the applicant presents his case, those in favor of the application shall speak and then those opposed. The applicant may then rebut the opposition.
No application or petition will be considered if litigation concerning the matter is pending.
The concurring vote of four members of the Zoning Board of Appeals shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement or decision of the Zoning Inspector or to decide in favor of the applicant any Special Permit upon which it is required to pass under the Building Zone Regulations or to vary the application of the Building Zone Regulations.
When a matter has been denied by the Board, unless denied without prejudice, no new application concerning the same matter shall be heard by the Board for a period of six months after the decision of the Board, and then only if there are changed conditions. A written statement of such change shall be submitted by the applicant, and it must be approved by the Board before the application is scheduled for hearing.
Where a variance or Special Permit is granted, a permit for the work contemplated shall be secured within 180 days of the date of the action of the Board in granting the appeal, and the building or alteration, as the case may be, shall be commenced within one year of the date of the action granting the appeal. Upon failure to comply with these requirements, such approval shall be automatically rescinded. Extensions of any of these time limits may be granted at the discretion of the Board of Appeals upon its receipt, prior to the date such approval is rescinded, of a written request stating the reasons for granting this extension.
When a Special Permit, coastal area management or other approval must be obtained from the Planning and Zoning Commission after a variance has been granted, application for such approval must be made within 30 days after the grant of the variance. The time between the application for the Special Permit, coastal area management or other approval and the grant of such application shall not be counted in computing the one-hundred-eighty-day period to procure necessary permits or the one-year period to begin construction.
An appeal from any order, requirement or decision of the Zoning Inspector must be filed at the office of the Zoning Inspector, in writing, on forms prescribed by the Board, within 15 days of such order, requirement or decision.
After final disposition, applications shall be filed by the Zoning Inspector in such manner that they shall be accessible to the public at all reasonable hours.
Amendments to these rules of procedure may be made by the Board at any regular meeting, provided that notice of such amendment shall have been given in writing to each member of the Board at least three days prior to such meeting.
The suspension of any rule may be ordered at any meeting by unanimous vote.