[CC 1996 §400.010; CC 1981 §400.010; Ord. No. 379 §27.25, 7-21-1975]
The Board of Adjustment is hereby established and shall consist of five (5) members who shall be residents appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council. The term of office of the members of the Board of Adjustment shall be for five (5) years and until their successors have been appointed and qualified. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term only. All members shall be removable for cause by the appointing authority upon written charges and after public hearings.
[CC 1996 §400.020; CC 1981 §400.020; Ord. No. 379 §27.25, 7-21-1975]
The Board of Adjustment shall elect its own Chairman and Vice Chairman who shall serve for one (1) year. The Board shall adopt from time to time such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this Chapter.
[CC 1996 §400.030; CC 1981 §400.030; Ord. No. 379 §27.25, 7-21-1975]
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. The Chairman or, in his/her absence, the Vice Chairman may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All meetings of the Board shall be open to the public. The Board 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 Board of Adjustment and shall be a public record. All testimony, objections thereto and rulings thereon shall be taken down by a reporter employed by the Board for that purpose.
[CC 1996 §400.040; CC 1981 §400.040; Ord. No. 379 §27.25, 7-21-1975]
Appeals to the Board of Adjustment may be taken by any person aggrieved or any neighborhood organization as defined in Section 32.105, RSMo., or by any officer, department, board or bureau of the City affected by any decision of the Building Commissioner. Such appeal shall be taken within thirty (30) days' time by filing with the City Clerk and with the Board of Adjustment a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof and accompanied by a one hundred twenty dollar ($120.00) fee.
The City Clerk shall forthwith transmit to the Board of Adjustment all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from is taken.
An appeal stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from unless the City Clerk 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 imminent peril to life or property. In such case, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by restraining order which may be granted by the Board of Adjustment or by a court of record on application or notice to the City Clerk and on due cause shown.
The Board of Adjustment shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal; give public notice thereof, as well as due notice to the parties in interest; and decide the appeal within a reasonable time. During the hearing, any party may appear in person, by agent or by attorney.
[CC 1996 §400.050; CC 1981 §400.050]
The Board of Adjustment shall have the following powers:
To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official in the enforcement of these Sections or of any ordinance adopted pursuant thereto.
To hear and decide all matters referred to it or upon which it is required to pass under such ordinance.
In passing upon appeals, where there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship in the way of carrying out the strict letter of such ordinance, to vary or modify the application of any of the regulations or provisions of such ordinance relating to the construction or alteration of buildings or structures or the use of land so that the spirit of the ordinance shall be observed, public safety and welfare secured and substantial justice done.
In exercising the above mentioned powers such Board may, in conformity with the provisions of this Chapter, reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and may make such order, requirement, 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. The concurring vote of four (4) members of the Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of any such administrative 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.
[Ord. No. 1131 §1, 5-19-2008]
Non-Use Variances. In presenting any application for a non-use variance, the burden of proof shall rest with the applicant to clearly establish that, as a practical matter, the property cannot be used for a permitted use without coming into conflict with restrictions of the Zoning Code. The following specific criteria shall be considered:
How substantial the variance is in relation to the requirement;
The potential effect of the increased population density produced on the available government facilities;
The potential to produce a substantial change in the character of the neighborhood or a substantial detriment to adjoining property owners;
The ability to obviate the difficulty by some method, feasible for the applicants to pursue, other than the variance; and
In view of the manner in which the difficulty arose and considering all of the above factors, whether the interests of justice would be served by granting the variance.
Use Variances. In presenting any application for a variance to authorize a use that the Zoning Code does not allow, the burden of proof shall rest with the applicant to:
Demonstrate an unnecessary hardship which is defined by the following criteria:
The land in question cannot yield a reasonable return if used only for a use permitted in the zone in which it is located;
The owner's plight is due to unique and not to general neighborhood considerations; and
The granting of the variance would not alter the essential character of the locality.
Prove that relief is necessary because of the unique character of the property;
Prove that the variance will not destroy the preservation of the Comprehensive Plan; and
Prove that granting the variance will result in substantial justice.
In presenting any application for a variance, the burden of proof shall rest with the applicant to prove that the harm complained of is not self inflicted.
[CC 1996 §400.060; CC 1981 §400.060; Ord. No. 379 §27.25, 7-21-1975]
Any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by any decision of the Board of Adjustment or any neighborhood organization as defined in Section 32.105, RSMo., representing such person or persons or any officer, department, board or bureau of the City may present to the Circuit Court of St. Louis County a duly verified petition, setting forth that such decision is illegal, in whole or in part, and specifying the grounds of 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.
Upon presentation of such petition, the court may allow a writ of certiorari directed to the Board to review such decision of the Board and shall prescribe therein the time within which a return thereto must be made and served upon the relator's attorney. Said time shall not be less than ten (10) days and may be extended by the court. The allowance of the writ shall not stay proceedings upon the decision appealed from. However, the court may, on application, on notice to the Board and on due cause shown, grant a restraining order.
The Board shall not be required to return the original papers acted upon by it, but it shall be sufficient to return certified or sworn copies thereof or of such portions thereof as may be called for by such writ. The verified return shall concisely set forth such other facts and material as may be pertinent to show the grounds of the decision appealed from.
If during the hearing it shall appear to the court that testimony is necessary for the proper disposition of the matter, it may take evidence or appoint a referee to take such evidence as it may direct and report the same to the court with his/her findings of fact and conclusions of law. Said evidence and evidence gathering shall constitute a part of the proceedings upon which the determination of the court shall be made. The court may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the decision brought up for review.
Costs shall not be allowed against the Board unless it shall appear to the court that it acted with gross negligence, in bad faith or with malice in making the decision appealed from.