City of Crystal Lake Park, MO
St. Louis County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 625, 12-7-2020[1]]
A. 
A Board of Adjustment is hereby established. The Board shall consist of five (5) regular members and three (3) alternate members, who shall serve in the absence or disqualification of the regular members. Regular members and alternate members shall be residents appointed by the Board of Alderpersons for terms of five (5) years each, except that the terms of the regular members shall be staggered, so that no more than one (1) regular member's term expires in any calendar year. The terms for alternates need not be staggered.
B. 
Vacancies shall be filled, by appointment for the unexpired term only. Regular members and alternate members may be removed for cause by the Board of Alderpersons upon written charges and after public hearing.
C. 
The Board shall elect its own Chair and Vice-Chair, who shall serve for terms of one (1) year. The Board may adopt from time to time such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary to carry out the provisions of this Chapter.
D. 
All members and officers shall serve until their successors are selected and qualified.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Ch. 420, Board of Adjustment, containing Sections 420.010 through 420.060, was repealed 12-7-2020 by Ord. No. 625.
[Ord. No. 625, 12-7-2020]
A. 
The Board shall also have jurisdiction in the following instances:
1. 
To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by the Code Official in the enforcement of this Title. In passing upon appeals, the Board may also grant an area or use variance as allowed by Section 420.040 hereof.
2. 
To grant relief from the strict application of the Zoning Ordinance to a specific piece of property by issuing an area or a use variance as allowed by Section 420.040 hereof.
3. 
To hear and decide all matters referred to it by the Board of Alderpersons or upon which it is required to pass under this Title.
[Ord. No. 625, 12-7-2020]
A. 
A petition seeking relief as permitted in Section 420.020 hereof may be taken to the Board by: (1) any aggrieved person; (2) any neighborhood organization (as defined in Section 32.105, RSMo.) representing such person, or (3) any officer, department, board or bureau of the City of Crystal Lake Park affected. Such petition shall be taken within thirty (30) days of the date on which the decision of the Code Official was known or should have been known to the petitioner. The petition shall be, in writing, filed with the Code Official and shall specify the grounds for seeking relief. The Code Official shall thereafter immediately transmit to the Board of Adjustment all the papers constituting the record upon which the petition is based.
B. 
A petition so filed stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action from which relief is sought, unless the Code Official certifies to the Board 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 except by a restraining order granted by the Board or by the St. Louis County Circuit Court on application copied to the Code Official and showing due cause for the requested stay.
[Ord. No. 625, 12-7-2020]
A. 
Area Variance. In considering any petition, the Board of Adjustment may issue an area variance to permit the building or enlargement of a structure when the specific enforcement of this Title would prohibit such construction. The Board may issue an area variance only upon findings that:
1. 
The property has a unique condition, one not prevalent in the same zoning district relating to: (a) the width, depth, or shape of the lot, (b) its topography, or (c) other exceptional circumstance not created by the owner or the applicant; and
2. 
As a result of such condition, strict application of this Title would result in a practical difficulty, as distinguished from a mere inconvenience, which would deprive a petitioner of the reasonable use of the property; and
3. 
The variance would not unreasonably affect adjacent properties; and
4. 
The variance would observe the spirit of this Title, secure public safety and welfare, and do substantial justice; and
5. 
The variance would satisfy the additional criteria of Subsection 420.040(D).
B. 
Use Variance. In considering any petition, the Board of Adjustment may issue a use variance to permit a use of property not otherwise permitted by this Title. The Board may issue a use variance only upon finding that:
1. 
The property has a unique condition, one not prevalent in the same zoning district relating to: (a) the width, depth, or shape of the lot, (b) its topography, or (c) other exceptional circumstance not created by the owner or the applicant; and
2. 
As a result of such condition, strict application of this Title would result in unnecessary hardship which would render the property not suitable for any permitted use, thus depriving the owner of all beneficial use of the property; and
3. 
The petitioner has sufficiently demonstrated unnecessary hardship through actual proof, and not mere conclusory or lay opinion, that the property has no permitted beneficial use; and
4. 
The variance would not unreasonably affect adjacent properties, nor alter the essential character of the locality, nor violate the City's land use plan, and would observe the spirit of this Title, secure public safety and welfare, and do substantial justice; and
5. 
The variance would satisfy the additional criteria of Subsection 420.040(D).
C. 
Variance Considerations. Before issuing any variance, the Board shall consider the following factors:
1. 
How substantial the variance is in relation to the requirement;
2. 
The potential effect of the increased population density produced on the available government facilities;
3. 
The potential to produce a substantial change in the character of the neighborhood or a substantial detriment to adjoining property owners;
4. 
The ability to obviate the difficulty by some method, feasible for the applicants to pursue, other than the variance; and
5. 
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.
D. 
Mandatory Variance Criteria. Before issuing any variance, the Board shall find that the variance will not:
1. 
Impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent property; or
2. 
Unreasonably increase the congestion in public streets; or
3. 
Increase the public danger of fire and safety; or
4. 
Diminish or impair established property value within the surrounding area; or
5. 
In any other respect impair the public health, safety, comfort, morals and welfare of the City of Crystal Lake Park.
[Ord. No. 625, 12-7-2020]
A. 
The Board shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of any appeal or variance application, give public notice thereof, as well as due notice to the parties in interest. Any party may appear in person or by agent or attorney.
B. 
The Chair, or in his/her absence the Vice-Chair, shall administer oaths to any person testifying at the hearing, and evidence shall be adduced and witnesses shall be subject to cross-examination as allowed by law. The Chair, or in his/her absence the Vice-Chair, may compel the attendance of witnesses. All hearings of the Board shall be open to the public.
C. 
The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the attendance of each member and the vote of each member, or failure to vote upon each question, and shall keep records of its examinations and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the Board and which shall be a public record. All testimony, objections thereto and rulings thereon shall be taken down by a reporter employed by the Board of that purpose, and the reporter shall produce a complete and accurate transcript of proceedings on the request of any party.
D. 
The Board shall render a written determination within a reasonable time of the hearing, and the concurring vote of four (4) members shall be necessary to: (1) reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of the Code Official, (2) grant any variance application, or (3) to decide in favor of the applicant on any other matter upon which it is required to pass.
E. 
In exercising the above-mentioned powers, the Board may: (i) reverse, affirm, or modify the appealed order, requirement, decision, or determination of the Code Official, and may make such order, requirement, decision, or determination as ought to be made, and (ii) impose conditions on the grant of any variance.
F. 
Every decision of the Board shall be accompanied by written findings of fact, based on sworn testimony and evidence, and conclusions of law specifying the reason for said decision.
[Ord. No. 625, 12-7-2020]
A. 
Any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by any decision of the Board of Adjustment may present to the Circuit Court of the County of St. Louis, Missouri, a petition duly verified 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.
B. 
Upon the presentation of such petition, the court may allow a writ of certiorari directed to the Board to review the Board's decision and shall prescribe therein the time within which a return must be made to the writ and served upon the relator's attorney, which 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 but the court may, on application, on notice to the Board and on due cause shown, grant a restraining order.
C. 
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 portion thereof as may be called for by such writ. The return shall concisely set forth such other facts as may be pertinent and material to show the grounds of the decision appealed from and shall be verified. If, upon the hearing, it shall appear to the court that testimony is necessary for the proper disposition of the matter, it may take additional 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, which shall constitute a part of the proceedings upon which a 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.
D. 
Cost shall not be allowed against the Board unless it shall appear to the court that it acted with gross negligence or in bad faith or with malice in making the decision appealed from.