[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Board of Trustees of the Township of Lawrence 4-12-2018 of the 2005 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and cited as the Lawrence Township "Construction Board of Appeals Ordinance."
The Township of Lawrence is a governmental subdivision for the purposes of the Still-DeRossett-Hale Single State Construction Code Act. Prior to the enactment of this chapter, the Township's Construction Board of Appeals operated under default rules under said Act. This chapter is adopted for the purpose of effecting all of the functions described in Act 230 of 1972, to allow for modifications, and to give notice to the citizens of the Township.
Editor's Note: See MCLA § 125.1501 et seq.
The Township of Lawrence hereby establishes a Construction Board of Appeals (also known as the "CBA"). The CBA shall consist of three to five members who shall be appointed by the Lawrence Township Supervisor. Each CBA member shall be qualified by experience or training to perform the duties necessary to determine the appropriateness of questions brought before the CBA. The CBA shall consist of members who are not employees of the governmental subdivision or the agency enforcing the code. See R 408.30514 (citing R 112.3).
Construction Board of Appeals members shall be appointed for four-year terms. A person may serve on the Board of Appeals of more than one governmental subdivision.
The Board of Trustees of Lawrence Township may remove a member of the CBA for misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance in office upon written charges and after a public hearing.
The CBA members may be compensated for their services and reimbursed for their expenses as provided by the Township Board.
If the Township or its designated agent refuses to grant an application for a building permit, or makes any other decision pursuant or related to the Act or Building Code, an interested person, or the person's authorized agent, may appeal, in writing, to the CBA. All such appeals shall be in writing, shall contain a detailed statement of the reasons why the appeal should be granted and shall be signed by the applicant or the applicant's authorized agent. The Township may provide a form for use in appeals if it chooses.
All appeals shall be accompanied by a fee set by the Township. Applicants shall pay all expenses incurred by the Township in the appeal process, including, in part, inspection fees, engineering fees, attorney fees and all out-of-pocket expenses.
The CBA shall conduct a public hearing, hear the appeal and render and file its decision with a statement of reasons for the decision with the enforcing agency from whom the appeal was taken not more than 30 days after submission of the appeal. An appeal from the CBA must be filed with the State Construction Commission within 10 business days after the filing of the decision with the enforcing agency. Failure by the CBA to hear an appeal and file a decision within the aforementioned 30 days is a denial of the appeal for purposes of authorizing the institution of an appeal to the State Construction Commission. The applicant must be served before the decision is filed with enforcing agency.
After a public hearing, the CBA may grant a specific variance to a substantive requirement of the Building Code if the literal application of the substantive requirement would result in an exceptional, practical difficulty to the applicant, and if both of the following requirements are satisfied:
The performance of the particular item or part of the building or structure with respect to which the variance is granted shall be adequate for its intended use and shall not substantially deviate from performance required by the code of that particular item or part for the health, safety and welfare of the public; and
The specific condition justifying the variance shall be neither so general nor recurrent in nature as to make an amendment of the code with respect to the condition reasonably practical or desirable. No variance shall be granted which is greater than the minimum variance required to alleviate the exceptional, practical difficulty.
The CBA's decision may include, in writing, any condition with the grant of any variance that the CBA judges to be necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. The breach of any such condition shall automatically invalidate the variance and any permit, license and certificate granted on the basis of the condition.
Pursuant to MCLA § 125.1514(2), the Township may from time to time, by resolution, grant its CBA additional powers or duties and establish procedures to be followed, insofar as the powers, duties, and procedures do not conflict with this act.
The business which the CBA performs shall be conducted at a public meeting of the CBA held in compliance with Act No. 267 of the Public Acts of 1976. Public notice of the time, date, and place of the meeting shall be given in the manner required by Act No. 267 of the Public Acts of 1976.
Editor's Note: See MCLA § 15.261 et seq.
A record of decisions made by the CBA, properly indexed, and any other writing prepared, owned or used in the performance of an official function shall be made available to the public in compliance with Act No. 442 of the Public Acts of 1976, including but not limited to the following: notices, pleadings, motions, and intermediate rulings; questions and offers of proof, objections, and rulings thereon; evidence presented; matters officially noticed, except matters so obvious that a statement of them would serve no useful purpose, i.e., Lansing is in Michigan; findings and exceptions; decisions and reasons for the decisions.
Editor's Note: See MCLA § 15.231 et seq.
This chapter shall remain in effect until repealed or modified by the Township Board.
The various sections and provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to be severable, and should any section or provision of this chapter be declared by any court or competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or invalid, the same shall not affect the validity of the chapter as a whole or any section or provision of this chapter other than the section or provision so declared to be unconstitutional or invalid.
This chapter shall become effective upon publication. Any existing ordinance or portion of an ordinance in conflict with this chapter is repealed to the extent of such conflict.