[Adopted as Ch. II, Art. 38; amended 1-13-1997 by Ord. No. 97-58]
The Board of Appeals is hereby authorized to hear appeals from any order, requirement, decision, determination or interpretation of the Code Enforcement Officer or other officer or entity specified by an ordinance of the City of Bangor, and the Board of Appeals is authorized to grant variance requests from any ordinance of the City of Bangor which specifically permits variances.
In accordance with 30-A M.R.S.A. § 2691 and amendments thereto, a Board of Appeals is hereby established in the City of Bangor. The word "Board," when used in this article, shall be construed to mean the Board of Appeals, and the word "member," when used in this article, shall be construed to include associate members of the Board of Appeals.
The Board of Appeals shall be appointed by the City Council and shall consist of five members and two associate members, all of whom shall be legal residents of the City of Bangor. Initially, two members shall serve five-year terms, two members shall serve four-year terms (one of whom shall be an associate member) and three members shall serve three-year terms (one of whom shall be an associate member). Thereafter, members shall serve staggered three-year terms or until their successors are duly appointed.
Neither a municipal officer nor his/her spouse may serve as a member of the Board of Appeals.
Any question of whether a particular issue involves a conflict of interest sufficient to disqualify a member from voting thereon shall be decided by a majority of members there present, except the member who is being challenged.
The Board shall annually elect a Chair and Secretary from its membership.
The Chair of the Board of Appeals shall call meetings of the Board, maintain the orderly conduct of business and designate which associate member shall serve in the stead of an absent member.
The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the proceedings of the Board of Appeals, which shall show the vote of each upon each question. All minutes of the Board shall be a public record.
A quorum shall consist of four members.
In addition to the members, a technical advisor may be appointed to render technical advice to the Board as necessary. The technical advisor shall be a licensed professional engineer or architect, or a builder or superintendent of building construction, with at least 10 years' experience, five years of which the technical advisor shall have been in responsible charge of work. The technical advisor should also have access to or be a licensed structural or civil engineer with architectural engineering experience.
The City Council may dismiss a member of the Board for cause before the member's term expires.
Administrative appeals from any order, requirement, decision, determination or interpretation of the Code Enforcement Officer, or other officer or entity specified by an ordinance, and variance appeals from the laws and ordinances of the City of Bangor, where expressly permitted by an ordinance, shall be made pursuant to the following procedures:
The Board shall follow any procedures specifically set forth in the ordinance which forms the basis of the appeal. If the procedures set forth in an ordinance differ from the procedures set forth in this section, the Board shall follow the procedures set forth in the ordinance to the extent that the procedures are inconsistent.
Persons appealing any order, requirement, decision, determination or interpretation of the Code Enforcement Officer, or other officer or entity specified by an ordinance, shall first file with the Code Enforcement Officer a completed appeal application form and an application processing fee in such amount as may be established from time to time by the City Council by Council order. The appeal application form shall specifically set forth the grounds which form the basis for the appeal.
The Board shall have the authority to grant variances only as specifically provided by an ordinance. If an ordinance permits variances, a party requesting a variance shall check the box marked "variance" on the appeals form and follow the procedures as for an appeal, as set forth in this section.
Appeals must be filed and the required application processing fee paid within 30 days after the decision to be appealed.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall immediately refer the appeal, together with all materials relative thereto, to the Chair of the Board for consideration by the Board as provided herein. Before taking any action on the appeal, the Board of Appeals shall hold a public hearing within 60 days of the date of the application. The Board shall notify, by United States Mail, the applicant, the owners of all abutting property and owners of properties within 100 feet of the exterior boundaries of the property in question, at least 10 days in advance of the hearing, of the nature of the appeal and the time and place of the public hearing, in accordance with the following:
The owners of the property shall be considered to be those against whom taxes are assessed. Failure of any person owning property within said 100 feet to receive notice of said public hearing shall not necessitate another hearing or invalidate any action by the Board of Appeals.
The Board shall notify the Code Enforcement Officer, Planning Officer, City Council and the Planning Board, at least 10 days in advance, of the time and place of the hearing and shall publish notice of the hearing at least 10 days in advance in a newspaper of general circulation in the area.
At any hearing, a party may be represented by an agent or an attorney. A hearing shall not be continued to another time except for good cause.
The Code Enforcement Officer, or his/her designated agent, shall attend all hearings and shall present to the Board of Appeals all plans, photographs or other materials he/she deems appropriate for an understanding of the appeal.
The appellant's case shall be heard first. To maintain orderly procedure, each side shall proceed without interruption. Questions may be asked through the Chair. All persons at the hearing shall abide by the order of the Chair.
Within 20 days of the public hearing, the Board of Appeals shall reach a decision on the requested appeal. Notice of any decision must be mailed or hand delivered to the appellant, the appellant's representative or agent, the Planning Division and the City Council within seven days of the Board's decision. Failure of the Board to render a decision within 20 days of the hearing will result in a denial of the appeal, unless the appellant agrees to an extension of the twenty-day period.
[Amended 4-27-2015 by Ord. No. 15-136]
Upon notification of the decision of the Board of Appeals, the Code Enforcement Officer shall take all necessary action as instructed by said Board.
The Board shall apply the standard of review specifically set forth in the ordinance from which the appeal is taken. If an ordinance does not specifically set forth a different standard of review, the Board may interpret the provisions of the ordinance which forms the basis of the appeal.
The Board may modify or reverse the action or determination from which the appeal was taken by the Board by a concurring vote of at least four of its members.
Appeals to Superior Court. Further appeals may be taken from any action of the Board of Appeals by any party, including the City of Bangor, to the Superior Court in accordance with Rule 80B of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure.
[Amended 9-23-2002 by Ord. No. 02-342]