[HISTORY: Adopted by the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Harrison 3-1-76. Amendments noted where applicable.]
In adopting its Zoning Ordinance, Harrison has declared its intention that development should take place in an orderly manner. In creating a Zoning Board of Appeals with the power to permit variances from this ordinance, the community has taken the position that it shall consider the individual's need for leeway and relief and that it shall try to balance the common good with that individual need.
The procedures for conducting the business of this Board, outlined below, are intended to allow this balance to be struck in an efficient manner. All such procedures are intended to be in harmony and conformity with the dictates and limitations fixed by state and local ordinances and regulations. In the event of conflict with such ordinances and regulations, the latter shall be deemed to supersede these procedures.
Regular meetings of the Harrison Zoning Board of Appeals shall be held at 8:00 p.m. on the first Monday of each month in the Court Room of the Harrison Town House, unless a substitution of place and time for a given meeting is established by the Board at its prior meeting or, subsequently, by the Chairman of the Board. Such change shall only be made prior to the placement of the public advertisement (see § A238-6 below) and shall be specifically referred to in said advertisement.
In the event that fewer than three applications are pending before the Board as of the 15th of a given month, the Chairman may elect to cancel the next regularly scheduled meeting and to put such matters over to the following month's meeting. Such a postponement with respect to any given matter will be made no more than once.
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall consider such matters of original jurisdiction as the Zoning Ordinance assigns specifically for its hearing and determination.
In addition, an applicant for a building permit who has been denied such permit by the Building Inspector on account of a failure of the applicant to comply with any provision(s) of the Harrison Zoning Ordinance shall be eligible to come before the Zoning Board of Appeals, provided that:
An application to the Zoning Board of Appeals has been completely and properly filled out (including the applicant's statement of practical difficulties and unnecessary hardship, where applicable) and executed.
A fee of $50 for residential property and $100 for commercial property has been paid.
Surrounding property owners have been duly notified in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance and with these rules of procedure (§ A238-5).
Four sets of plans and any other evidentiary material have been submitted to the Board's Secretary. The Building Department's regulations as to whether any plans, surveys, etc., must be certified in order to be eligible for the granting of a building permit shall govern the Zoning Board's criterion for eligibility. The Zoning Board may, however, subsequently require certification of material not so required by the Building Department.
The applicant has indicated his or her phone number on the application.
The Chairman, in conformity with the applicable provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, shall decide which matters shall or shall not be placed on a given agenda.
Applications will be accepted no later than the 10th of the month prior to the Board's next regular monthly meeting.
The agenda for each monthly meeting shall be prepared by the Board's Secretary and mailed to each member of the Board no later than 14 days before the meeting.
The agenda shall list the various cases which are to come before the Board at the next meeting and shall include the following information with respect to each matter:
An assigned calendar number.
The name of the applicant.
The street address, block and lot number of each location and, if no address is available, a very brief indication of how it may be found, relative to such nearby landmarks as streets, existing buildings, etc.
A summary of the request being made of the Board, including how and why an existing nonconforming use fails to comply, why the application for a building permit has been denied and what relief is sought by applicant.
The agenda shall be accompanied by a copy of the completed and executed application to the Zoning Board of Appeals with respect to each new matter on the agenda.
The following procedures shall be followed with respect to notification of surrounding property owners:
After an application has been made, the Secretary shall obtain from the Assessor's office a list of surrounding property owners within the radius of the property in question as fixed by the Zoning Ordinance.
The Secretary shall prepare a letter of notice. The applicant shall reproduce a copy of said notice for each property owner on the list, affix addresses and certified mail postage to each envelope without sealing them and present stuffed envelopes, with addresses and postage affixed, to the Secretary for sealing and mailing. The cost of stationery, duplicating, addressing and postage shall be borne by the applicant.
The Secretary shall send notices by certified mail to all property owners on the list and shall retain copies of the receipts.
When the Secretary receives the copies of receipts signed by the notified property owners, such receipts shall become part of the record.
In accordance with the Zoning Ordinance, a public advertisement indicating all new items which are to come before the Board at its next meeting shall be placed by the Secretary in the official newspaper, as designated by resolution of the Town Village Board, at least eight but not more than 15 days before said meeting.
Adjournments of any given matter scheduled to come before the Board may be granted to an applicant requesting such an adjournment, provided that:
Any approval of an adjournment, either of an initial hearing or of a previously adjourned hearing, shall be subject to the requirement that all surrounding property owners be notified of the adjournment if a public announcement has already been made with respect to such matter. The expense of so notifying surrounding property owners shall be borne by the party requesting the adjournment, be it the applicant, an objector or the Zoning Board of Appeals. Such notification shall follow the procedure stated in § A238-5 above.
The adjournment shall be to the next regular meeting of the Board.
With respect to the initial hearing in a given matter for which a public advertisement appears, a request for adjournment shall be made before the public advertisement has appeared in the newspaper.
Approval for such adjournment has been obtained from the Chairman of the Board. Furthermore, the Chairman or the majority of the entire Board is hereby empowered to waive, at his or its discretion, the requirements of Subsections B and C above, provided that special circumstances warrant such an exception.
An applicant may withdraw his or her application, provided that:
The applicant shall notify, at his or her expense, all surrounding property owners if they have previously been notified of a meeting with respect to such matter. Such notification shall follow the procedure stated in § A238-5 above.
The fee of $25 is forfeited if such withdrawal is requested after the public advertisement has been placed.
Once an application has been filed, the applicant shall forfeit an administrative charge of $10 [to be retained by the Board from the initial filing fee of $25], if the request to withdraw is made prior to placement of the public advertisement.
A quorum shall be deemed present for the proper conduct of a public meeting if four members of the Board are in attendance.
In general, the procedures of each public meeting shall be as follows:
The meeting shall be called to order by the Chairman or Acting Chairman.
The various agenda matters shall be heard in the order in which their calendar numbers appear on the agenda, except that the Chairman or Acting Chairman may decide to hear a given matter out of order.
The applicant or the applicant's representative(s) shall be invited to make his, her or their presentation to the Board.
The members of the Board shall have an opportunity to question the applicant and/or his or her representative(s).
Persons attending the meeting to speak for or against the application shall be invited to address the Board, after identifying themselves by name and address.
Persons giving evidence relevant to a given matter shall be duly sworn by the Chairman or Acting Chairman.
The Board shall, as necessary, recess the public meeting for executive sessions or hold such executive sessions between public meetings to expedite its deliberations.
The Board shall vote publicly at each meeting with respect to each matter heard by it during that meeting.
No member of the Board shall sit in hearing or vote on any matter in which he is personally or financially interested. Said member shall not be counted by the Board in establishing the quorum for such matter.
No member shall vote on the determination of any matter requiring public hearing unless he has attended the public hearing thereon; however, where such member has familiarized himself with the record on such matter, he shall be qualified to vote.
Unless otherwise provided for by the Board or the Chairman or Acting Chairman, the official record of the Board's public meetings shall be the tape recording made during each meeting. Nevertheless, an applicant may request that stenographic notes be substituted for the tape as the official record, in which case the Chairman shall have the right to grant such a request, provided that:
The Board's decisions shall be made so as to follow and comply, as closely as it is in the Board's power to do so, with the letter and spirit of the Harrison Zoning Ordinance.
A decision shall require the concurring vote of four members of the Board.
As empowered so to do by the Zoning Ordinance, the Board shall attach such conditions to the granting of a variance as it deems reasonable and necessary in the circumstances. When appropriate, such conditions may be required to become covenants, running with the deed to the property under consideration.
Decisions shall be reached by the Board within 30 days after hearings on a given matter are closed.
Decisions rendered by the Board shall be filed with the Town Clerk's office by the Board's Secretary within 24 hours after the Board's decision is made.
When an application is denied, a new application with respect to the same matter may not be submitted for one year, unless, in the judgment of the Chairman, new pertinent facts are presented.
Upon motion initiated by any member and adopted by unanimous vote of the members present, but not less than a majority of all the members, the Board shall review at a rehearing any order, decision or determination of the Board not previously reviewed. Notice shall be given as upon an original hearing. Upon such rehearing and provided that it shall appear that no vested rights due to reliance on the original order, decision or determination will be prejudiced thereby, the Board may, upon the concurrence of all the members present, reverse, modify or annul its original order, decision or determination.
It shall be the policy of the Board to notify the Town Supervisor, the Building Inspector and the Town Attorney of any apparent violations of the Zoning Ordinance which may be brought to the Board's attention. Such notices shall be on Zoning Board of Appeals stationery and shall be signed by the Chairman on behalf of the Board.
It shall be the policy of the Board that no expenditure be approved on behalf of the Board or charged to the Board without the consent of the Chairman or, should such expenditure exceed $100, of a majority of the entire Board.
It shall be the policy of the Board that new stationery be ordered whenever a change in the makeup of the Board occurs. Such stationery shall list the names of each member of the Board.
It shall be the policy of the Board that no smoking be permitted at its public meetings.
These rules of procedure may be modified upon a motion made by any member of the Board, duly seconded and carried by the affirmative vote of four or more Board members.