Board of Zoning Appeals
Article 9, Section 3 of the Bedford Charter deals with the establishment of a Board of Zoning Appeals. It states that the Board shall be made up of 5 members that are chosen by majority vote of City Council from among the qualified electors of the City. No member of the Board of Zoning Appeals is permitted to hold other public office while serving on the Board.
The Board elects its own Chairperson and has the power to adopt rules and regulations for its own government. Meetings are held in most cases on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:00 in the evening in City Council chambers. All meetings of the Board of Zoning Appeals are considered public meetings, and are subject to the rules for such meetings. The agenda for such a meeting must be published per the requirements of Chapter 125.01 of the Codified Ordinances no less than 30 days and no more than 45 days prior to the meeting. As such, the application and all other submittals for a hearing before the Board must be submitted to the Building Department no later than the 15th day of the month prior to the month in which the hearing will take place. The Application for the Bedford Board of Zoning Appeals can be found on this website and must be accompanied by a check payable to the City of Bedford in the amount of $75.00.
The powers and duties of the Board, as found in Article 9, Section 4 of the City Charter, are many and varied. They include;
- To hear and decide appeals from any order, decision, requirement or determination made by administrative officials or agents on the application of ordinances governing zoning in the City;
- To hear and decide applications for special exceptions for any of the uses which, by ordinance, require approval of the Board of Zoning Appeals. In the granting of such a special exception, the Board of Zoning Appeals may prescribe such conditions and safeguards as it deems necessary, desirable or appropriate;
- To hear and decide all appeals made for variances in the application of ordinances governing zoning in the City. No variances in the strict application of the zoning ordinances of the City shall be granted by the Board unless it finds practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship that would deprive the owner of reasonable use of the land; that there are special circumstances or conditions that would deprive the owner of reasonable use of the land; that the granting of a variance is necessary for the reasonable use of the land and that the variance is the minimum variance that will accomplish this purpose; and that the granting of the variance is in harmony with the general intent of the ordinance of the City and will do no harm to the neighborhood or be otherwise detrimental to the public welfare.
Section 1919.04 of the Codified Ordinances list many other conditions and requirements that must be met or considered. Those who plan to pursue variances from the terms of the Codified Ordinances should read the section carefully. Generally speaking, monetary or financial concerns can never be grounds for the granting of a variance.
Every final order or decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals shall be certified by the Secretary of the Board of Council at its next regular meeting following the date of the order. Council, by motion, shall affirm, modify or reverse the order of the Board, or may refer the matter back to the Board for further proceedings. Not less than 5 affirmative votes of Council shall be necessary to reverse or modify the Board’s order, or to refer it back for further proceedings. If Council fails to act for 2 regular Council meetings following the date of the order, the order of the Board shall be final.
CURRENT BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEMBERS:
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS 3-year terms (4th Tuesday – Work Session TBD & Regular Meeting TBD) (meetings as needed)