Board of Adjustment

Section 15.3. - Board of Adjustment. 

15.3.1 Establishment of the Board of Adjustment.

A.  The Town of Angier Zoning Board of Adjustment is hereby established. The word "board" when used in this section shall be construed to mean the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Membership on the Board shall include the seven members. Five of the members shall consist of the Angier Town Board of Commissioners. These members shall be appointed to three-year, two-year, or one-year terms depending on the remainder of the term of that member’s seat on the Board of Commissioners (whichever is largest). The remaining two members shall be appointed by the Harnett County Board of Commissioners to represent the extraterritorial jurisdiction. In the event the Board of County Commissioners fails to make their appointments within 90 days after receipt of a resolution from the Angier Town Board, requesting that such appointments be made, the Town Board may thereupon make such appointments. The two members appointed by the Board of County Commissioners shall be residents of the territory surrounding the corporate limits of the Town of Angier within the extraterritorial area.

B.  All meetings of the Board shall be held at a regular place and shall be open to the public. The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings in a book maintained for that purpose only, showing the vote of each member upon each question, or if absent or failing to vote, an indication of such fact; and final disposition of appeals shall be by recorded resolution indicating the reasons of the Board therefore, all of which shall be a public record. No final action shall be taken on any matter unless a quorum is present.

15.3.2 Powers and duties. The Board of Adjustment shall have the following powers and duties:

15.3.2.1 Appeal of the administrator. To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by administration in the enforcement of this ordinance.

A.  An appeal from the decision of the administrator may be taken to the Board of Adjustment by any person who has standing under G.S. 160A-393(d). Such appeal shall be taken within 30 days from receipt of the written decision of the administrator by filing a notice of appeal with the Town Clerk and specifying the grounds thereof. The office to whom the appeal is taken shall forthwith transmit to the Board all papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.

B.  An appeal stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the administrator certifies to the Board after the notice of appeal shall have been filed with him by reasons of fact stated in the certificate, a stay would in his opinion cause imminent peril to life or property or that because the violation charged is transitory in nature a stay would seriously interfere with enforcement of this ordinance. In such case proceedings shall not be stayed except by a restraining order, which may be granted by the Board or by a court of record on application of notice to the administrator and on due cause shown.

15.3.2.2 Variances. To authorize upon appeal in specific cases such variances from the terms of the ordinance as will not be contrary to the public interest where, owing to special conditions a literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance will, in an individual case, result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship, so that the spirit of the ordinance shall be observed, public safety and welfare secured, and substantial justice done. An application for a variance shall be submitted to the Board of Adjustment by filing a copy of the application with the Town Clerk. The applicant may submit reports, arguments, proposed findings or other documents along with the application. Upon submittal of a variance application, no enforcement action shall by taken by Staff until a decision is made by the Board of Adjustment.

The existence of a nonconforming use of neighboring land, buildings, or structures in the same district or of permitted or nonconforming uses in either districts shall not constitute a reason for the requested variances. No change in permitted uses may be authorized by variance. Appropriate conditions may be imposed on any variance, provided that the conditions are reasonably related to the variance. The concurring vote of four-fifths of the board shall be necessary to grant a variance.

Such variances may be granted in such individual case of unnecessary hardship only upon findings by the Board of Adjustment after a public hearing that the following conditions exist:

A.      Unnecessary hardship would result from the strict application of the ordinance.

B.      The hardship results from conditions that are peculiar to the property, such as location, size, or topography. Hardships resulting from personal circumstances, as well as hardships resulting from conditions that are common to the neighborhood or the general public, may not be the basis for granting a variance.

C.      The hardship did not result from actions taken by the applicant or the property owner. The act of purchasing property with knowledge that circumstances exist that may justify the granting of a variance shall not be regarded as a self-created hardship.

D.      The requested variance is consistent with the spirit, purpose, and intent of the ordinance, such that public safety is secured, and substantial justice is achieved.

15.3.2.3 Special use permits. The development and execution of this ordinance is based on the division of the Town of Anger into districts within which the use of land and buildings and the bulk and location of buildings and structures in relation to the land are substantially uniform. Special uses may be established, under certain conditions and with the proper controls, in such as manner as to minimize any adverse effects. In granting approval of a special use permit, the Board of Adjustment shall impose such reasonable terms and conditions as it may deem necessary for the protection of the public health, general welfare, and public interest

Uses specified as a special use in Section 3.3 shall be permitted only upon the issuance of a special use permit by the Board of Adjustment. The owner or owners of all property included in the petition for a special use permit shall submit a complete application and a detailed site plan to the Planning Department.

The Board of Adjustment shall find that the following conditions exist prior to granting approval of a Special Use Permit application:

A.  The requested use will not impair the integrity or character of the surrounding or adjoining districts;

B.  The requested use will not be detrimental to the health, morals, or welfare;

C.  Adequate utilities, access streets, drainage, sanitation and/or other necessary facilities have been or are being provided;

D.  That adequate measures have been or will be taken to provide ingress and egress so designed as to minimize traffic congestion in the public streets; and

E.  That the special use shall, in all other respects, conform to the applicable regulations of the district in which it is located, except as such regulations may, in each instance, be modified by the Board of Adjustment.

Planning Staff will issue Special Use Permits upon approval by the Board of Adjustment. The permit is transferable with the sale of the property and will not expire unless a new development proposal or special use permit is approved for the subject property. The Board of Adjustment shall review any substantial change or increase in density or size of the approved site plan submitted as a part of the special use application. The Planning Director may approve minor modifications of the approved plans, provided that the changes do not substantially alter the original plan as approved, and the intent and objectives of the original approval are not deviated from.

15.3.2.4 Right of appeal. If a Land Use Permit is denied, then the applicant may appeal the action of the administrator to the Board of Adjustment; and that from the decision of the Board of Adjustment, recourse shall be had to courts as provided by law. Such appeal shall be made within 30 days of such written permit denial by submitting the appeal to the Town Clerk.

15.3.3 Hearing process.

A.  Appeals from the enforcement and interpretation of this ordinance and requests for variances, shall be filed with the administrator specifying the grounds thereof. The administrator shall transmit to the Board of Adjustment all applications and records pertaining to such appeals and variances.

B.  The Board of Adjustment shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal, give due notice thereof to the parties, and decide it within a reasonable time.

C.   A simple majority vote of the members of the board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision, or determination of the administrator or to decide in favor of the applicant any matter upon which it is required to pass under any ordinance, or to grant a variance from the provisions of this ordinance.

D.  Every decision of the Board shall be subject to review by the Harnett County Superior Court by proceedings in the nature of certiorari. Any appeal to the superior court shall be taken within 30 days after the decision of the Board is filed in the office of the zoning officer, or after a written copy thereof is delivered to the appellant by personal service or registered mail, whichever is later.

15.3.4 Administration of oaths. The chairman or any member temporarily acting as chairman is authorized to administer oaths to witnesses in any matter coming before the Board. All testimony before the Board must be under oath and recorded.

15.3.5 Fees for variances or appeals. The Board of Commissioners shall set a fee, payable to the Town of Angier, North Carolina, to cover the necessary administrative costs and advertising of each application for a variance or appeal. The set fee shall be posted in the current Rate and Fee Schedule of the Town.

15.3.6 Stay of proceedings.

A.  An appeal stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, with the following exceptions:

1.  The administrator certifies to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, after the notice of appeal shall have been filed with him, that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would, in his opinion, cause imminent peril to life and property; or

2.  The administrator certifies to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, after the notice of appeal shall have been filed with him, that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would, in his opinion, seriously interfere with enforcement of the ordinance because the violation charged is transitory in nature.

B.  In either case, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order which may be granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment or by a court of record on application, on notice to the administrator, and on due cause shown.