Boards & Committees
The ZBA has 5 Regular and up to 3 Substitute (Ad Hoc) Members
FUNCTION OF THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) will hear an appeal from a decision by the Building and Code Enforcement Officer to deny a Building Permit.
Requests for variances will be heard. When requested, an interpretation of the Zoning Ordinance will be provided.
An application fee and an advertising fee must be paid before the ZBA will consider an appeal or a request for an interpretation.
A variance is an exception made by the ZBA to permit land to be used for a purpose or in a way that is not permitted by the Zoning Ordinance. There are two types of variances, use and area. The granting of each type is subject to a different set of conditions. A use variance is needed if the purpose to which a building or land is put is not permitted in that district. An area variance is needed when the building or land does not meet the bulk requirements governing that district. Bulk requirements are such as lot size, front, side, and rear minimum setbacks, building height, area coverage and so on.
A. USE VARIANCE
The ZBA on appeal from the decision or determination of the Code Enforcement Officer shall have the power to grant use variances, authorizing a use of the land which otherwise would not be allowed or would be prohibited by the terms of the Zoning Ordinance.
No such use variance shall be granted by the ZBA without a showing by the applicant that the applicable zoning regulations and restrictions have caused unnecessary hard- ship. The applicant shall demonstrate to the ZBA that:
1. Economic return. That the building or land in question is deprived of all economic use or benefit when used only for a purpose permitted in the district. Deprivation must be established by competent financial evidence. Proof of a more profitable return if the variance is granted is not, in itself, evidence of hardship.
2. Unique circumstances. That unique circumstances exist for the building or land in question which are not generally found throughout a substantial portion of the district or neighborhood.
3. Neighborhood character. That granting the variance will not alter the essential character or quality of the neighborhood.
4. Not self-created. That the alleged hardship has not been self-created.
The ZBA, in granting of use variances, shall grant the minimum variance that it deems necessary and adequate to address the unnecessary hardship proved by the applicant, while at the same time preserving and protecting the character of the neighborhood and the health, safety, and welfare of the community.
B. AREA VARIANCE
The ZBA shall have the power, upon appeal from a decision or determination of the Code Enforcement Officer, to grant area variances from the area or dimensional requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.
In making its determination, the ZBA shall take into consideration the benefit to the applicant if the variance is granted, as weighed against the detriment to health, safety, and welfare of the neighborhood or community. The spirit of the Zoning Ordinance must be observed and the following conditions must apply in order to grant the variance:
1. Reasonable objective. That the applicant’s intended objective is reasonable, and there is no way to accomplish such objective if the bulk regulations of the ordinance are observed. Also, that the benefit sought by the applicant cannot be achieved by some method, feasible for the applicant to pursue, other than by an area variance.
2. Neighborhood character. That the variance requested will not be unduly detrimental to nearby properties and will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood.
3. Not self-created. That the problem to be solved is not self-created by the applicant. This consideration shall be relevant to the decision of the ZBA, but shall not necessarily prevent the granting of the area variance.
4. Minimum relief. That the variance requested is the minimum necessary to grant relief.
5. No adverse effect or impact. That the variance requested will not have an adverse effect or impact on the physical or environmental conditions in the neighborhood or district.
The ZBA in granting area variances, shall grant the minimum variance that it deems necessary and adequate while at the same time preserving and protecting the character of the neighborhood and the health, safety, and welfare of the community.
APPEAL FROM A ZBA DECISION
An appeal from a ZBA decision may be made by instituting a proceeding with the New York State Supreme Court within 30 days after the filing of the ZBA decision in the office of the Town Clerk. It is also possible that the relief the applicant seeks may be obtained by requesting the Town Board to amend the Zoning Ordinance including a rezone of the area involved.
It is also possible to seek relief by requesting the ZBA to rehear the application after certain conditions have been met.
New Town Of Maine Zoning Map From Broom GIS website.