2010 Annual Report

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STAFF REPORT
Town Council Meeting, August 11, 2010

Zoning Board of Adjustment Annual Report (PL11-010)
Summary of recent activity and actions made by the Zoning Board of Adjustment
Speaker:  Mr. Charles McDarris, Zoning Board of Adjustment Chairperson

From:  Jeffery G. Ulma, AICP, Planning Director
Prepared by:  Debra Grannan, Senior Planner 
Approved by:  Benjamin T. Shivar, Town Manager
Approved by:  Michael J. Bajorek, Assistant Town Manager

Executive Summary:

The Zoning Board of Adjustment has review and decision-making responsibilities for:

  • Variance requests, as provided in the Land Development Ordinance (LDO), regarding lot width, setback, height, building coverage, or structure spacing standards;
  • Variance requests for the square-footage limitations set for verandah and wall signs, setback requirements for real estate signs, and the requirements for signage in the Town Center area;
  • Appeals regarding any order, requirement, decision or determination by an administrative official charged with enforcement of the LDO.

Meetings are conducted on an as needed basis.

Background:

Current members of the board are: Robert Cassell, Robert Evans, Madrica Lowery, Charles McDarris, William Gascoigne (ETJ Representative), and Barry Shuster (Alternate).  Town Council liaison is Gail Adcock; Town staff that provides administrative and technical support to the board include:  Assistant Town Attorney Lisa Glover, serves as legal consultant to the board; Planning staff liaison is Debra Grannan and Shelley Kirk serves as board secretary.

When considering requests for variances to setbacks, building size limits and allowable wall sign area, the Zoning Board of Adjustment must find unusual physical circumstances exist on the subject property.  As required by the LDO, Planning Department staff conducts pre-application meetings with potential applicants in order to provide a detailed explanation of the board’s obligations under the applicable regulations.  An average of six pre-application meetings are conducted each year.  As a result, the actual number of applications submitted is relatively low compared to other types of requests associated with development.

Summary of Board Activity (2009-2010):

 In December 2009 the board members and staff participated in a work session to establish and adopt the board’s Rules of Order, Mission Statement, Lifespan Statement, Staff and Council Liaison Roles, and Responsibilities.

On June 2, 2010 board members Robert Cassell and Robert Evans participated in the “Boards and Commissions Open House” where they discussed the board’s responsibilities with interested members of the community.

On June 14, 2010, the board heard a request for a variance to a residential side-yard setback for an existing home. Based on their review of the findings of facts in the staff report and consideration of the evidence presented by the applicant, the board granted the request.