Zoning Board of Appeals
The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is comprised of five members of the community appointed to a five-year term by the Village Board of Trustees and is empowered to interpret the zoning ordinance and grant variances from strict interpretation of the ordinance.
Enforcement of the zoning ordinance is the responsibility of the Building Inspector. In carrying out the duties of the position, the Building Inspector does not have discretionary authority, but simply to follow the letter of the ordinance. Where the language is unclear or whenever there is a doubt about the meaning of provisions of the ordinance, the ZBA has the power and duty to interpret the ordinance.
Traditionally, zoning is characterized as the uniform application of standards and regulations to all properties assigned to a specific zoning district. While all properties in a zoning district are theoretically subject to the same rules, the fact is that no two parcels of land are the same and the strict application of the zoning ordinance may create an unnecessary hardship on the property owner. The ZBA is empowered to grant variances from the provisions of the zoning ordinance in accordance with New York State Village Law, specifically Sections 7-712(b)(2) and 7-712(b)(3) dealing with use and area variances respectively.
The Zoning Board of Appeals has no legislative powers and can only act on an appeal from a decision of the Building Inspector. The ZBA may interact with the Planning Board and must comply with the Open Meetings Laws. Decisions of the ZBA are can be reviewed by the New York State Supreme Court and must be made with great care.