ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION

Asked January 22, 2017, 12:44 PM EST

The ZBA exercises three basic roles, the meaning of one is not clear to me. It is " Deciding appeals from administrative decisions" ?? Could this mean that the ZBA could make an Administrative decision and in a certain case they will not enforce the limits set by the Nonconformities section of the Ordinances..?

Wayne County Michigan zoning board of appeals

3 Responses

Good Afternoon:

Some Zoning Boards of Appeals have nonconformities responsibilities if the zoning ordinance provides the ZBA with this authority. The alteration may be approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals upon finding that it complies as nearly as practicable with the requirements listed in the zoning ordinance, and that it will not have a detrimental effect on neighboring property.

I have also included an article regarding this topic.

Have a wonderful day,

Crystal


Good Afternoon Crystal
Thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions.
You mentioned that an article was attached to this email - I did not see it ??
thanks
ed

Did I mention to you that what has gotten my attention is the house next door to me ? Ever since work began on this house, and I realized how extensive the renovation and additions were, I started asking the Zoning officials if all this work conformed to the zoning code and the answers were always " yes or we would not have approved the work". At the start of the project I did not know the zoning codes. When I was practicing I specialized in Hospital planning so I had no knowledge of residential codes. Now I do.
I always tried to get the zoning officials to help me understand where in the codes what they had approved was spelled out. Then they told me that the regulation they were enforcing, which allowed for the nonconforming setback lines to be extended both horizontally and vertically for a nonconforming structure, was not in the Ordinances but was an "interpretation" that was verbally passed down 9 years ago. I have continued to try and find out if there was anything I was not aware of that would allow for an unwritten rule - law - to be enforced. So I have spent a lot of time researching the Zoning Ordinances, since I was not given straight answers to my questions and now I feel I have a fairly good understanding. Also the result of my asking for clarifications I now have been referred to the "only vocal public objector to this renovation". My intentions when I started this note was to make it a short one.
Oh well - I started out with good intentions.
When I get to be to large a pain for you - all you have to do is tell me to stop. Thanks
ed







Good Morning:

I have been out of the office with the Flu since the last time we emailed each other.

You stated in your last email that:

….they told me that the regulation they were enforcing, which allowed for the nonconforming setback lines to be extended both horizontally and vertically for a nonconforming structure, was not in the Ordinances but was an "interpretation" that was verbally passed down 9 years ago. I have continued to try and find out if there was anything I was not aware of that would allow for an unwritten rule - law - to be enforced.

I spent 10 years working for a Board of Zoning Appeals, and I never heard a case in which the findings of facts were “related to an unwritten verbal rule that was verbally passed down”.

Sorry, I forgot to attach the articles regarding the ZBA and Administrative Hearings. I highlighted some sections for you that I think you will find helpful in Part 1 and Part 2, including the sections below:

ZBA and Administrative Hearings Part 1: When reviewing the previous decision, the ZBA shall only review the original information presented to the administrative official or body when the original decision was made. Based on those facts, the ZBA will decide whether the individual or body correctly applied the proper ordinance standards and acted within the scope of his/her/its authority. If instead new information is presented that the administrative official or body did not have available to them, the appeal should be sent back to that individual or body, similar to a higher court remanding a case back to a lower court.

ZBA and Administrative Hearings Part 2: When making decisions on administrative (e.g. site plans, special land uses, planned unit developments) and quasi-judicial (e.g. appeals, variances) matters, decision makers must ensure that required tests or standards are employed, substantiated, and documented in the record. Denying an application because of a vague notion that the use is “not a good idea” or will “harm the neighborhood” is not enough. The record must show sufficient facts to back up the findings made according to the ordinance standards. If the impact on traffic is of concern, for example, describe those concerns as precisely and factually as possible.

If a decision is challenged, the importance of using the ordinance standards becomes evident. A well-supported decision provides the background needed to build a solid legal foundation for the decision.

Therefore, the Zoning Enabling Act requires the ZBA to make decisions based on if the individual or body applied the proper ordinance standards and acted within the scope of its authority.

I am having problems attaching the articles. Can you send me an email to wils1374@anr.msu.edu and I will send the articles that I highlighted sections as references for you.

Thanks

Have a wonderful day,

Crystal