The Board of Zoning Appeals is established by local ordinance. It conducts quasi-judicial public hearings on requests for variances from zoning requirements, considers appeals from decisions of the zoning administrator, and may also grant special permits as authorized by ordinance. The BZA meets as needed on the second Monday of each month.
Those wishing to apply for a variance to the Zoning Ordinance, including the Landscape and Sign Ordinances should first download and read the application thoroughly to ensure that state law supports a variance request for your particular situation. When submitting an application, complete the downloaded form and submit it digitally via email to the permit clerk who will process your application and contact you if additional information is required. The application deadline is the 20th day of each month in order to be heard at the following month's meeting. The application fee is currently $100.00. Payment is accepted by check or by VISA/MasterCard over the phone or in person.
Powers of the Board of Zoning Appeals & Variance Standard
Tennessee Code Annotated 13-7-207. Powers of board of appeals.
The board of appeals has the power to:
(1) Hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant that there is error in any order, requirement, permit, decision, or refusal made by the municipal building commissioner or any other administrative official in the carrying out or enforcement of any provision of any ordinance enacted pursuant to this part and part 3 of this chapter;
(2) Hear and decide, in accordance with the provisions of any such ordinance, requests for special exceptions or for interpretation of the map or for decisions upon other special questions upon which such board is authorized by any such ordinance to pass; and
(3) Where, by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness or shape of a specific piece of property at the time of the enactment of the zoning regulation, or by reason of exceptional topographic conditions or other extraordinary and exceptional situation or condition of such piece of property, the strict application of any regulation enacted under this part and part 3 of this chapter would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties to or exception or undue hardship upon the owner of such property, authorize, upon an appeal relating to the property, a variance from such strict application so as to relieve such difficulties or hardship; provided, that such relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially impairing the intent and purpose of the zone plan and zoning ordinance.
[Acts 1935, ch. 44, § 5; C. Supp. 1950, § 3407.5; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 13-707.]
In granting a variance, the board shall ascertain that the following criteria are met as outlined in Subsection 3 of Tennessee Code Annotated Section 13-7-207.
- Variances shall be granted only where special circumstances or conditions, fully described in the finding of the board, do not apply generally in the district;
- Variances shall not be granted to allow a use otherwise excluded from the particular district in which requested;
- For reasons fully set forth in the findings of the board, the aforesaid circumstances of conditions are such that the strict application of the provisions of this ordinance would deprive the applicant of any reasonable use of his land. Mere loss of value shall not justify a variance. There must be a deprivation of beneficial use of land.
- The granting of any variance shall be in harmony with the general purposes and intent of this ordinance and shall not be injurious to the neighborhood, detrimental to the public welfare, or in conflict with the comprehensive plan for development;
- In reviewing an application for a variance, the burden of showing that the variance should be granted shall be upon the person applying therefore.
Deadlines to Remember
All applications are due at close of business on the 20th day of each month. If the 20th falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be at close of business on the next working day. Cases will be heard on the second Monday of the following month.
The Board of Zoning Appeals will meet next on Monday, September 13 at 6:00pm. The meeting will take place at City Hall (4910 Swinyar Drive) and we will stream it on the city's Youtube channel (see link below).
Members of the BZA are appointed by the Mayor for year-long terms.
The 2020-2021 members are currently:
- Ruthie Gray (Chair)
- Todd Leamon
- Jerry Moody
BZA APPLICATION FORM
Britney Hutto, Permit Clerk