City of Flora

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 21.1 Zoning Board Establishment

ZONING BOARD ESTABLISHMENT. The Zoning Board of this municipality is hereby established in accordance with 65ILCS 5/11-13-3, as may be amended from time to time.

Membership, Appointment. The Zoning Board shall consist of seven members, all of whom shall reside within the zoning limits of this municipality. Each Board member shall be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the City Council. One of the members so appointed shall be named as chairman at the time of his appointment.

Term of Office, Vacancies. The initial appointees to the Board shall serve respectively for the following terms: one for one year, one for two years, one for three years, one for four years, one for five years, one for six years, and one for seven years. Thereafter, each Board Member shall hold office for five years from the date of his appointment, and until his successor has been selected and qualified. With the advice and consent of the Council, the Mayor may remove any member of the Zoning Board for cause, after a public hearing. Vacancies on the Board shall be filled for the unexpired term of the member whose place has become vacant in the same manner as provided for the appointment of new members.

Meetings, Quorum. Regular meetings of the Zoning Board shall be held on the second Tuesday of each month. Special meetings shall be held at the call of the Chairman or at the request of any three members of the Board. All Board meetings shall be open to the public. The Board may adopt their own rules of meeting procedures consistent with this Title and the applicable Illinois statutes. The Board may select such officers as they deem necessary. The chairman, or in his absence the acting chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. Four members of the Board shall constitute a quorum, and the affirmative vote of at least four members shall be necessary to authorize any Board action. No meeting shall be held without a quorum. (Amended 6/7/04; Ordinance #04-1847)

Hearings on Appeals. The Board shall hear and decide appeals from and review any order, requirements, decision or determination made by the Administrative Official in the enforcement of this Title. All final administrative decisions of the Board made under this provision shall be subject to judicial review pursuant to the provisions of the "Administrative Review Act," 735 ILCS 5/3-101, as may be amended from time to time.

Hearings on Other Petitions. The Board is authorized and delegated the authority to hear all petitions for change of zoning or for amendments of this Title, applications for variances and special use permits, and shall submit its recommendations, based upon findings of fact to the City Council for enactment by an amending ordinance, or rejection. The Board shall have no authority to authorize any variance, special use, change of zoning or amendment of this Title.

Records. The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings and examinations. These minutes shall indicate the absence of any member, the vote or abstention of each member on each question, and any official action taken. A copy of every rule, variance, order, or decision of the Board shall be filed immediately in City Hall and shall be public record.

 21.2 Appeals

APPEALS. Any person aggrieved by any decision or order of the Administrative Official in any matter related to the interpretation or enforcement of any provision of this Title may appeal to the Zoning Board. Every such appeal shall be made and treated in accordance with Illinois law (65 ILS 5/11-13-12, as amended) and the provisions of this section.

Filing, Record Transmittal. Every appeal shall be made within 45 days of the matter complained of by filing with the Administrative Official and the Zoning Board a written notice specifying the grounds for appeal, together with a filing fee of ten dollars ($10.00). Not more than five working days after the notice of appeal has been filed, the Administrative Official shall transmit to the Board all records pertinent to the case.

Stay of Further Proceedings. An appeal stays all further action on the matter being appealed unless the Administrative Official certifies to the Board, after the notice of appeal has been filed with him, that for reasons stated in the certificate, a stay would cause imminent peril to life or property. In such case, further action shall not be stayed unless the Board or the circuit court grants a restraining order for due cause, and so notifies the Administrative Official.

Public Hearing, Notice. The Zoning Board shall hold a public hearing on every appeal within a reasonable time after the filing of the appeal notice. At the hearing, any interested party may appear and testify, either in person or by duly authorized agent or attorney. Notice indicating the time, date, and place of the hearing, and briefly describing the issue to be decided shall be given to the appellant, the Administrative Official, and to any other department of the City which might be affected by the appeal.

Notice shall also be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation within this municipality. At the hearing, parties in interest may appear in person or by agent or by attorney and testify and offer evidence relevant and material to the issue.

Decision by Zoning Board. The Zoning Board shall render a decision on the appeal within a reasonable time after the hearing. The Board may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify or amend the decision or order appealed from to the extent and in the manner that they deem appropriate. In so doing, the board has all the powers of the Administrative Official.

 21.3 Variances

VARIANCES. A variance is a relaxation of the requirements of this Title that are applicable to a structure to be constructed or structurally altered on a given zoning lot.

Procedure. All petitions for a variance shall follow the procedures set forth in Chapter 22 of this Title.

Standards for Variances. The Zoning Board shall not recommend the granting of any variance unless, based upon the evidence presented to him, they determine that:

a. the proposed variance is consistent with the general purposes of this Title; and

b. strict application of the district requirements would result in great practical difficulties or hardship to the applicant, and prevent a reasonable return on the property; and

c. the proposed variance is the minimum deviation from such requirements that will alleviate the difficulties/hardship, and allow a reasonable return on the property; and

d. the plight of the applicant is due to peculiar circumstances not of his own making; and

e. the variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the area where the premises in question are located nor materially frustrate implementation of the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

 21.4 Special Uses

SPECIAL USES. A special use permit grants permission to an applicant to use property in a manner contrary to this Title provided that the intended use is one of those specifically listed in the district the property is located in and provided that the public convenience will be served by the use.

Procedure. All petitions for special use shall follow the procedures set forth in Chapter 22 of this Title.

Review. The Board shall not recommend approval of the application unless it determines:

a. that the proposed design, location and manner of operation will adequately protect the public health, safety, welfare, and the physical environment;

b. that the proposed special use is consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan;

c. what effect the proposed special use would have on the value of neighboring property and on the City’s tax base;

d. what effect the proposed special use would have on public utilities and traffic circulation of nearby streets; and

e. whether or not there are any facilities (i.e., schools or hospital) near the proposed special use that require special protection.

 21.5 Amendments and Changes

AMENDMENTS AND CHANGES. The zoning regulations imposed and the districts created by this Title may be amended from time to time by ordinance, but no such amendment shall be made without a hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Procedure. All petitions for amendments proposing changes in the regulations or in the district boundary lines shall follow the procedures set forth in Chapter 22 of this Title.

Findings of Fact. When the proposed amendment alters district boundaries or changes the status of any use, the Board shall include in their recommendation to City Council findings of fact concerning each of the following:

a. existing use(s) and zoning of the property in question;

b. existing use(s) and zoning of other lots adjacent to the property in question

c. suitability of the property in question for the proposed use;

d. changes (if any) in the vicinity that may have occurred since the property was initially zoned or last rezoned; and,

e. whether or not the proposed change is in keeping with the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

Protest. Whenever a written protest against such amendment, signed and acknowledged by:

a. owners of twenty (20) percent of the frontage property proposed to be altered;

b. owners of twenty (20) percent of the frontage immediately adjoining or across an alley therefrom; or

c. owners of twenty (20) percent of the frontage directly opposite the frontage proposed to be altered;

is filed with the City Clerk, the amendment shall not be passed except by a favorable vote of four-fifths of the Council members then holding office. In such cases, a copy of the written protest shall be served by the protestor or protestors on the applicant for the proposed amendment and a copy upon the applicant’s attorney, if any, by certified mail at the address of such applicant and attorney shown in the application.

Council Vote Contrary to Zoning Board Recommendation. It shall require a favorable vote of at least four-fifths of the Council members then holding office to approve the proposed amendment when the Zoning Board has recommended against it.