Board of Adjustment

 

Board of Adjustment/Zoning Hearing Officer

Requests for variances or other options from the zoning ordinance can be heard by either the Board of Adjustment or the Zoning Administration Hearing Officer.  As part of reviewing each application, the staff makes the determination as to which body will hold the hearing.  Regardless of which body hears the case, the process is essentially the same.

 

Submittal and Review Process for Variance Application

The process for consideration of a variance begins with the pre-application meeting.  Consideration of a variance request is a quasi-judicial process that requires the hearing body to find that the approval criteria have been met.  The approval criteria for a variance are set by the state statute and the Zoning Ordinance.

The basic steps in the review process are:

  1. Filing a completed application form by the establish deadline.
  2. Staff reviews the application and requests any additional information needed to complete the review.
  3. Staff determines whether the case will be considered by the Board of Adjustment or the Hearing Officer.
  4. The application is scheduled for hearing, notice is sent and published.
  5. A staff report and recommendation are prepared and provided to the hearing body and applicant.
  6. The hearing is held.  The hearing body either makes a decision or continues the case for further consideration.
  7. Following a decision, minutes are published.  If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision rendered, an appeal may be filed within 30 days.  Hearing Officer appeals are filed with the Planning Division and heard by the Board.  Board of Adjustment appeals are filed with Maricopa County Superior Court.

Submittal and Review Process for Special Use Permit Applications

Special Use Permits (SUP) are required for some uses in some zoning districts to allow public review to determine if the use is appropriate in that given location. The items requiring a SUP are listed in the use tables for each district in the Zoning Ordinance.

The process for considering a SUP begins with review at a pre-application meeting.  The basic steps in the review process are:

  1. Filing a completed applicationform by the established deadline.
  2. Staff reviews the application and requests any additional information needed to complete the review.
  3. Staff determines whether the case will be considered by the Board of Adjustment or the Hearing Officer.
  4. The application is scheduled for hearing, notice is sent and published.
  5. A staff report and recommendation are prepared and provided to the hearing body and applicant.
  6. The hearing is held.  The hearing body either makes a decision or continues the case for further consideration.
  7. Following a decision, minutes are published.  If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision rendered, an appeal may be filed within 30 days.  Hearing Officer appeals are filed with the Planning Division and heard by the Board.  Board of Adjustment appeals are filed with Maricopa County Superior Court.

 

Submittal and Review Process for development Incentive Permit Applications

A development Incentive Permit (DIP) provides a means to consider modifications to the zoning ordinance standards (incentives) to allow development on vacant, by-passed properties without meeting all of the current Zoning Ordinance requirements.  A by-passed parcel is any lot or parcel which:

  1. Does not exceed 2.5 net acres and has been in its current configuration for more than 10 years; or
  2. Does not exceed 5 net acres and was created by the assembly of individual, contiguous parcels, each not more than 2.5 acres in area; and
  3. Is served by, or has direct access to, existing utility distribution facilities; and,
  4. Is surrounded by properties within a 1,200 foot radius in which:
    1. The total developable land area is not more than 25% vacant; and
    2. Greater than 50% of the total number of lots or parcels have been developed 15 or more years ago.

A DIP may be approved upon finding that:

  1. The proposed development is consistent with the General Plan, Specific Area Plans, and the permitted uses as specified in the zoning ordinance; and,
  2. The incentives provide only for development that is commensurate with existing development within the area surrounding the parcel; and,
  3. The incentives are necessary to accommodate the proposed development; and,
  4. The architectural elements, construction and landscape materials, and other site improvements of the proposed development meet the intent of the provisions of the development standards of the zoning ordinance.

 

The process for considering a DIP begins with review at a pre-application meeting.  The basic steps in the review process are:

  1. Filing a completed application form by the established deadline.
  2. Staff reviews the application and requests any additional information needed to complete the review.
  3. Staff evaluates the requested incentives and works with the applicant to try and establish the appropriate incentives for the proposed development.
  4. Staff determines whether the case will be considered by the Board of Adjustment or the Hearing Officer.
  5. The application is scheduled for hearing, notice is sent and published.
  6. A staff report and recommendation are prepared and provided to the hearing body and applicant.
  7. The hearing is held. The hearing body either makes a decision or continues the case for further consideration.
  8. Following a decision, minutes are published.  If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision rendered, an appeal may be filed within 30 days.  Hearing Officer appeals are filed with the Planning Division and heard by the Board.  Board of Adjustment appeals are filed with Maricopa County Superior Court.

Submittal and Review Process for Substantial Conformance Improvement Permit Application

The Substantial Conformance Improvement Permit (SCIP) provides a means to consider modifications to the zoning ordinance standards (incentives) for additions to or modification of existing development. The goal of a SCIP is to bring non-conforming properties closer to conformance with current development standards while allowing reasonable modifications to facilitate expansion, extension, enlargement, or replacement of existing development.

Substantial conformance is achieved when the proposed improvements reflect the greatest possible degree of compliance for each specific code requirement.  The improvements authorized by the permit shall result in an development that is compatible with, and not detrimental to, adjacent properties or neighborhoods.

The development incentives that may be granted through approval of a SCIP are limited to modifications to building setbacks, landscaping design, onsite parking, buildings height, right of way dedication, and other site development provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.

The process for considering a SCIP begins with a review at a pre-application meeting.  The basic steps of the review process are:

  1. Filing a completed application form by the established deadline.
  2. Staff reviews the application and requests any additional information needed to complete the review.
  3. Staff evaluates the requested incentives and works with the applicant to try and establish the appropriate incentives for the proposed development.
  4. Staff determines whether the case will be considered by the Board of Adjustment or the Hearing Officer.
  5. The application is scheduled for hearing, notice is sent and published.
  6. A staff report and recommendation are prepared and provided to the hearing body and applicant.
  7. The hearing is held. The hearing body either makes a decision or continues the case for further consideration.
  8. Following a decision, minutes are published.  If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision rendered, an appeal may be filed within 30 days.  Hearing Officer appeals are filed with the Planning Division and heard by the Board.  Board of Adjustment appeals are filed with Maricopa County Superior Court.

 

Submittal and Review Process for Code Interpretations

The wording and requirements of the zoning ordinance can be complex.  If you have a project and the zoning ordinance requirements are not clear, a person may request an official interpretation from the Zoning Administrator.

The interpretation process starts by contacting the Zoning Administrator at 480-644-2199, or email Gordon Sheffield and ask for an informal review and interpretation. This will result in a verbal explanation as to the application of the particular code.  Should a more formal, written interpretation be needed, a request for the interpretation must be in writing.  There is no application or standard review process.  the interpretation made by the Zoning Administrator may be appealed to the Board of Adjustment.

 

Submittal and Review Process for Appeals

When a staff person makes a decision based on the zoning ordinance, that decision may be appealed if the person affected by the decision does not agree with the application of the code.  The first step is to appeal a decision to the Zoning Administrator.  Decisions of the Zoning Administrator may be appealed to the Board of Adjustment.

 

 

Planning Home

Office Hours:
7:00 am to 6:00 pm, M-TH

Phone:
(480) 644-4273

Email

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Location:
55 N. Center St.
Mesa, AZ 85201

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1466
Mesa, AZ 85211