The Zoning Board of Appeals is responsible for reviewing zoning variance requests. Site modifications planned by a property owner must conform to Town zoning regulations, which are enforced by the Planning Board and Building Department. A property owner may be denied a building permit if the site modification or change-of-use is contrary to the zoning regulations. The property owner may be directed to apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance, which is an exception to the zoning regulations. If the Zoning Board determines that the exception will not adversely affect adjoining property owners, or cause significant environmental or quality-of-life issues, a variance may be issued as a one-time exception.
Property owners must understand that Town zoning regulations will be enforced, and variances will only be considered when a hardship exists. Property owners are required to provide documentation detailing the site changes. The Board will review the documentation, and may also visit the site. Owners of a subject property will be notified in writing by certified mail of the applicant's request for a zoning variance. Those property owners will have the opportunity to provide written comments or appear before the Zoning Board at the public hearing to express concerns.
Zoning Board members are appointed by the Town Board. The Board meets monthly to discuss projects with project applicants. The Board will express concerns and make suggestions for improvements, and verify that the project cannot be modified sufficiently to make it conform to Town zoning regulations. All meetings are open to the public. Once the plan has reached a sufficient level of design, a public hearing is held during which interested parties may make comments. Written comments are accepted at any time during the review process. A project applicant may be required to make several appearances before the Board, either in work sessions or public meetings, before the Board will make a final decision on the application.
Town of Wawarsing residents are encouraged to attend the public Zoning Board meetings so that they may learn about proposed projects that may impact them and the Town at large. Community participation at these meetings is an important part of the review process, and your opinions do count. The Zoning Board calendar lists the schedule of work sessions and public meetings, and submission deadlines.
Paul McAndrews, Chairman
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