||The appeals process begins by first being denied by a Plan Examiner. You must first meet with a Plan Examiner at the Development Center (809 N. Broadway, 1st Floor; 286-8211). When meeting with the Plan Examiner, you will present your plans - if plans are available- and discuss your proposal. If what you are proposing is not permitted by the Zoning Code, the Plan Examiner will not be able to grant your permit request. You have the right to appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals. At that point, the Plan Examiner will provide you with an application form and any necessary instructions to start an appeal.
| Step 2
||You prepare your application and supporting plans and materials. Part of your application submittal requires that you provide detailed plans of what you are proposing. Depending on what type of application you are making to the Board - special use or variance - different types of plans are required.
When you have prepared all of the necessary plans and materials, return them to the BOZA office. (809 N. Broadway, 1st Floor; PH: 286-2501) along with a $100 application filing fee (which can be used as a credit to your full application fee if you decide to proceed with the appeal.)
||The BOZA staff will process your application materials and forward them to the Zoning Administration Group (ZAG). ZAG is a group of staff members from various city agencies that meet on a weekly basis to review applications submitted to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Their purpose is to provide the applicant and the Board with technical information that is used to help narrow the issues of an appeal and identify any possible problems.
When ZAG reviews your application, it may be determined that more information is required before a recommendation can be made. It is very important that, if such a request is made, you respond to it promptly. Any delay in responding to requests for information may result in delays for your appeal down the road.
||ZAG responds to your application. As soon as the ZAG group has determined that you have submitted sufficient information on which the Board of Zoning Appeals can make a reasonable decision, they will notify you of the technical aspects of your application, including: what sections of the code your proposal is in violation of and what the filing fee would be if you choose to appeal those sections of the code.
||File with the Board office any additional application fees that may be necessary. If you wish to proceed with the appeal process, you will be required to return to the Board office the bottom portion of the letter that indicated the application to be complete. Often there is an additional fee that must also be paid at this time. You may return the form and the fee (if necessary) via mail or in person. Upon doing so, your application will be scheduled for the next available hearing date.
Your appeal is now scheduled for a public hearing. Upon receipt of the form and the associated fee, the Board office will schedule your appeal for the next available public hearing and will provide you with that date. (A more detailed notice will be mailed to you and to interested property owners approximately a week before the hearing. That mailed notice will give the time, location, etc.)
||Notices are prepared and mailed. At this time, the Board of Zoning Appeals staff will prepare notices that will be mailed to you, to the alderman, to neighboring property owners and to any other interested parties.
||A public hearing is held. At the public hearing, the Board will review the materials you submitted, any available staff reports, and any written letters or comments that the Board office has received. The Board may also accept oral testimony at the public hearing. As a general rule, all of the Board's hearings are open to the public, and the public is invited to attend any session of the Board of Zoning Appeals.
||If approved by the Board, you may proceed to obtain the necessary permits to continue. The Board will reduce its decision, given verbally at the hearing, to writing within approximately one week of the date of the hearing. A copy will be mailed to you within that time frame. That written decision is then used to obtain the necessary permits to complete the project from the Development Center.
If denied by the Board, you have the right to appeal. Anyone aggrieved by a decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals has the right to appeal that decision to Circuit Court within 30 days of the date of the written decision. If you have questions regarding appeals to Circuit Court, please contact a legal professional.