THE SAFETY DEVICE OF ZONING LAW
The Board of Zoning Appeals is comprised of five (5) members who are residents of Painesville Township. The members are appointed by the Painesville Township Board of Trustees to serve a term of five (5) years, with one (1) member term expiring on the last day of December of each calendar year. Meetings and hearings conducted by the Board of Zoning Appeals are normally reserved for the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 PM at Township Hall. The Board of Zoning Appeals customarily defers regular meetings until such time as the Zoning Secretary has scheduled an appeal case for their docket.
Conditional Use and variance requests have historically made up the majority of the workload for this Board. Applicants may also appeal to the Board for a reversal of a determination made by the Zoning Inspector, such as the revocation of a permit or an order to correct a zoning violation. Conditional Use hearings focus on whether or not a proposed use truly qualifies as a use which may be permitted with conditions either as specified in the Zoning Resolution and/or as imposed by the Board in granting the Conditional Use Permit. Variance requests are of two (2) main types: area variances and use variances. Area variances generally are requests for relief from height, setback, square footage minimums, and buffering requirements where the applicant is prepared to present a case to support the claim that the strict or literal enforcement of the zoning code imposes a practical difficulty of a severe degree upon the applicant. A use variance generally involves a case where an applicant presents a case to support the claim that a literal or strict enforcement of the zoning code imposes an unnecessary hardship upon the applicant. Appeals of determinations made by the Zoning Inspector involve cases where a claim is presented that an error in interpretation of the zoning code has been made. Ohio Revised Code authorizes the Board of Zoning Appeals to interpret the provisions of the Zoning Resolution, to grant relief from those provisions where practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship are satisfactorily proven, to impose conditions upon approval of requests and to consider how the elements of each case are relevant to the Painesville Township Comprehensive Plan.