Board of Zoning Appeals
The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) was created when the Township Zoning Resolution was adopted in November 1988. The BZA is composed of five (5) members who are appointed by the Board of Township Trustees. All members are residents of the unincorporated territory of Harlem Township. The terms of all members are for a period of five (5) years and so arranged that the term of one member expires each year. The trustees have also appointed two “alternate BZA members” who can serve on the Board should one of the regular members be unable to attend a BZA meeting. The alternates are also appointed for five (5) year terms.
The Township Board of Zoning Appeals serves in a quasi-judicial capacity. The BZA has been accorded the power to a) hear and decide appeals where it is alleged that an error was made in an order, requirement, decision, or determination made by the Zoning Inspector in the enforcement of Sections 519.02 to 519.25 of the Ohio Revised Code, or of the Township Zoning Resolution; b) approve variances from the terms of the Zoning Resolution when such variance is not contrary to the public interest and where, due to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the Resolution will result in unnecessary hardship provided that the spirit of the Resolution is observed and substantial justice is done; c) grant conditional zoning certificates for the use of land, buildings, or other structures if such certificates are provided for in the Zoning Resolution; and, d) revoke an authorized variance of a conditional zoning certificate if any condition of the variance or certificate is violated.
The BZA meets monthly on the third Monday of each month at 7:30 pm unless the third Monday falls on a holiday and in such a case, the BZA would meet on the following day. In order to grant a variance or hear an appeal, the BZA must hold a public hearing which is announced in the Delaware Gazette at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing. At the hearing, the applicant or appellant presents their petition to the BZA, members of the public are provided an opportunity to give testimony, and the BZA members make appropriate inquiries relevant to the purpose of the hearing. A verbatim record is made of the hearing which can then be made available should there be an appeal of the BZA’s decision to the Court of Common Pleas.