Sec. 35.1-18. Appeals to the board of zoning appeals and to the circuit court.
(a) Appeals to the board of zoning appeals. An appeal may be taken to the board of zoning appeals by any person aggrieved or by any officer, department, board or bureau of the city affected by any decision of the division of inspections for other officer in the administration or enforcement of chapter 11 of title 15.1 of the Code of Virginia, as amended, or of this zoning ordinance.
(b) Requirement for notice of right to appeal. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any written notice of a violation of the zoning ordinance or written order of the zoning administrator dated on or after July 1, 1993, shall include a statement informing the recipient that he or she may have a right to appeal the notice or order within thirty (30) days in accordance with this section, and that the decision shall be final and unappealable if not appealed within said thirty (30) days, and the appeal period shall not commence until such notice is given.
(c) Finality of determinations by the division of inspections or other officer. In no event shall a written order, requirement, decision or determination made by the division of inspections or other administrative officer be subject to change, modification or reversal by the division of inspections or other administrative officer after sixty (60) days shall have elapsed from the date of the written order, requirement, decision or determination, where the person aggrieved has materially changed his or her position in good faith reliance on the action of the division of inspections or other administrative officer, unless it is proved that such written order, requirement, decision or determination was obtained through malfeasance of the division of inspections or other administrative officer or through fraud. The sixty (60) day limitation shall not apply in any case where, with the concurrence of the attorney for the governing body, modification is required to correct clerical or other nondiscretionary errors.
(d) Procedure. Such appeal shall be taken within thirty (30) days after the decision appealed from by filing a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof with the secretary of the board of zoning appeals and with the division of inspections.
The division of inspections shall forthwith transmit to the board of zoning appeals all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.
(e) Stays of proceedings appealed from. An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the division of inspections certifies to the board of zoning appeals that, by reason of the facts stated in the certificate, a stay would, in his opinion, cause immediate peril to life or property, in which case, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order granted by the board of zoning appeals or by the circuit court, on application and on notice to the division of inspections, and for good cause shown.
(f) Time for hearing of the appeal. The board of zoning appeals shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of an application of appeal, give public notice thereof, as well as due notice to the parties in interest, and decide the same within ninety (90) days of the filing of the application of appeal. In exercising its powers, the board may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify, an order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from. The concurring vote of three (3) members shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of an administrative officer or to decide in favor of the applicant on any matter upon which it is required to pass under this ordinance or to effect any variance from this ordinance.
(g) Maintenance of minutes of proceedings. The board of zoning appeals shall keep minutes of its proceedings and other official actions which shall be filed in the office of the board of zoning appeals and shall be public records.
(h) Issuance of compulsory process. The chairman of the board of zoning appeals, or in his absence the acting chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses.
(i) Fees. In order to cover costs incurred by the City of Lynchburg incidental to reviewing, publishing and reporting facts concerning appeals to the board of zoning appeals, a fee of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) shall be paid to the city collector for each appeal made.
(j) Appeals to the circuit court from actions of the board of zoning appeals. Any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by a decision of the board of zoning appeals, or any taxpayer or any officer, department, board or bureau of the City of Lynchburg, may present to the circuit court of the city a petition specifying the grounds on which aggrieved within thirty (30) days after the filing of the decision in the office of the board of zoning appeals.
Upon the presentation of such petition, the court shall allow a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the board of zoning appeals and shall prescribe therein the time within which a return thereto must be made and served upon the realtor's attorney, which shall not be less than ten (10) days and may be extended by the court. The allowance of the writ shall not stay proceedings upon the decision appealed from, but the court may, on application, on notice to the board of zoning appeals and on due cause, grant a restraining order.
The board of zoning appeals shall not be required to return the original papers acted upon by it, but it shall be sufficient to return certified or sworn copies thereof of such portions thereof as may be called for by such writ. The return shall concisely set forth such other facts as may be pertinent and material to show the grounds of the decision appealed from and shall be verified, but the court may on application, on notice to the board and on due cause shown, grant a restraining order.
If, upon the hearing, it shall appear to the court that testimony is necessary for the proper disposition of the matter, it may take evidence or appoint a commissioner to take such evidence as it may direct and report such evidence to the court with his findings of fact and conclusions of law, which shall constitute a part of the proceedings upon which the determination of the court shall be made. The court may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the decision brought up for review. (O-78-352, 12-12-78; Ord. No. O-90-223, 7-10-90, eff. 7-1-90; Ord. No. O-97-063, 4-22-97)
Last updated date: 10/23/2006 4:15:21 PM