Learn how to file a zoning appeal.
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The City Council's Appointed Seven Board Members are:
|Name||Term Beginning||Council District||Term Ending|
|Robert C. Weed||March,2013||District 1||December,2018|
|Vivian Teague||January,2017||District 2||December,2019|
|Elois Moore||January,2017||District 3||December,2019|
|Jacqueline Grant||January,2018||District 4||December,2020|
|Robert E. Thomas||March,2013||District 5||December,2018|
|Emmanuel Calzada||February,2016||District 6||December,2018|
|Kwame Finn||January,2018||District 7||December,2020|
As a quasi-judicial body, the Board's hears and rules on appeals for any person, aggrieved by a decision of an enforcing officer or any decision made be the Buildings and Safety Engineering Department where rigid enforcement could cause the appellant undue hardship.
The Board conducts investigation and public hearing to determine whether variances , exceptions or modification of approved regulated uses of land will be in the best interest of the public and that the spirit and intent of the zoning ordinance is upheld.
As a quasi-judicial body, the Board's hears and rules on appeals for any person, aggrieved by a decision of an enforcing officer or any decision made be the Buildings and Safety Engineering Department where rigid enforcement could cause the appellant undue hardship.The Board conducts investigation and public hearing to determine whether variances , exceptions or modification of approved regulated uses of land will be in the best interest of the public and that the spirit and intent of the zoning ordinance is upheld.
The Department has streamlined the procedures for processing each appeal case. An appeal, which was formerly heard within sixty (60) days, is now heard before the Board of Zoning Appeals within approximately thirty (30) days after it is received.
The Board of Zoning Appeals consists of not fewer than five (5) members and not more than nine (9) members appointed by the City Council for overlapping terms of three (3) years each.
The City Council shall appoint a Director of the Board who shall serve for a term of six (6) years. Any vacancies on the Board shall be filled by the Council for the remainder of the unexpired term. The members or Directory may be removed for cause be the City Council only after hearing and consideration of written charges.
The members and Director shall be residents of the City of Detroit, and not members of any other City agency, board, department, or commission of City Government, except one (1) member shall be a member of the City Planning Commission, as required by MCL 125.3601(3). Compensation of members of the Board may be paid at a reasonable per diem rate and members reimburse for expenses actually incurred in the discharge of their duties, as provided in Sec. 601(7) of the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act. MCL 125.3601(7). Compensation of members of the Board and of the Director shall be fixed by Council.
The Appeal will fall into one of several categories:
- A specific interpretation of the provisions of the zoning ordinance.
- An adjustment or a variance from the strict application of the provisions of the zoning ordinance.
- A decision on such matters which it is authorized to review by the city zoning ordinance.
- Jurisdiction over all non-conforming buildings and uses.
The Board of Zoning Appeals hears and decides from, and reviews any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administration official with the enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance.
They are also charged with accepting appeals from decision made by the Buildings and Safety Engineering Department after a hearing has been held before the Buildings and Safety Engineering Department’s Hearing Officer.
Coleman A. Young Municipal Center
2 Woodward Ave., Suite 212
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 224-3595 (office)
Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
MEETINGS: Board meetings shall be held on each Tuesday at 9:00 am, except when such day falls on a legal holiday, then the Board shall set a new day within that week. All board meetings shall be open to the public. Four (4) Members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business.
A resolution supported by four (4) members of the Board may temporarily suspend any rule of procedure or change the date or the time of regular meetings, as set forth in the proceeding paragraph.
A Special Meeting may be called by the Chairperson of the Board upon written requests of three (3) members, provided forty-eight (48) hours notice has been given to each member before the time set for such hearing, except that the announcement of a special meeting at any meeting, at which all the members are present, shall be sufficient notice of such meeting. As of this date, June 8, 1982, the concurring vote of four (4) Board Members shall be necessary to grant a Rehearing and/or Further Hearing.
The Board shall annually, on the first regular meeting of the year, elect its own Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.
ORDER OF BUSINESS: The order of business at Board Meetings shall be as follows:
- Roll Call
- Approving minutes or previous meetings
- Miscellaneous business
- Hearing of cases
- Unfinished business
- Adjournment of cases
EFFECT OF DENIAL: No appeal to the Board which has been denied wholly or in part shall be resubmitted for a period of one year from the effective date of said order of denial, except on the grounds on new evidence or proof of a change of conditions found to be valid by the Board or unless upon remand by a court. Applications for a Rehearing shall be in writing and subject to the same rules as an original hearing.
An appeal stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from unless the officer from whom the appeal is taken certifies to the Board, after the notice of appeal shall have been filed with him, that by reason of facts stated in the certificate, a stay would in his opinion cause imminent peril to life or property in which case proceedings shall not be stayed.
Any decision of the Board may be appealed to Circuit Court as specified in Section 605 of the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, being MCL 125.3605,within twenty-one (21) days from the date of entry of such decision.
Each application properly filed with the required information and data, shall be numbered serially, docketed and placed upon the Calendar of the Board by the Director for a hearing within thirty (30) days or until the essential information and data can be properly assembled and prepared. The docket numbers shall be hyphenated with the number of the year.
The docket shall be kept posted to date by the Director and shall record the name and address of the applicant, the nature and type of the appeal, the location of premises, the date of hearings and all discontinuances, postponements, dates of sending notice and other steps taken, or acts done and the final disposition of the case.
When the applicants are docketed and placed on the calendar, the Director shall see that all inspections, maps, plats and other required information and data are properly assembled and prepared for the Hearing.
The Board of Zoning Appeals shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal and give due notice thereof to all persons to whom any real property within 300' of the premises in question shall be assessed, and to the occupants, of all single and two-family dwellings within 300', such notice is to be delivered personally or by mail addressed to the respective owners and tenants at the address given in the last assessment roll, and shall decide the same within a reasonable time. If the tenant's name is not known, the term occupant may be used. Improvement associations known to exist within 300' shall also be notified.
Zoning Appeals Form