The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) is authorized to hear appeals in matters relating to all zoning ordinances and to review zoning ordinance interpretations made by City Staff. Because the Board acts somewhat like a court, it is called a quasi-judicial body and is required to follow accepted procedures and to fairly evaluate the relevant facts in each case that comes before it as outlined in the Municipal Code and Kansas State Statues.
The three types of applications the board considers are variances, appeals of administrative decisions, and exceptions. The seven member board, which is appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Governing Body, generally, meets on the First Tuesday of each month (as needed) at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers of City Hall, 7700 Mission Road.
Board of Zoning Appeals meetings include a public hearing for each item, which requires public notification by newspaper and by placing a sign on the subject property, and notice by certified mailing to property owners within 200 feet. Due to these requirements, applications must be received a month prior to the meeting date.
For more information contact, Wes Jordan, Assistant City Administrator at 913-385-4621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Variances allow property owners to request modifications to the requirements of the zoning ordinance where an unfair hardship is created or where the application of the ordinance creates an unintended result.
The Board of Zoning Appeals uses the five criteria, as outlined in the application when reviewing variance requests, including uniqueness of the property, the impact of the request on adjacent property owners, the hardship caused by the requirement and the intent of the requirement.
As part of the consideration of a request for a variance, a public hearing is required. Applicants are required to notify surrounding property owners by certified mail of their variance request. They also are encouraged to provide diagrams and photos in support of the request.
Zoning Ordinance Interpretations
Application of the city's zoning ordinance often requires staff to use some judgment when applying zoning requirements to specific situations.
If a property owner or a developer believes the decision of the staff is based on an incorrect interpretation of the ordinance, the interpretation can be appealed to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
The board will focus on the wording and intent of the ordinance provision, not on a specific location or piece of property. The decision of the board will affect all subsequent interpretations of that ordinance provision.
The Board of Zoning Appeals may grant exceptions to the provisions of the zoning ordinance in those instances where the Board is specifically authorized.