Board of Zoning Appeals

  Agendas / Minutes  
  Ben Caldwell Interim Zoning Administrator  (843)280-5554  
  Current Members  
  Mr. Ray Skidmore III Ms. Cynthia Lover vacant  
  Mr. William McGonigal Mr. Andy Thomas    
  Mr. Dan Moore Mr. Roger Quinn    
    Full Member Information (PDF)    
  Application for Board Membership    

Sec. 23-156. Established.
A board of zoning appeals is hereby established which shall have the powers and duties set forth in this article.
(Ord. No. 88-35, 11-1-88; Ord. No. 95-10, § 7, 3-20-95)

Sec. 23-157. Membership.
(a)   The board of zoning appeals shall consist of five (5) members appointed by the mayor and council. The terms of office shall be four (4) years; except for those first appointed, two (2) of the five (5) members shall be appointed for two-year terms ending December 15, 1990, and three (3) of the five (5) members shall be appointed for four-year terms, ending December 15, 1992.
(b)   Any vacancy on the board shall be filled for the unexpired terms. Members of the board shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the execution of their duties. No member shall hold any other public office or position in the city or county. The board shall include, to the extent practicable, at least one (1) attorney.
(Ord. No. 88-35, 11-1-88; Ord. No. 92-55, § 1, 11-2-92; Ord. No. 95-10, §§ 7, 9, 3-20-95)

Sec. 23-158. Organization and proceedings.
The board of zoning appeals shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman from its members who shall serve for one (1) year or until re-elected or until their successors are elected. The board shall appoint a secretary, who may be an officer of the city or the board. The board shall adopt rules and by-laws in accordance with section 6-29-790 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. Meetings of the board must be held at the call of the chairman and at such other times as the board may determine. Public notice of all meetings of the board of appeals shall be provided by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in North Myrtle Beach. In cases involving variances or special exceptions conspicuous notice shall be posted on or adjacent to the property affected, with at least one (1) such notice being visible from each public thoroughfare that abuts the property. The chairman or, in his or her absence, the vice-chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witness by subpoena. The board shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon each question, or if absent or failing to vote, indicating that fact, and shall keep records of its examinations and other official actions, all of which must be immediately filed in the office of the board and must be a public record.
(Ord. No. 88-35, 11-1-88; Ord. No. 95-10, §§ 7, 10, 3-20-95)

Sec. 23-159. Decisions.
The concurring vote of three (3) members of the board of zoning appeals shall be necessary to reserve any order, requirement, decision or determination of the administrative official or to decide in favor of the applicant on any matter upon which it is required to pass under this chapter or to effect any variation of this chapter. All final decision and orders of the board must be in writing and be permanently filed in the office of the board as a public record. All findings of fact and conclusions of law must be separately stated in final decisions or orders of the board which must be delivered to parties of interest by certified mail.
(Ord. No. 88-35, 11-1-88; Ord. No. 95-10, §§ 7, 11, 3-20-95)

Sec. 23-160. Appeals, hearings and notices.
(1)   Appeals to the board may be taken by any person aggrieved or by any officer, department, board or bureau of the municipality or county. Such appeal shall be taken within a reasonable time, as provided by the rules of the board, by filing with the officer from whom the appeal is taken and with the board of appeals notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof. The administrative official shall forthwith transmit to the board all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from the taken.
(2)   An appeal stays all legal 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 and property. In such case, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order which may be granted by the board or by a court of record on application, on notice to the officer from whom the appeal is taken, and on due cause shown.
(3)   The board shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal or other matter referred to it, and give at least fifteen (15) days' public notice of it in a newspaper of general circulation in North Myrtle Beach, as well as due notice to the parties in interest, and decide the same within a reasonable time. At the hearing any party may appear in person or by agent or by attorney.
(Ord. No. 88-35, 11-1-88; Ord. No. 95-10, § 12, 3-20-95)

Sec. 23-161. Powers and duties.
The board of zoning appeals shall have the following powers and duties.
(1)   Decide appeals:  To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by the administrative official responsible for enforcing this chapter.
(2)   Grant variances:  To hear and decide appeals for variance from the requirements of the zoning ordinance when strict application of the provisions of the ordinance would result in unnecessary hardship.
(a)   A variance may be granted in an individual case of unnecessary hardship if the board makes and explains in writing the following findings:
(1)   There are extraordinary and exceptional conditions pertaining to the particular piece of property;
(2)   These conditions do not generally apply to other property in the vicinity;
(3)   Because of these conditions, the application of the ordinance to the particular piece of property would effectively prohibit or unreasonably restrict the utilization of the property; and
(4)   The authorization of a variance will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property or to the public good, and the character of the district will not be harmed by the granting of the variance.
(i)   The board may not grant a variance the effect of which would be to allow the establishment of a use not otherwise permitted in a zoning district, to extend physically a nonconforming use of land, or to change the zoning district boundaries shown on the official zoning map.
(ii)   In granting a variance, the board may attach to it such conditions regarding the location, character, or other features of the proposed building, structure, or use as the board may consider advisable to protect established property values in the surrounding area, or to promote the public health, safety, or general welfare.
(b)   In particular, the applicant shall establish and substantiate that the appeal for the variance conforms to the requirements and standards listed below:
1.   The granting of the variance shall be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the regulations imposed by this chapter and shall not be injurious to the neighborhood or otherwise detrimental to the public welfare.
2.   There must be proof of unique circumstances: there must exist special circumstances or conditions, fully described in the findings, applicable to the land or buildings for which the variance is sought, which circumstance or conditions are peculiar to such land or buildings and which circumstances or conditions are such that the strict application of these regulations would deny the reasonable use of such land or building.
3.   There must be proof of unnecessary hardship. It is not sufficient proof of hardship to show that greater profit would result if the variance were granted. Furthermore, the hardship complained of cannot be self-created; nor can it be established on this basis by one who purchases with or without knowledge of the restrictions; it must result from the application of this chapter; it must be suffered directly by the property in question; and evidence of variance granted under similar circumstances shall not beconsidered.
4.   That the granting of the variance is necessary for the reasonable development of the site and that the variance is granted by the board is the minimum variance that will accomplish this purpose.
5.   That the proposed variation will not impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent property, substantially increase the congestion in the public streets, substantially decrease a resource protection area, increase the danger of fire, endanger the public safety, or substantially diminish or impair values within the adjacent neighborhood.
6.   That the granting of the variance requested will not confer on the applicant any special privilege that is denied by this chapter on other lands, structures, or buildings in the same district. The board may prescribe and safeguard that it deems necessary to secure substantially the objectives of the regulations or provisions to which the variance applies.
(3)   Decide special exceptions:  To hear and decide special exceptions upon which the board is required to pass under the terms of this chapter. In its evaluation of a permit request for any special exception, the board of zoning appeals shall consider the following criteria in addition to other applicable use-specific standards in this chapter.
(a)   That the special exception complies with all applicable development standards, off-street parking; and
(b)   That the special exception will be in substantial harmony with the area in which it is to be located.
(c)   That the special exception will not be injurious to adjoining property;
(d)   That the special exception will not discourage or negate the use of surrounding property for use(s) permitted by right;
(e)   In approving a special exception, the board of zoning appeals may impose such reasonable and additional stipulations, conditions, or safeguards as, in its judgement, will enhance its siting.
At the conclusion of the review and the required public hearing the board of zoning appeals shall approve the application for the special exception as presented, approve the application with specified modifications, or disapprove the application.
In exercising the above powers, the board of zoning appeals may, in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, or may modify the order, requirements, decisions, or determinations, and to that end shall have all the powers of the officer from whom the appeal is taken and may issue or direct the issuance of a permit. The board, in the exemption of the duties for which appointed, may subpoena witnesses and in case of contempt may certify such fact to the circuit courthaving jurisdiction. Special exception approvals expire one (1) year from the meeting date at which approval was granted except when the applicant has pulled a building permit and begun construction or obtained all required approvals from the city to operate the business for which the special exception was approved or has otherwise established the use as determined by the zoning administrator.
(Ord. No. 88-35, 11-1-88; Ord. No. 95-10, §§ 7, 13, 3-20-95; Ord. No. 99-18, § 1, 6-7-99)

Sec. 23-162. Appeals from decisions of board of zoning appeals.
Any person who may have a substantial interest in any decision of the board of zoning appeals may appeal from any decision of the board to the circuit court in and for the county by filing with the clerk of such court a petition in writing setting forth plainly, fully and distinctly wherein such decision is contrary to law. The appeal shall be filed within thirty (30) days after the decision of the board is rendered.
(Ord. No. 88-35, 11-1-88; Ord. No. 95-10, § 14, 3-20-95)