Board of Zoning Appeals

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Boards and Committees Directory (140kb pdf) 

The Board of Zoning Appeals has the authority to hear and rule upon appeals of zoning decisions and determinations made by the town zoning administrator. Appeals must be filed within thirty days of the administrator's decision. 

After making an application to appeal a decision of the zoning administrator, the property is posted, adjoining property owners are notified by mail, and a public hearing is conducted at a regular Board of Zoning Appeals meeting. Final decision is rendered by vote of the board. 

Powers and Duties 

The Blacksburg Zoning Ordinance provides that variances may be granted under any of three sets of conditions. These are:

  1. If special condition of the property would result in unnecessary hardship from the literal enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance;
  2. If the property's size, shape, or topographic conditions are so exceptional as to effectively prohibit or unreasonably restrict use of the property; or
  3. If the applicant can clearly demonstrate a hardship approaching confiscation, as opposed to a special privilege or convenience.

Section 3-3 of the Blacksburg Zoning Ordinance later states that "No such variance shall be authorized by the board unless it finds all three of the following:

  1. That the strict application of this chapter would cause undue hardship.
  2. That such hardship is not shared generally by other property in the same zoning district and the same vicinity.
  3. That the authorization of such variance will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property and that the character of the district will not be changed by the granting of the variance."

In addition, variances are not authorized to deal with general situations in which an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance is more appropriate. 

For more information about this process, call the Planning and Building Department at 540-443-1300.

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