Zoning Board of Appeals
Watson Township Zoning Board of Appeals
|Chairperson||Jim Lautenschleger||(517) 610-8411|
|Secretary||David Carter||(269) 672-9456
||James Kelsey||(269) 793-7763|
|Board Rep||Chuck Andrysiak||(269) 672-7254|
|Member||John VanDyke||(269) 672-7254|
The zoning board of appeals (ZBA) consists of five members who are appointed by the Township Board of Trustees. Two of the members are appointed from the planning commission and the township board. Members of the ZBA are appointed to three year terms.
The ZBA is a semi-judicial body which is established to hear and act on appeals of administrative decisions, variances from the standards contained in the zoning ordinance, land use variances and zoning ordinance interpretations.
The most common requests are variances from requirements contained in the zoning ordinance. In order for a variance to be granted, the applicant must usually demonstrate that an exceptional or extraordinary condition exists and compliance with township standards would render conformity unnecessarily burdensome.
Here are some general conditions that must usually be shown for a variance to be granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals:
- The practical difficulty is unique to the site and is different than other properties in the same zoning district or vicinity.
- The situation is not self-created.
- The request would provide substantial justice by preserving property rights similar to the majority of other properties in the same zoning district or vicinity.
- The variance is the minimum necessary to grant relief from the practical difficulty.
- The request complies with other local, state and federal laws.
If the request for a review of an administrative decision or a zoning variance is relatively straightforward, township residents can usually present the request themselves. However, if there are technical aspects of the request that need to be evaluated, it is advised to be represented by a planning professional or an attorney. Keep in mind that members of the Zoning Board of Appeals are ordinary citizens who are volunteering their time to help govern the township. They are not experts in zoning.
One recommended attorney who specializes in helping property owners resolve real estate and zoning issues is:
Stephen B. McKown
314 Trowbridge Street
P.O. Box 239
Allegan, Michigan 49010