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Town of Hyde Park Zoning Board of Appeals

NamePositionPhoneFax
John Bickford Chairman 229-5111 opt 2 229-0349

Agendas and Minutes

The Zoning Board of Appeals consists of five members, each of whom serves for a term of five (5) years. The terms are staggered in such a way that a member is appointed each year. The Town Board appoints the Chairman on a yearly basis. The current Board members are as follows:

Members

NameRoleTerm
John Bickford Chairman 12/31/2018
Stanley Frangk 12/31/2019
Brendan Lawler 12/31/2021
Herb Sweet 12/31/2020
Michael Whitman 12/31/2017

Zoning Board of Appeals Members may be reached by mail care of Town Hall:

Zoning Board of Appeals
Hyde Park Town Hall
4383 Albany Post Road
Hyde Park, NY 12538

Comments on individual applications pending before the Board should be made in writing to the Zoning Board of Appeals at the address above or in person during the public hearing. Comments submitted electronically will not be accepted into the record.

Function

All zoning boards of appeals are directly given appellate jurisdiction by State law. Appellate jurisdiction is the power to hear and decide appeals from decisions of the officials charged with the administration and enforcement of the zoning ordinance or local law. This is the primary function and purpose of the zoning board of appeals, which also has the power to interpret the zoning ordinance or local law and to grant variances. All meetings of the ZBA require a quorum, which is a majority of the Board of five; all meetings are public meetings, where the public can express their opinion; all public hearings on specific applications have to be advertised in the official newspaper at least five days before the public hearing is scheduled.

The Board meets regularly on the fourth Wednesday of each month unless that day is a holiday, the Chair knows that there will not be a quorum (three members present to conduct business), or there is no agenda item to be discussed. On occasion, a special meeting can be called by the Chairman with the approval of the majority of the Board members.

The Zoning Board of Appeals can grant (or deny) two types of relief: interpretive and variance. If the appeal is for an interpretation, the ZBA's decision will be based on the municipal zoning regulations. If the appeal is for a variance, the ZBA's decision will be based on the standards of proof contained in the state statue: 267-b of the New York State Town Law. Guidelines for application to the Town of Hyde Park Zoning Board of Appeals (695KB PDF)

Interpretative or variance relief can be sought after a decision by the Zoning Enforcement officer. The appealing party may believe that an exception (variance) to the zoning laws should be made for his or her property. The applicant or the applicant's representative must file a Notice of Appeal with the ZBA within 60 days of the enforcement officer's decision or action.

When an applicant has already submitted an application for subdivision, site plan or special use permit approval which requires an area variance in connection with that approval, the applicant may simply file a Notice of Appeal directly to the ZBA, without a decision by the Zoning Enforcement Officer.

Any person, who could be "aggrieved" by the decision or action of the enforcement officer, has standing to take an appeal before the ZBA. This could include a neighboring landowner, if he or she believes the enforcement officer's decision will negatively affect their property value. Also, any officer, board or commission of the municipality may appeal a decision of the enforcement officer, whether or not that officer, board or commission is aggrieved.

Variances fall into two categories:

Use Variance

A use variance is asking for permission to establish a use of the property not otherwise, permitted, in the zoning district. The applicant must prove " unnecessary hardship". State law requires the applicant to show all of the following:

  1. that the property is incapable of earning a reasonable return on the initial investment if used for any of the allowed uses in the district (actual "dollars and cents" proof must be submitted)
  2. that the property is being affected by unique, or at least highly uncommon circumstances
  3. that the variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood
  4. that the hardship is not self-created

Note: If any one or more of the above factors is not proven, State law requires the ZBA deny the variance.

The Use Variance Application is available as a PDF document.

Area Variance

An area variance is permission to build in an otherwise restricted portion of the property (such as in the required front, side or rear yards, or above the required building height, or in excess of the lot coverage regulations). State law requires the applicant to show that the benefit the applicant stands to receive from the variance will outweigh any burden to the health, safety and welfare that may be suffered by the community. State law requires the ZBA to take the following factors into consideration in making its determination:

  1. whether an undesirable change will be produced in the character of the neighborhood, or a detriment to nearby properties will be created by granting of the area variance
  2. whether the benefit sought by the applicant can be achieved by some method which will be feasible for the applicant to pursue but would not require a variance
  3. whether the requested area variance is substantial
  4. whether the proposed variance will have an adverse effect or impact on the physical or environmental conditions in the neighborhood or district and
  5. whether an alleged difficulty is self- created.

Note: The ZBA need not find in favor of the applicant on every one of the above questions but must take merely one of the factors into account. The ZBA may also decide that a lesser variance than the one requested would be appropriate, or may decide that there are alternatives available to the applicant, which would not require a variance.

State law requires the ZBA, in Use and Area variance applications, to grant the minimum variance necessary to provide relief, while at the same time taking care to protect the character of the neighborhood and the health, safety and welfare of the community. The ZBA may impose reasonable conditions on granting any variances.

The Area Variance Application is available as a PDF document.

Interpretations

A request to the Zoning Board of Appeals from the applicant, or by an official or agency of the Town, to render an opinion of the proper reading of the municipality's zoning regulations, is identified as an interpretation. If the ZBA has heard a case in the past, which involved an interpretation of the same provision, the ZBA's decision will be consistent with its prior ruling. If the ZBA has never interpreted the particular provision, it will use its best judgment as to the municipal governing board's original intent in enacting the provision. The ZBA will try to arrive at the best practical solution for future application by the enforcement officer. The Interpretation Application is available as a PDF document.

Zoning Board of Appeals Forms

Agendas and Minutes

January 25, 2017     Agenda Minutes
February 22, 2017     Agenda Minutes not available

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Last updated at Saturday Dec 27, 2014 13:31:08