2017 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Schedule
The Board of Zoning Appeals is a 7-member circuit court-appointed volunteer board created in 1984 with the introduction of Zoning in the County. All members are County residents and serve 5-year terms as countywide representatives. The Board currently operates under rules of procedure revised in October 2013 with the conduct of meeting business following Roberts Rules of Order. Meetings are scheduled as needed, when an application has been received, on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 pm in the Colonial Courthouse. Click link at top of page for detailed meeting schedule and application deadlines.
The creation, membership, organization, duties and powers of the BZA are regulated by state law (Sec. 15.2-2308, 2309) and Articles 13 and 14 of the Gloucester County Zoning Ordinance. Link to: BZA Rules of Procedure
The BZA has 6 primary duties:
• To hear and decide appeals from any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative officer in the administration or enforcement of the zoning ordinance. Link to: Appeal Application
• To grant upon appeal or original application in specific cases variances from the terms of the zoning ordinance as where the strict application of the ordinance would unreasonably restrict the utilization of a property or that granting of a variance would alleviate a hardship. Link to: Variance Application
• To hear and decide applications for special exceptions as may be authorized in the official schedule of district regulations:
All applicants for Special Exceptions must attend a Pre-application meeting. Pre-application Request Form and Checklist
Special Exception Criteria and Special Exception Info for the Applicant
Link to: Special Exception Application
• To hear and decide applications for interpretation of the district map where there is an uncertainty as to the location of a district boundary.
• To hear and decide appeals from the decision of the zoning administrator. Link to: Appeal Application
• To revoke a special exception previously granted by the BZA
The BZA does not have the power to rezone property.
Examples of the types of special exception requests the BZA has heard include:
• Home occupations type II – which involve customer and/or employee traffic to the home such as private music lessons and 1-chair beauty salons
• Seafood processing plants such as soft shell crab shedding operations, etc.
• Cellular towers
• Commercial stables
• Recreation and amusement enterprises
• Lodge halls and social clubs
• Contractor’s office and storage facilities
Examples of the types of variance requests the BZA has heard include:
• Setback reductions
• Building heights
Examples of the types of appeals the BZA has heard include:
• Notices of Violations of the zoning ordinance
• Signage requirements
• Denied applications for home occupations and businesses
• Denied applications for zoning permits to replace nonconforming structures
• The zoning administrator’s interpretation of the zoning ordinance
The BZA’s decisions are not always popular but cannot be based on public opinion or perceived worthiness or lack thereof. Each application must be weighed against specific criteria and standards as required by state and county law. Appeals of the BZA's decisions are filed directly with the Circuit Court.
The current BZA membership is:
Mr. Wayne Horsley, Chairman
Mr. Charles Davis III
Mr. Mark Gandolfo
Mr. Jim Leigh, Vice-Chair
Mr. Jim Newton
Mr. Robert Ottarson
Mr. Andrew A. Riddle
Planning & Zoning Director/Zoning Administrator, Anne Ducey-Ortiz, AICP,CZA and Planner II, Tripp Little with the department of Planning and Zoning serve as staff liaisons and Linda Sprague, Zoning Specialist with the department of Planning and Zoning serves as the elected secretary to the BZA.
See below for contact information on the BZA members.