Appeals of Administrative Decisions are considered when an applicant believes there was an error by any administrative official in carrying out or enforcing any provision in the Zoning Ordinance. Appeals are also used for interpretations of the zoning map boundaries.
Appeals of Administrative Decisions are reviewed and approved by the BZA. For certain standards in the Zoning Ordinance where the Departmental Review Team has the authority to make the decision, the applicant instead appeals the decision to the FMPC.
Step 1: Preliminary Meeting (Optional)
A preliminary meeting with staff prior to the application submittal is not required, but helpful for many applicants. To set up a meeting, contact a Planner in the Department of Planning and Sustainability.
Step 2: Appeal of Administrative Decision Application Submittal
The application must be filed with the Department of Planning and Sustainability within 30 days of the date of the order, decision, determination, or interpretation by the administrative official.
At least 15 days prior to the BZA meeting, the applicant mails notification letters to surrounding property owners using addresses that are provided by staff. The applicant then submits a copy of the Public Notice Letter and a notarized Public Notice Affidavit.
Step 3: Forwarding the Record to BZA
The record of the appeal is forwarded to the BZA for review and determination whether to uphold the administrative official’s order, decision, determination, or interpretation.
Step 4: BZA Final Action
The BZA reviews and takes final action. The order, decision, determination, or interpretation will not be reversed or modified, unless there is competent, material, and substantial evidence in the record that it fails to comply with either the procedural or substantive requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.
Step 5: Subsequent Applications (If Applicable)
Based on the action taken by the BZA, the applicant may either: (1) proceed under the original staff order, decision, determination, or interpretation; or (2) request a new staff determination based on the BZA findings.