What’s with all The BoZA Meetings?

At the last Committee of the Whole meeting (9-24-19), we discussed current and upcoming items before the Board of Zoning Appeals. As we discussed, BoZA has been hearing a number of the same requests: special exceptions for construction services. As Mr. Derby explained, 3 have already been before BoZA, and a fourth is on the docket for this evening. In short, these construction companies are requesting to open offices in areas zoned Business General (or, as in tonight’s, R-OI, which is Residential–Neighborhood Office and Institution).  They’ve no onsite storage or vehicles.  In other words, as Mr. Knudsen explained when I asked the question, they’re like any other office that would be allowed in B-G.  Because their business type is “construction,” they have to request special permission via BoZA for what is an allowed exception per our Zoning Ordinance. Why is it allowed? Because it’s to establish an office like any other office.  We’re talking desks and phones and a couple of employees.  All construction-related equipment and so forth would be stored elsewhere.  Realistically, you’d never know these offices were for construction companies except for their names. The full procedure for determining whether nor not a request meets the criteria for Special Exception is located in Article 7 of the Zoning Ordinance. It’s quite detailed.

As a reminder: you can listen to that meeting and all of our Council meetings online.  In this one, you’ll hear Mr. Knudsen explain more, including why we’re receiving so many of these requests now and what we’re doing about it.


Also, if you’re interested, R-OI is established to promote and accommodate residential uses, offices, and institutions in areas that are not exclusively residential or nonresidential by nature. Although nonresidential uses may be permitted, the intent of
this district is to preserve the residential character of the area through careful attention to the scale and form of development. Furthermore, it is the intent of
this district to discourage uses that generate excessive traffic or any other activity that would be largely incompatible with the residential nature of the district. The BoZA will ask questions tonight to determine whether or not this particular request fits. Some items they will consider include:

A. The volume and type of sales;
B. The size and type of items sold and the
nature of the inventory on the premises;
C. Any processing done on the premises,
including assembly, manufacturing,
warehousing, shipping, and distribution;
D. The nature and location of storage and
outdoor display of merchandise;
E. The type, size, and nature of structures;
F. The number of employees and customers
and hours of operation;
G. Traffic generation and parking turnover;
H. The amount and nature of any nuisances
generated on the premises, including but not
limited to noise, smoke, odor, glare,
vibration, radiation, and fumes; and
I. Other impacts related to health, safety, and
general welfare.

Then, they will approve or not and issue a Finding of Facts regarding their decision. Meeting is at 5:30.  The Finding of Fact Looks kind of like this one from the one we discussed at the 9-24 Meeting:

fof 1fof2