What is the responsibility of the applicant at the hearing?

At the hearing, the applicant may submit written evidence and/or argument to support his or her case. Obviously, the sooner that written testimony or material is received, the more time ZBA members will have to consider the case and reach a proper decision. Therefore, it is a good idea to submit written material with the application, or as soon thereafter as possible, so that it can be sent to ZBA members prior to the hearing. (Please note that the applicant can present written evidence at any time up to the close of the hearing, or even after the hearing if the ZBA allows the record to remain open.) 

At the hearing, the ZBA will offer the applicant and/or the applicant’s representative the opportunity to present a case for relief. The applicant may personally testify, call witnesses, or submit written evidence, including drawings and graphics. Because an appeal is an adversarial proceeding, the ZBA will offer the municipality an equal opportunity to present its side of the case (the side which supports the enforcement officer's decision). 

Each side will be given an opportunity to question the other, or the other's witnesses. In addition, ZBA members may ask questions. After the applicant and the municipality have presented their cases, any other interested persons will be given the opportunity to speak and/or submit written material. If necessary, the hearing may be adjourned and continued at a later date. When all parties and interested persons have been granted the opportunity to be heard, the hearing will be closed.

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1. Why might you consider an appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals?
2. How is the appeals process initiated?
3. Under what circumstances may an appeal be made to the Zoning Board of Appeals?
4. Who may apply to the ZBA for relief?
5. What decisions or actions are appealable?
6. What types of relief can the ZBA grant?
7. After a Notice of Appeal has been filed, what must happen?
8. What is the responsibility of the applicant at the hearing?
9. Will the ZBA make a decision the night of the hearing?
10. What is the basis for the ZBA’s decision on an interpretation?
11. What must be proven in order to be granted a use variance?
12. What must be proven in order to be granted an area variance?
13. Must the variance, if granted, be exactly what was applied for by the applicant?