Village of River Hills

Chapter 7 Section 10


 7.1001 ESTABLISHMENT There is hereby established a Board of Appeals for the Village of River Hills for the purpose of hearing appeals and applications, and for granting variances and exceptions to the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance.

7.1002 MEMBERSHIP The Board of Appeals shall consist of 5 members appointed by the Village President and approved by the Village Board.

A.  Terms shall be for staggered 3-year periods, and members shall serve without compensation.

B.  The Village President shall appoint one of the members as Chair.

C.  The Village Manager or his designee, shall act as secretary, or the Board may employ a secretary and such other employees as may be necessary to carry out its duties.

D.  Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as appointments for the full term.

E.  The Village President shall appoint, and the Board of Trustees shall approve, for staggered terms of 3 years, 2 alternate members of the Board, in addition to the 5 members above provided for.  Annually, the Village President shall designate one of the alternate members as first alternate, and the other as a second alternate.  The first alternate shall act, with full power, only when a member of the Board refuses to vote because of interest or when a member is absent.  The second alternate shall so act only when the first alternate so refuses or is absent or when more than one member of the Board refuses or is absent.  The above provisions, with regard to removal and the filling of vacancies, shall apply to such alternates.

7.1003 ORGANIZATION The following shall be the rules governing the conduct of the business of said Board of Appeals:

A.  Meetings of the Board shall be held at the call of the Chair and at such other times as the Board may determine.

B.  The Chair or, in his/her absence, the acting Chair, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses.

C.  All Meetings of the Board shall be open to the public.

D.  The Board Shall Keep Minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon each question (or if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact) and shall keep records of all its hearings and examinations and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the Village Clerk and shall be a public record.

E.  If a quorum is present, the Board may take action by a majority vote of the members present. The grounds of every determination to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of any administrative officer or to decide in favor of the applicant any matter upon which it is required to pass or to effect any variation shall be stated. (Am. Ord. 497, 3/15/06)

7.1004 POWERS      

A.  No action of the Board of Appeals shall have the effect of permitting in a district any use prohibited in that district.

B.  The Board of Appeals shall have the following powers:

1.  Errors. To hear and decide appeals wherein it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official in the enforcement of this Ordinance.

2.  Variances. To authorize, upon appeal in specific cases, such variance from the terms of this ordinance as will not be contrary to the public interest, where, owing to special conditions peculiar to a specific lot or tract of land, a literal enforcement of the provisions of this ordinance will result in practical difficulty, or unnecessary hardship, so that the spirit of this ordinance shall be observed, public safety and welfare secured, and substantial justice done.  In every case where a variance from the regulations imposed by this ordinance has been granted by the said Board, the minutes of the Board shall affirmatively show that an “unnecessary hardship” exists, and the records of the Board shall clearly show in what particular and specific respects an unnecessary hardship is created.

3.  Special Exceptions. To hear and decide special exceptions to the terms of this Ordinance, upon which the said Board is required to pass.

4.  Interpretations.  To hear and decide applications for interpretations of the zoning regulations and the location of the boundaries of the zoning districts, after the Plan Commission has made a review and comment.

a.  A district boundary may be extended in the event that such boundary divides a lot in single ownership at the time of the passage of this ordinance, only, however, in those cases wherein more than one-half (1/2) of the area of the lot is within the district to be extended.

b.  Floodland boundaries shall be altered only when the applicant presents evidence that clearly and conclusively establishes that the location as shown on the floodland zoning map is incorrect. No variance or special exception to the floodland zoning regulations shall grant a lower degree of flood protection than a point 2 feet above the 100-year recurrence interval flood for the particular area, or be contrary to any provision of the state law or state administrative codes applicable thereto.

5.  Permits. The Board may reverse, affirm wholly or partly, or modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from, and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as ought to be made.

6.  Assistance.  The Board may request assistance from other Village officers, commissions, committees, departments, or boards.

7.  Oaths. The Village Clerk may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses.


A.  Appeals to the Board of Appeals May be Taken by any Person aggrieved, or by any officer, department or Board of the said Village, affected by any decision of an administrative officer.

B.  Appeals to the Board of Appeals from Actions of the Village Board relating to special use permits shall be taken within 20 days of the date of publication of the notice of the final action of the Village Board.

C.  Appeals to the Board of Appeals from All Other Decisions of administrative officials or boards shall be taken within 20 days of the date of the decision of the administrative officer or board.

D.  All Appeals to the Board of Appeals shall be perfected by filing a notice of appeal, specifying the grounds thereof, with the Village Clerk who shall thereupon notify the administrative officer or board rendering the decision appealed from as well as the Chair of the Board of Appeals.

E.  The Officer from whom the appeal is taken shall forthwith transmit to the Board of Appeals all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.

F.  All Appeals to the Board of Appeals shall be accompanied by a filing fee of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00).  (Ord. 485, 1/20/04)

7.1006 STAY OF PROCEEDINGS An appeal shall stay all legal proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the officer from whom the appeal is taken certified to the Board of Appeals (after the notice of appeal has been given him) that by reason of facts stated in the certification, a stay would in his opinion cause imminent peril to life or property.  In such case, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by restraining order, which may be granted by the Board of Appeals or by a court of record, on application upon notice to the officer from whom the appeal is taken and on due cause shown.


A.  Public Notice of the hearing on the appeal shall be given by the Board of Appeals in accordance with Section 7.1200.

B.  Each Appeal shall be heard within 60 days from the time in which notice of the appeal is filed with the Board.  Hearings shall be held in the Village Hall or other designated place.  All appeals shall be decided by the Board of Appeals within 30 days after the hearing thereon.  If the Board of Appeals shall fail to make its findings and issue its Order within the time herein prescribed, the appeal shall stand denied.

7.1008 FINDINGS No variance to the provisions of this Ordinance shall be granted by the Board unless it finds that all the following facts and conditions exist and so indicates such in the minutes of its proceedings.

A.  Preservation of Intent:  No variance shall be granted that is not consistent with the purpose and intent of the regulations for the district in which the development is located.  No variance shall have the effect of permitting a use in any district that is not a stated permitted use, accessory use, or special use in that particular district.

B.  Exceptional Circumstances:  There must be exceptional, extraordinary, or unusual circumstances or conditions applying to the lot or parcel, structure, use, or intended use that do not apply generally to other properties or uses in the same district, and the granting of the variance should not be of so general or recurrent nature as to suggest that the Zoning Ordinance should be changed.

C.  Economic Hardship and Self-Imposed Hardship Not Grounds for Variance:  No variance shall be granted solely on the basis of economic gain or loss.  Self-imposed hardships shall not be considered as grounds for the granting of a variance.

D.  Absence of Detriment:  No variance shall be granted that will create substantial detriment to adjacent property or that will materially impair or be contrary to the purpose and spirit of this Ordinance or the public interest.

7.1009 DECISION The Board of Appeals shall decide all appeals and applications within 30 days after the public hearing and shall transmit a signed copy of the Board’s decision to the appellant or applicant, Building Inspector, and Village Board of Trustees.

A.  Conditions may be placed upon any building permit ordered or authorized by this Board.

B.  Variances, Substitutions, or Use Permits granted by the Board shall expire within 6 months unless substantial work has commenced pursuant to such grant.

7.1010 REVIEW BY COURT OF RECORD Any person or persons aggrieved by any decision of the Board of Appeals may present to the court of record a petition duly verified setting forth that such decision is illegal and specifying the grounds of the illegality.  Such petition shall be presented to the court within 30 days after the filing of the decision in the office of the Board of Appeals.