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Commissioners clarify appeals process
by From Staff Reports
January 18, 2013 11:16 AM | 1025 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In order to make the appeals process more clear to builders and developers desiring to rezone or develop a property, the Henry County Board of Commissioners moved to update the ordinance on the appeals process to provide greater detail and clarity.

The action took place at the board’s regular meeting Jan. 15.

The updated ordinance makes it clear that the commissioners shall hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant that there is error in any approval, denial, written interpretation or decision made by the zoning advisory board or any of the departments of planning and zoning, building or environmental compliance/plan review, based on the interpretation or enforcement of the Unified Land Development Code.

The ordinance also limits those who can file an appeal on such matters to those who have legal standing in the challenged action. Those wishing to appeal a decision must file a letter of intent containing the following information along with the application for appeal:

Written documentation specifying the alleged errors in the approval, denial, interpretation or decision of the zoning advisory board or the administrator;

Citation of the sections of the Unified Land Development Code pertaining to the action of the administrator; and

A statement of the specific relief requested by the party appealing.

Such appeals shall be filed with the Planning and Zoning Division secretary. All appeals will then be scheduled to be heard by the Henry County Board of Commissioners no later than 30 days from the filing date.

A $300 application fee is also required at the time the appeal is filed. This fee, which did not change, is comparable to other metro counties and is required to help cover staff time for review and research regarding the appeal and for advertising the public hearing on the appeal.

However, under the revised ordinance, should the commissioners overturn the decision of staff or the zoning advisory board, up to 75 percent of the fee would be reimbursable.

Applicants would have 30 days from the date of the public hearing to request the refund.

For those desiring more information about the county’s building codes, a complete copy of the Unified Land Development Code can be found online at www.hcpz.org.
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