The purpose of this Board is to hear and decide all appeals and matters referred to it under the laws and ordinances of the City. The Board is authorized to overturn decisions of any official or employee of the City where error is alleged and proven in the interpretation or enforcement of the zoning ordinance, grant variances from the strict letter of the zoning ordinance provided that practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship exists and is proven, and render a decision on applications made to the board in those cases where the zoning ordinance specifically provides that the Board shall render a decision on the matter. Minimum qualification for the five member board is that members be a resident of the City of Columbia. The length of terms is five years, with openings occurring in May for regular members, and November for alternates. Click on Board of Adjustment Forms for a list of the appeal application forms.
29-6.1(c) - Board of Adjustment (BOA).
(1) Continued Existence, Membership, and Qualifications.
(i) The City Board of Adjustment (“Board”) established prior to the effective date of this Chapter shall continue in existence.
(ii) The Board shall consist of five (5) members who shall be residents of the City. The terms of office of the members of the Board shall be for five (5) years, except that the five (5) members first appointed shall serve respectively for terms of one (1), two (2), three (3), four (4), and five (5) years. Thereafter all members shall be appointed by the Council for terms of five (5) years each. No member shall serve more than two (2) consecutive full terms. The presence of four (4) members shall be necessary to constitute a quorum.
(iii) Three (3) alternate members, who shall be residents of the City, shall be appointed by the Council to serve in the absence of, or disqualification of, the regular members. The first three (3) alternates appointed shall serve for terms of three (3), four (4), and five (5) years, respectively. Thereafter, all alternates shall be appointed for five (5) year terms.
(iv) The vacancy of any member or alternate member shall be filled by appointment of the Council for the unexpired term only.
(v) All members and alternates may be removed for cause by the Council, upon written charges after public hearing.
(2) The Board shall have the following authority and duties:
To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in an order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official in the administration or enforcement of this Chapter, as described in Section 29-6.3(f).
To hear and decide applications for variances from the terms or conditions of this Chapter under Section 29-6.4(d)(Variances).
(iii) Other Powers.
(A) Assume any other powers and perform any other duties as are provided for by the Charter, City Code, Council action, or state law.
(B) The Board may adopt rules for the conduct of its business that are consistent with the purposes of the Board and the requirements of this Chapter, which shall be approved by Council ordinance.
(3) Meetings and Voting.
(i) Meetings of the Board shall be held at the call of the chairman and at such other times as the Board may determine. Such chairman, or in his absence, the acting chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses.
(ii) All meetings of the Board shall be open to the public.
(iii) The Board shall keep minutes of the 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 its examinations and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the Board and shall be a public record.
(iv) All testimony, objections thereto, and rulings thereon shall be taken down by a reporter employed by the Board for that purpose and who shall receive reasonable compensation for such from the city. The reporter shall furnish to any person or persons a transcript of all or part of such proceedings upon payment to him of a fee equal to that set forth in section 492.590(2), Revised Statutes of Missouri.
(v) The concurring vote of four (4) members of the Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of any such administrative official, or to decide in favor of the applicant on any matter before the Board.