Harrison County Iowa
The Zoning Administrator acts as advisor to the Board of Adjustment. The Board of Adjustment is a quasi–judicial board made up of five citizens appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The majority reside in the unincorporated areas of the county and serve five year terms.
The Board hears and makes the final decision of Appeals, which are questions between an applicant and the Zoning Administrator as to the proper interpretation of the zoning ordinance. They also decide on applications for Special Exceptions as specifically provided in the Zoning Ordinance. The Board may authorize Variances in the application of the Ordinance where there are unusual circumstances that would otherwise result in unnecessary hardship (physical, not economic) to a particular parcel of land if the Ordinance is literally enforced, and the variance would not be contrary to the public interest.
Current Board of Adjustment Members:
Forms and complete requirements for applications to the Board of Adjustment are available in the office of the Zoning Administrator.
Any person, including any officer or agency of Harrison County, aggrieved by a final administrative determination on a development permit or administrative development approval by the Administrator may appeal such final determination to the Board of Adjustment.
A written appeal must be filed with the Administrator within 30 working days after the date of the final decision. The appeal shall contain a written statement of the reasons for which the appellant claims the final decision is erroneous.
The Board of Adjustment shall fix a reasonable time for hearing of appeal, give public notice thereof as well as due notice to the parties in interest, including the owners of property within 500 feet of the property on which the appeal has been filed, and decide the same within a reasonable time. At the hearing any party may appear in person or by agent or attorney.
A fee of $100.00 should be paid to the Administrator at the time of the notice of appeal is filed.
Special Exceptions are uses that are generally compatible with the permitted land uses in a given zoning district, but which require individual review of their location, design and configuration and the imposition of conditions in order to ensure the appropriateness of the use at a particular location within a given zoning district. Special Exception uses are listed in the district regulations for each zoning district.
A special exception shall not be granted by the Board of Adjustment unless and until:
A variance is a relaxation of the terms of the zoning ordinance where such variance will not be contrary to the public interest and where, owing to conditions peculiar to the property, and not the result of the actions of the applicant, a literal enforcement of the ordinance would result in unnecessary and undue hardship. Variances cannot be approved because of economic conditions, such as that it would cost more to build in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance.
In order to grant a variance, it must be found that the property cannot be used for any reasonable purpose within its current zoning district, unless a variance is granted. The cost of removal of an illegally built structure does not constitute unnecessary hardship–it should not have been built in the first place. A variance also cannot be used to create a new non-conforming lot.
A variance from the terms of this ordinance shall not be granted by the Board of Adjustment unless and until: