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Are you aware that village laws or ordinances are the lowest tier of control for those who need to have a property variance? State law is the highest, town the next. Variances to a person’s property that fail to meet local zoning ordinances are handled by a Zoning Board of Appeals. NYS law defines permitted actions by a (zoning) board of appeals for villages in the NY CLS Vill & 7-712-b (2014) section. Generally, there may be both a town and village Zoning Board of Appeals concurrently, unless there is no village defined any longer within the town, e.g., Seneca Falls. A landowner applicant may apply for one of two types of variance, either use variance or area variance. Each locality, town or village, imposes a process fee for the application. Your local ZBA is obligated to follow the local ordinances and make judgment after thorough consideration of the applicants needs with respect to the non-conforming parameters. The ZBA then decides whether to do one of three actions as a result of the board’s evaluation. They decide, after having examined the application for variances with respect to local criteria, 1) to grant the requests, 2) to deny the requests, or 3) to grant a portion of the requests while simultaneously impose conditions that must be implemented within a set calendar period. By law the board must grant the minimum variance if prudent to do so, but if the variance is denied, then delineate reasons for denial in the decision letter to the applicant. An applicant may challenge the denial at a later date. Of course, the applicant can redefine their substantially changed needs in another application request. The aforementioned summarizes the overall appeals process. Macedon Village ZBA, Merton Bartels


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