- Boards & Commissions
- Zoning Board of Appeals
Zoning Board of Appeals
- 5:30 p.m. on the 2nd Monday of every month
Council Chambers, 3rd floor of City Hall
25 Court St.
Cortland NY 13045
- Submission deadlines are 12 days (Wednesdays by 2:00 p.m.) prior to the meeting date
Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes
Appointment, Term & Qualifications
- The Zoning Board of Appeals as it is presently constituted is hereby reaffirmed as having been established in accordance with the provisions of the General City Law. The Board shall consist of 7 members appointed by the Mayor subject to confirmation by the Common Council. All appointments shall be made for a term of three years.
- Vacancies for the unexpired term of any member shall be filled for such unexpired period only.
- No person shall be appointed to more than 3 consecutive full 3-year terms.
- The Mayor shall have the power to remove, after public hearing, any member of the Zoning Board of Appeals for cause. A Board member may be removed for failure to attend 3 consecutive meetings or for noncompliance with any minimum training requirement established by this chapter.
- No more than 4 members of the Board may be enrolled in any 1 political party.
- Each member of the Board shall complete a basic qualification program for Zoning Board of Appeals persons within 12 months of appointment and thereafter shall participate annually in a continuing education course to be approved by the Common Council upon the recommendation of the Board.
The Board shall hold an annual meeting in January of each year to elect, from its members, a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson to assume the duties of the Chairperson in his absence. Chairpersons and Vice Chairpersons shall be elected for a 2-year term. No person shall be elected to more than 2 consecutive terms as Chairperson.
Powers of the Board
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction after due notice and hearing for the following:
- Under General City Law § 35, it may grant a building permit to a property owner aggrieved by an Official Map of the City adopted under General City Law § 26 and § 29. In this case, a notice of a public hearing must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the City 15 days prior to the public hearing. The property owner must show that the property is not yielding a fair return on its value and demonstrate that his request is causing a minimum impact upon the intent of the Official Map.
- It may grant reasonable exceptions under special circumstances to the prohibitions of General City Law § 36 concerning property without access to public streets.
- Under General Municipal Law § 239-j, it may grant a building permit to a property owner aggrieved by an Official Map of the county adopted under General Municipal Law § 239-k. Editor's Note: General Municipal Law §§ 239-j, relating to permits for buildings in rights-of-way or sites preserved by the Official Map, and 239-k, relating to regulations for control of development, were repealed by L.1997, c. 451, § 2, effective 7-1-1998. See now General Municipal Law §§ 239-e and 239-f. In this case, a majority vote of 2/3 is required. The property owner must show that the property is not yielding a fair return on its value and that the building will have a minor impact upon the intent of the Official Map.
- It may decide any question involving the intent of any provision of this chapter, including the determination of the exact location of any district boundary if there is uncertainty with respect thereto.
- It may review any decision or order made by the Zoning Officer.
- It may grant area variances subject to the applicable provisions of Article XV of this chapter.
- It may grant use variances subject to the applicable provisions of Article XV of this chapter.