Board of Adjustment

MISSION

The Board of Adjustment hears appeals of Planning Commission determinations on requests for conditional uses and variances, and of decisions or determinations made by the Department of Community Planning in the enforcement of FNSBC Title 18. The Borough Assembly sits as the Board of Adjustment or the Board may designate an appeals officer to hear a case.   

STANDARD OF REVIEW / HOW THE BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT "HEARS" AN APPEAL

The Board hears and decides appeals on the record, meaning no new evidence, testimony, or changed circumstances are heard by the Board. When considering an appeal, the Board schedules a hearing open to the public to review and discuss an appeal packet which contains specific information about the case.  

SUMMARY OF APPEAL PROCESS

  • Appeals must be filed no later than 15 days after the date of notification of a decision
  • To file, submit a completed Notice of Appeal form to the Borough Clerk's Office along with a $75 non-refundable filing fee and $200 cost bond. Cost bonds are refunded to the appellant in the event the Board reverses, or partly reverses, the decision being appealed.
  • The Clerk's Office will prepare an appeal record consisting of verbatim transcripts of any previous proceedings, copies of all documentary evidence and copies of the written decision being appealed. It is the responsibility of the appellant to arrange and pay for the preparation of a transcript by a court reporter. 
  • After the Record is complete, a period of written argument begins. The appellant will have an opportunity to file a written brief in support of their appeal, and the appellee will have an opportunity to rebut that with a written brief of their own. The appellant will then have a final opportunity to provide a written reply to the appellee's brief. 
  • An appellee brief may also be filed by, among others, any person who would be aggrieved if the decision of the lower administrative body were reversed. To participate in the process as an appellee, a form called Notice of Intent to File a Brief must be submitted to the Borough Clerk's Office within 20 days after the date of notification of the decision that is being appealed. 
  • The Clerk's Office will prepare an appeal packet consisting of the appeal record plus any written arguments and schedule a hearing date. Only the material contained in the appeal packet is considered by the Board.  
  • The board reviews the appeal packet and issues its decision. Written notification of the decision is sent to the appellant and appellee(s). 

EX PARTE CONTACT PROHIBITED

Ex parte contact with the Board of Adjustment is when an appellant or appellee contacts the Board without the other party's knowledge, this includes but is not limited to contact in person, by phone, e-mail or text. 

Board members shall be impartial in all matters, both in fact and appearance. No board member shall receive or engage in ex parte contacts. All contact with the Board of Adjustment shall go through the Borough Clerk's Office.