Volunteer: Zoning Board of Appeals

Term: Five years; one-term maximum
Frequency of meetings: once a month (second Wednesday of the month, except July), and no August meeting.
Approximate length of meetings: two to three hours depending on size of agenda

What does the Zoning Board of Appeals do?

In support of the Village’s obligation to safeguard life, safety, and welfare, the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) balances the interests of individual property owners with the general interests of Scarsdale Village and its residents. To that end, the ZBA renders binding decisions regarding requests for variation from zoning requirements, special use permit applications, including those required for pools and tennis courts, and certain other requests for variation from established development rules, such as those associated with fences or signs. The ZBA is also responsible for hearing appeals from aggrieved homeowners and developers regarding village staff interpretation of zoning requirements.

During its meetings, the ZBA invites public comment on all pending applications, and then deliberates on whether to approve or deny each request.

ZBA decisions may only be appealed to a court of law.

What is expected of ZBA members?

The ZBA typically considers five to 10 applications each month. Board members are expected to objectively review each pending application, which typically includes architectural drawings and a site plan, in accordance with the applicable standards. Site visits are often required in order to prepare for each meeting. While meeting typically take two to three hours, meeting preparation time varies with the complexity and number of projects scheduled for review.

Because the ZBA’s binding decisions require a quorum to be present and could result in litigation, both regular meeting attendance and associated preparation are essential.

The ZBA is supported by Village legal counsel and a staff liaison.

What professional, volunteer, and/or personal experiences have been helpful to Board members?

No particular professional, volunteer or personal experience is necessary to join the Board. The ZBA welcomes volunteers who are good listeners, fair, and open-minded.  Any resident who finds land use regulation and/or architecture interesting might particularly enjoy serving on this board.