ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
About the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)
The Zoning Board of Appeals is a seven member board that serves as a board of appeals on zoning matters. The seven members of the Zoning Board of Appeals are appointed to five year terms by the Mayor and City Council.
The Zoning Board of Appeals meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, when needed. To view the current Zoning Board of Appeals agenda, click here.
For a list of Zoning Board of Appeals meeting dates and application deadlines, click here.
The purpose for variations is to relieve a particular hardship or practical difficulty that the Zoning Ordinance imposes upon a particular parcel of land which makes compliance with the Zoning Ordinance extraordinarily difficult or impossible. The Zoning Board of Appeals is only authorized to allow certain variations. If you are requesting a Special Use for your property, please contact the Plan Commission.
An application before the Zoning Board of Appeals will be considered completed and forwarded to the Zoning Board of Appeals when all of the following have been submitted to the Building Division:
- A completed and signed application form.
- Ten copies of the following documents, stapled together in ten separate packets:
A list of property owners' names and addresses with respective parcel numbers who reside within 250' of the subject site. This information can be obtained from the Kane County Supervisor of Assessments.
Self adhesive envelops properly addressed to the property owners within 250' feet of the subject site, with a current stamp (please do not run through a postage meter), with the return address to the City of Geneva, not the petitioner.
A filing fee of $150 (made payable to the City of Geneva). This fee includes the publication cost of the legal notice in a local newspaper.
- A current, certified plat of survey showing existing conditions, buildings, and proposed changes.
- A location map (available at the Building Division) which shows the location of the property within the City, as well as the zoning classification of surrounding properties.
- A letter of intent describing the variance(s) being requested, and why.
- Written evidence showing compliance with the Standards for Variation.
A public hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals will be held 15 to 30 days after the publication of the legal notice. At the public hearing held by the Zoning Board of Appeals, any interested parties will have an opportunity to be heard. After the public hearing the Zoning Board of Appeals can, by majority vote within 90 days, grant a variation. A variation by the Zoning Board of Appeals will be issued as a resolution with written findings of fact addressing the four standards for variation and on any conditions in which the variation is granted.
Once the variation has been granted, a copy of the Zoning Board of Appeals decision notice must be recorded with the Kane County Recorder of Deeds. The City of Geneva will not issue any building permit, certificate of occupancy, or any other development or construction approval without proof that the variation has been properly recorded.
An approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals pertains only to the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance. All other ordinance requirements of the City, including subdivision regulations, building codes, and (if applicable) Historic Preservation review, must be complied with as well, before building permits are issued and occupancy permitted.
The Zoning Board of Appeals has the authority to allow variations from regulations in a zoning district in the following areas:
- To permit any setback less than a setback required by the applicable regulations
- To permit the use of a lot for a use otherwise prohibited solely because of the insufficient area or width of the lot or lots, but in no event shall the respective area and width of the lot be less than eighty percent (80%) of the required area and width
- To increase by not more than twenty percent (20%) the maximum gross floor area of any use so limited by the applicable regulations
- To reduce the applicable off-street parking or loading facilities required by not more than twenty percent (20%)
- To increase the maximum height requirement of any district
- To increase the maximum allowable height of any fence
- To vary the requirements of the Traffic and Access Regulations
- To increase the maximum lot coverage ratio
- To permit the use of a yard otherwise prohibited by the zoning ordinance
Standards for Variation
The Zoning Board of Appeals may only approve a variation if the applicant presents evidence at the public hearing establishing compliance with each of the following standards:
- Reasonable Return: The property in question cannot yield a reasonable return if to be permitted to be used only under the regulations of the district in which it is located.
- Unique Hardship or Practical Difficulty: The shape, topography or other conditions of the land is such that it is extremely difficult to comply with the regulations generally applicable to the property.
- Character of the Area: The applicant must show that the variation requested will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or materially injurious to the enjoyment, use or development of property or improvements permitted in the vicinity; will not materially impair an adequate supply of light and air to properties and improvements in the vicinity; will not substantially increase congestion in the public streets due to traffic or parking or increase the danger of flood or fire; will not unduly tax public utilities and facilities in the area; or will not endanger the public health, safety or welfare.
- Minimum Variation: Any variation considered by the zoning board of appeals shall be considered the minimum variation necessary for the reasonable use of the land.
For questions about the Zoning Board of Appeals, please contact the Building Division at (630) 262-0280.