Board of Adjustments

Appeals to the Board of Adjustment may be taken by any person aggrieved or any neighborhood organization as defined in Section 32.105 RSMo., representing such person or by an officer, department, board, other than the Board of Adjustment, or bureau of the City affected by any decision of the Building Commissioner. Such appeal shall be taken within a reasonable time, as shall be prescribed by the Board by general rule, by filing with the Building Commissioner and with the Board a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof. The Building Commissioner shall forthwith transmit to the Board all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from is taken.

An appeal to the Board of Adjustment stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the Building Commissioner certifies to the Board after the notice of appeal shall have been filed with him/her that, by reason of facts stated in the certificate, a stay would, in his/her opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property. In such case, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order which may be granted by the Board, or by a Court of record on application or notice to the Building Commissioner on good cause shown.

The Board of Adjustment shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal, give not less than fifteen (15) days' public notice thereof in a newspaper of general circulation, as well as due notice to the parties in interest, and decide the appeal within a reasonable time. Upon the hearing, any party may appear, in person, by agent or by attorney.

A fee of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125) shall be paid to the Building Commissioner at the time the notice of appeal is filed, which the Building Commissioner shall forthwith pay over to the City Treasurer to the credit of the General Revenue Fund of the City.

A. The Board of Adjustment shall have the following powers, and it shall be its duty:

  1. To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error of law in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the Building Commissioner in the enforcement of this Chapter.
  2. To permit the extension of a District where the boundary line of a District divides a lot held in a single ownership on February 10, 1969.
  3. To interpret the provisions of this Chapter in such a way as to carry out the intent and purpose of the plan, as shown upon the Official Zoning Map, where the street layout actually on the ground varies from the street layout as shown on the Official Zoning Map.
  4. To permit the erection and use of a building or the use of premises for public utility purposes.
  5. To permit the reconstruction of a non-conforming building which has been damaged by explosion, fire, act of God or the public enemy, tot he extent of more than sixty % (60%) of its fair market value, where the Board of Adjustment find some compelling necessity requiring a continuance of the non-conforming use and the primary purpose of continuing the non-conforming use is not to continue a monopoly.
  6. To permit a variation in the yard requirements of any District, where there are unusual practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in the carrying out of these provisions, due to an irregular shape of the lot, topographical or other conditions; provided, that such variation will not seriously affect any adjoining property or the general welfare.
  7. To authorize upon appeal, whenever a property owner can show that a strict application of the terms of the Chapter relating to the use, construction or alteration of buildings or structures or the use of land will impose upon him/her unusual practical difficulties or particular hardship, such variations of the strict application of the terms of the Chapter as are in harmony with its general purpose and intent, but only when the Board is satisfied that a granting of such variation will not merely serve as a convenience to the applicant, but will alleviate some demonstratable and unusual hardship or difficulty so great as to warrant a variation from the comprehensive plan as established by this Chapter, and at the same time the surrounding property will be properly protected.

B. In exercising the above powers, the Board may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as ought to be made, and to that end shall have all the powers of the Building Commissioner from whom the appeal is taken. The concurring vote of four (4) members of the Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision, or determination of any such administrative official, or to decide in favor of the applicant on any matter upon which it is required to pass under any such ordinance or to effect any variation in such ordinance.

C. Every variation granted or denied by the Board shall be accompanied by a written finding of fact, based on testimony and evidence and specifying the reason for granting or denying the variation.

Any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by any decision of the Board of Adjustment, any neighborhood organization as defined in Section 32.105, RSMo., representing such person or persons or any officer, department, board or bureau of the City, may present to the Circuit Court of the County or City in which the property affected is located a petition, duly verified, setting forth that such decision is illegal, in whole or in part, specifying the grounds of the illegality. Such petition shall be presented to the court within thirty (30) days after the filing of the decision in the office of the Board. Upon the presentation of such petition the court may allow a writ of certiorari directed to the Board of Adjustment to review such decision of the Board of Adjustment and shall prescribe therein the time within which a return thereto must be made and served upon the relator's attorney, which shall not be less than ten (10) days and may be extended by the court. The allowance of the writ shall not stay proceedings upon the decision appealed from, but the court may, on application, on notice to the Board and on due cause shown, grant a restraining order. The Board of Adjustment shall not be required to return the original papers acted upon by it, but it shall be sufficient to return certified or sworn copies thereof or of such portions thereof as may be called for by such writ. The return shall concisely set forth such other facts as may be pertinent and material to show the grounds of the decision appealed from and shall be verified. If, upon the hearing, it shall appear to the court that testimony is necessary for the proper disposition of the matter, it may take additional evidence or appoint a referee to take such evidence as it may direct and report the same to the court with his/her findings of fact and conclusions of law, which shall constitute a part of the proceedings upon which a determination of the court shall be made. The court may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the decision brought up for review. Costs shall not be allowed against the Board unless it shall appear to the court that it acted with gross negligence, or in bad faith, or with malice in making the decision appealed from. All issues in any proceedings under Sections 89.080 and 89.110, RSMo., shall have preference over all other civil actions and proceedings.