Board of Zoning Appeals

Want to build but can’t meet our code? Once operated by the Hamilton County Zoning Department, Sycamore Township residents voted in November 1998 to establish their own local zoning and administrative procedures, much like that of the Hamilton County Zoning Department. The change would mean that the Trustees and this board would be making the final zoning decisions in the Township. This new role for Sycamore Township is beneficial to the residents because we will be able to promptly respond to zoning violations and local people will be making the decisions for our future. The Board of Zoning Appeals is a commission of five Township residents appointed by the Trustees. This board acts autonomously on proposed variances and appeals. Because no zoning code can encompass all possibilities, the board makes decisions on specific regulations to allow a deviation from the exact “letter of the law.” Please contact the Planning & Zoning office for the step by step process to file for a variance or conditional use hearing.

Beginning in 2013, any appeals by residents or businesses to an order issued by the Township based on violations to the Property Maintenance Code will be reviewed by the Board of Zoning Appeals. The Board members will ensure due process and determine if in fact a violation exists. To view the current Property Maintenance Code used by Sycamore Township, CLICK HERE.

Conference RoomMEETINGS
The Board of Zoning Appeals meet on the 3rd Monday of each month. Meetings are held in the Township Administration Building located at 8540 Kenwood Road at 7:00 PM. Dates and times for the board meetings are always posted on the home page of website. The public is welcome. For a list of meeting minutes and agendas please CLICK HERE.

PUBLIC COMMENTS DURING MEETING
We welcome comments and questions at board meetings. Public participants must be Township residents and have a legitimate interest in the action of the case. This is the time when members of the public may direct concerns, questions, suggestions or comments to the board when directed.

BOARD AGENDA
The board agenda typically consists of the roll call, pledge to the flag, swearing-in of those providing testimony, approval of past meeting minutes, old and new business, the date of the next meeting, miscellaneous communication & business and adjournment.

YOUR APPOINTED BOARD MEMBERS
The Board of Zoning Appeals is a board consists of 5 members and 1 alternate appointed by the Township Trustees who must be residents of Sycamore Township. The terms of all members must be of such length and so arranged that the term of one member will expire each year. Each member serves until a successor is appointed and qualified. Vacancies are filled by the Township Trustees and are for the unexpired terms.

BZA Members

Board of Zoning Appeals Members from left to right Jeff Heidel, Tom Scheve, Jim Eichmann, Ted Leugers and Jim LaBarbara

Jim LaBarbara
Position: Secretary
Resident of Sycamore Township-Southern Section
Appointed in September of 2010
Term Expires in December 2021

Tom Scheve
Position: Member
Resident of Sycamore Township-Northern Section
Appointed in August of 2005
Term Expires in December 2018

Jim Eichmann
Postion: Chairman
Resident of Sycamore Township-Northern Section
Appointed in November of 2008
Term Expires in December 2018

Ted Leugers
Position: Co-Chairman
Resident of Sycmaore Township-Southern Section
Appointed in December of 2002
Term Expires in December of 2017

Jeff Heidel
Postion: Member
Resident of Sycamore Township-Southern Section
Appointed in December of 2011
Term Expires in December 2019

Steve Scholtz
Postion: Alternate
Resident of Sycamore Township-Southern Section
Appointed in December of 2013
Term Expires in December 2020

Variance versus Conditional Use. What is the difference?

VARIANCE
An official permit to do something normally forbidden by regulations, esp. by building in a way or for a purpose normally forbidden by a zoning law or a building code. No variance shall be granted that is greater than the minimum necessary to relieve the hardship or practical difficulty demonstrated by the applicant. The requested variance must satisfy each of the following standards:

  1. is a unique physical condition
  2. is not self-created
  3. would deny substantial rights
  4. is not merely a special privilege
  5. must be in harmony with the Township Resolution
  6. would not result in a use or development on the subject property that:
    1. would be materially detrimental to the public welfare or materially injurious to the enjoyment , use, development value of property or improvements permitted in the vacinity;
    2. would materially impair an adequate supply of light due to adverse location of shadow to the properties and improvements in the vicinity;
    3. would substantially increase hazardous conditions in the public streets due to traffic or parking;
    4. would unduly increase the danger of flood or fire;
    5. would unduly tax public utilities and facilities in the areas; or
    6. would endanger the public health or safety

CONDITIONAL USE
Conditional uses are those having some special impact or uniqueness which require a careful review of their location, design, configuration and special impact to determine, against fixed standards the desirability of permitting their establishment on any given site. Additionally, there are four general standards considered by the board and applicable to all conditional uses: a) compliance with the spirit and intent of the Zoning Resolution and the zone district b) determination that the proposed use will not have an adverse affect on adjacent property or the public health, safety, morals and general welfare; c) protection of natural, scenic, and historic features to the greatest extent practicable; and d) consistency with adopted plans

I receivedĀ a Public Notice. What does that mean?
You received a notice because your property is located within proximity of a project and we are required by law to notify parties in interest within two hundred feet of the Real Property. If you wish to see current plans for public review, please click here. During the public hearing, the Board will ask for comments from the surrounding property owners. At this time, you may discuss any comments, concerns, or opinions you may have on the proposal. Upon conclusion of this hearing, this matter will be considered by the board. They will take a vote based on the information presented. You are not required to attend this meeting; however, if you have a comment or concern, the Board of Zoning Appeals would like to know. You may also send comments in writing to the department. Please make sure that your comments arrive at the Township before the scheduled hearing.