About Administrative Appeals

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An administrative appeal is a legally contested order or decision of the zoning official or planning and zoning committee. Decisions that are appealed to the zoning board as an administrative appeal include appeals of zoning administrative decisions, such as:

  • Ordinance ambiguity or interpretation,
  • Reasonableness or accuracy of measurements,
  • Issuance of permitted uses,
  • Issuance of conditional uses decided by the zoning committee/plan commission, or
  • Whether the administrative official had authority to make a decision.

When hearing an administrative appeal, the zoning board should review the record of proceedings before it and may take new evidence. The applicant has the burden of proof to demonstrate that the administrative decision is incorrect or unreasonable. We recommend that, when deciding administrative appeals, the zoning board follow the certiorari review criteria outlined in Chapter 17 for appeal of judicial decisions. For specific guidance related to appeals of conditional use permits, refer to Chapter 14.

When making a decision, the zoning board has all of the powers of the decision-maker whose decision was appealed. The zoning board may reverse, confirm or modify the decision that was appealed.

Watch: Administrative Appeals Process

Provides an explanation of administrative appeals and the process for deciding them

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