Board of Zoning Appeals

The Board of Zoning Appeals consists of five (5) members who the Circuit Court of Accomack County appoints. The Board of Zoning Appeals hears and decides appeals from any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by the administrative officer or Zoning Administrator.

The following are the restrictions and rules governing the Board when deciding on an appeal:

When a property owner can show that the property was acquired in good faith and where because of the exceptional narrowness, shallowness, size, or shape of a specific piece of property at the time of the effective date of the ordinance or where because of exceptional topographic conditions or other extraordinary situation or condition of such piece of property, or the use or development of property immediately adjacent thereto, the strict application of the terms of the ordinance would effectively prohibit or unreasonably restrict the use of the property or where the Board is satisfied, upon the evidence heard by it, that the granting of such variance will alleviate a demonstrable hardship approaching confiscation, as distinguished from a special privilege or convenience sought by the applicant, provided that all variances shall be in harmony with the intended spirit and purpose of the ordinance.

The Board shall authorize no such variance unless it finds:

1. that the strict application of the ordinance would produce undue hardship;

2. that such hardship is not shared generally by other properties in the same zoning district and the same vicinity and

3. that the authorizing of such variance will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property and that the granting of the variance will not change the district’s character.

No such variance shall be authorized unless the Board finds that the condition or situation of the property concerned or the intended use of the property is not of so general or recurring a nature as to make reasonably practicable the formulation of a general regulation to be adopted as an amendment to the ordinance.

In authorizing a variance, the Board may impose such conditions regarding the proposed structure’s location, character, and other features for use as it may deem necessary in the public interest. It may require a guarantee or bond to ensure that the conditions imposed are being and will continue to be complied with.

The current board members are as follows:

Jeffrey Barrett
James McGowan

Contact Information

Town Hall
15 North Street
Onancock, VA 23417