Elkins, W. Va., December 16, 2020: In Elkins, when someone disagrees with a zoning decision, their first recourse is to request review by the Elkins Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). The BZA has the authority, within certain limitations, to reverse zoning decisions, authorize exceptions, and grant variances. There are currently two vacancies on the city’s five-seat BZA, and applications are now being accepted for these crucial volunteer positions.
The BZA meets infrequently, typically only when an appeal is received. In the last several years, the board has met only a handful of times. However, the Elkins Planning Commission has been working on an updated zoning code for the city that will be presented for council’s consideration in 2021. With expanded zoning rules, it can be expected that the workload of the BZA may expand as well.
BZA members serve three-year terms. To be eligible to serve on the BZA, applicants must have lived inside Elkins city limits for the three years preceding their appointment date. During their terms of office, BZA members are not allowed to serve on the city’s planning commission or hold any other city elected or appointed office.
No special or technical knowledge is required to serve on the BZA. The board is supported by the building inspector and zoning officer, the city attorney, and other city staff as needed.