County P&Z Commission looks to Adjust representation

KINGMAN - Residents in incorporated areas of the county may soon have a say in their County Board of Adjustments.

The County Planning and Zoning Commission will be amending the county ordinance governing the board in order to bring it into compliance with a recent change to state statutes.

The commission will be discussing the amendment during it regular meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the County Administration Building in Kingman.

The Board of Adjustments serves as an appeals board for county planning and zoning issues. Mohave County has three boards, one for each supervisor district.

Each board has three members who are appointed by the supervisor of their district to a four-year term.

According to the original state statute, members of the boards were taxpayers in the unincorporated areas of each of the supervisory districts in the county.

Recently, the state Legislature changed the statute to allow taxpayers from both the incorporated and unincorporated areas to be appointed to the board. The commission will be changing the current zoning ordinance to reflect the change at the state level.

According to the county zoning ordinance, each board elects its own officers, establishes its own rules and keeps its own records.

The boards must meet at least twice a year but can meet more frequently if necessary.

After each board meeting, a report must be made to the Planning and Zoning Commission. The items discussed by the board then become part of the agenda for the next commission meeting.

According to Arizona Revised Statutes, the board has the power to interpret any zoning ordinance when the meaning of the ordinance is in doubt, when there is a dispute between a property owner and the Planning and Zoning Department or when the location of a district boundary is in question.

It can also allow a variance when a particular ordinance would cause a hardship for a property owner. This usually occurs when the size, shape, topography or surroundings of a piece of property creates an issue with the current zoning.

According to the county zoning ordinance, a variance can be granted for the height, area and size of a structure or the size of a yard or open space. A variance may not be granted for a zoning use prohibited by the current zoning or to correct a current non-conforming use of the property.

The board also acts as an appeals process for residents who feel that an error may have been made by the P&Z Department in an order, requirement, decision, grant or refusal made by a zoning inspector.

Residents who feel that they have not gotten a satisfactory response from the Board of Adjustment in their area can appeal to the County Superior Court.

The Commission will also be considering on Wednesday:

• three rezoning requests, a zoning use permit and three requests for a time extension in the Golden Valley area.

• one request for a zoning use permit for a secondary residence in the Kingman area.