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The Board of Zoning Appeals is a seven-member quasi-judicial body appointed by the Circuit Court charged with a specific limited mission as defined under Section 15.2-2309 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended. The Board is authorized to hear and decide appeals from any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative officer in the administration or enforcement of those items covered under Article 7 of Title 15.2 of the Code of Virginia. In addition to this review authority, the Board may grant certain variances from the requirements of the Chesapeake Zoning Ordinance, provided a hardship, as narrowly defined under Section 15.2-2201 of the Code of Virginia, is clearly evident.
A Zoning Ordinance cannot provide for all conceivable situations to which it must apply. Provisions must be made to balance the strict application of the ordinance with the purposes and intent established by the ordinance. The primary function of the BZA is to vary the specific terms of the zoning ordinance so that practical development problems of the community may be met within the provisions of the ordinance. In effect, the board acts as a "safety valve." Without this body to decide on such matters, solutions to these development problems would have to be accomplished by amendment of the ordinance or through a lawsuit.
Variance and appeal applications use the same form (PDF). Instructions, filing fees and general information are included in the form. If you have any questions, please call the Board of Zoning Appeals Secretary at 757-382-6466 or 757-382-8454.