Board of Zoning Adjustments


1221 Elmwood Park Blvd., Ste. 202
Jefferson, LA 70123
P: (504)736-6023

 

The Board of Zoning Adjustments is mainly responsible for hearing and rendering a legal judgment on requests for zoning variances.

PURPOSE
The purpose of the Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA) is to provide an outlet for possible relief where a property hardship exists.  Some “lots-of-record” have obvious property hardships that prevent the ability to comply with all zoning requirements and therefore prevent the ability to obtain a legal permit to build.

ECONOMIC, PERSONAL OR MAN-MADE REASONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE A HARDSHIP.

Examples of property hardships:
Lot being narrow, shallow, L-shaped, pie-shaped, a parallelogram, substandard, etc.

Some of the most commonly requested zoning variances are:

  1. Garage/carport enclosures creating insufficient front yard setback for legal off-street parking.
  2. Placement of mechanical equipment (air conditioning, swimming pool equipment, generator) in the required side yard creating insufficient side yard setback.
  3. Garage/accessory structures exceeding the maximum allowed in height in the rear yard area.
  4. Fence in the required front yard creating insufficient front yard setback.
  5. Carports in both the front yard and side yard areas having insufficient required front yard setbacks, insufficient side yard setbacks, and insufficient required sky clearance.

BOARD MEMBERS
The BZA is composed of seven members. Each Jefferson Parish Council member appoints one member.

Jacquelyn R. "Jackie" Madden, Chairwoman - representing Division A

Diann C. Amstutz, Vice-Chairwoman - representing District 1

Timothy Valenti - representing Division B

Libby Moran, Board Secretary - representing District 2

Vernell Thibodeaux - representing District 3

Kevin Delahoussay - representing District 4

Carey Hammett - representing District 5

MEETINGS
BZA meetings are held every two weeks on Monday at 4:00 PM. They rotate from the East Bank Council Chambers to the West Bank Council Chambers. The phone number of the BZA to determine the current schedule is 504-736-6023.

PROCEDURES TO APPLY FOR AN APPEAL
A person who wishes to request an appeal starts the process by applying to the Plan Review Office of the Department of Inspection and Code Enforcement, either on the East Bank, Yenni Bldg., 1221 Elmwood Park Blvd., Ste. 101, Jefferson, 504-736-6957 or West Bank, 400 Maple St., Harvey, 504-364-3513.

After a Plan Reviewer determines that the plans are not in compliance with current Jefferson Parish Zoning laws such as parking requirements, height restrictions, front, rear or side yard setback requirements from property lines, and there is a reason why the applicant believes the plans cannot be revised to meet the zoning laws, there is the option to file an appeal to the BZA.

The Plan Reviewer will then distribute and explain a packet that contains an application instruction sheet, plot plan form, affidavit form, and a sample diagram indicating the appropriate neighboring property owners that are located within a 100-foot radius of the job site.

In addition to the BZA application packet, a sign shall be provided by Inspection & Code Enforcement and posted by the applicant at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing before the Board. The applicant shall post the sign within ten (10) feet of a public street right-of-way and positioned in a manner to best inform the traveling public without creating a safety hazard. The applicant shall not remove the sign until the Board takes final action, failure to post the notification sign within the required timeline shall result in a delay of your hearing.

The Plan Reviewer will then complete the BZA application forms indicating the Articles & Sections of the Zoning Ordinances that the proposed building permit will violate. All fees are then to be paid to the Inspection & Code Enforcement, Cashier Section.

It currently takes approximately 3 weeks from the receipt of a completed application packet until the BZA public hearing is held.

AFTER THE PUBLIC HEARING
Once the BZA staff satisfies all legal obligations and the BZA renders a Judgment (original judgment is sent by first class mail to the appellant within 7-10 days after the BZA ruling), enforcement of the judgment is the responsibility of the Department of Inspection & Code Enforcement; both the Plan Review Section & the Building Section.

Since the BZA is a Quasi-Judicial Board, anyone aggrieved by a decision of the Board has 30 days to appeal the decision to the 24th Judicial District Court.