Boards and Commissions

Zoning Board of Appeals

Zoning Board of Appeals Members
Rory Ruddick | Paul Jackson | Jane Johansen | Robert King | Paul Long | Josh Foor| Dorothy Burch
Contact Mark Sweppenheiser Zoning Administrator
(231) 592-4035, for more information.
The Zoning Board of Appeals meets the 4th Thursday of every month at 7:00 p.m., as needed, at City Hall.

Duties of the Zoning Board of Appeals

The Zoning Board of Appeals derives its authority from Section 7.2 of the Big Rapids Zoning Ordinance. Its duties are as follows:

  1. The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) shall have power to adopt rules and regulations for its own government, not inconsistent with law or with the provisions of this and of any other Ordinances of the Municipality.
  2. Meetings of the ZBA shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such other times as the ZBA may determine. The Chairman, or in his absence, the Acting Chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses.
  3. Hearings of the ZBA shall be public. The ZBA shall keep minutes of its proceedings showing the action of the ZBA and the vote of each member upon each question, or if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall keep records of its examination and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the City Clerk and shall be a public record.
  4. The ZBA shall consist of five (5) members and two (2) alternate members. Members shall be appointed by the City Commission, to serve for a period of three (3) years. Four (4) members shall constitute a quorum. The concurring vote of a majority of the members of the board shall be necessary to reverse an order, requirement, decision of determination of an administrative official or body, or to decide in favor of the applicant a matter upon which the board is required to effect a variation in the requirements of this Ordinance, except that a concurring vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the board shall be necessary to grant a use variance. A majority vote shall be necessary to grant a non-use (or dimensional) variance.
  5. The City Commission shall also appoint one (1) alternate member forthe same terms as regular members of the ZBA. The member so appointed shall serve for a term of two (2) years. Thereafter, all appointments shall be made for three (3) years. The alternate members shall be called on from time to time to sit as regular members of the ZBA in the absence of a regular member. Upon notification of the planned absence of a regular ZBA Member, the alternate member shall be designated to attend the meeting in place of the regular member. An alternate member shall have the same voting rights as regular members of the ZBA. The alternate member may also be called to serve in the place of a regular member for the purpose of reaching a decision on a case in which the regular member has abstained for reasons of conflict of interest. In such circumstance, the alternate member shall serve in that case until a final decision has been made.
  6. The ZBA may call on the Municipal Departments for assistance in the performance of its duties, and it shall be the duty of such departments to render such assistance to the ZBA as may reasonably be required.