Board of Zoning Appeals Bylaws
Article I – The Board of Zoning Appeals
Section 1 – Name
The official name of the Board shall be the Putnam County Board of Zoning Appeals.
Article II – Officers
Section 1 – Elections
Annually, at the first regular meeting of the year, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall elect a President, Vice-President, and a Secretary.
Section 2 – President
The President, if present, shall serve as presiding officer at meetings of the Board of Zoning Appeals and at public hearings and meetings called by the Board of Zoning Appeals. The President shall call special meetings of the Board of Zoning Appeals as required and shall transmit reports, plans, recommendations, and other documents from the Board of Zoning Appeals to the appropriate authorities or bodies. The presiding officer of the meeting shall only vote when the chair’s vote will change the result of the vote (break a tie or create a tie). The President shall act as spokesperson for the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Section 3 – Vice-President
The Vice-President, if present, shall preside in the absence of the President and shall perform duties and functions as may from time to time be required by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Section 4 – Secretary
The Secretary shall be responsible for preparing and keeping the records of the Board of Zoning Appeals and do all other tasks assigned by the Board of Zoning Appeals. The Putnam County Office of Planning and Infrastructure shall provide staff support and office space to the Secretary. If both the President and Vice President are absent, it is the duty of the Secretary to call the meeting to order and immediately to call for nominations and conduct an election of a temporary president as the presiding officer.
Section 5 – Additional Duties
The President, Vice-President, and Secretary shall perform other duties and functions as may from time to time be required by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Section 6 – Replacing Officers
In the event of the death, resignation, or removal of the President, Vice-President, or Secretary, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall elect one of its members to complete the unexpired term. A majority of the members of the Board may, at any regular meeting, remove the President, Vice-President, or Secretary from office, provided that a new election to fill the remaining term of office is immediately held.
Section 7 – Nominating Committee
A nominating committee shall be appointed by the presiding officer at the first regular meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals in the fourth quarter of the year in order to determine nominations for the Board of Zoning Appeals’ officers for the following year.
Article III – Meetings
Section 1 – Regular Meeting
The Board of Zoning Appeals shall meet monthly whenever there is an agenda item for their consideration but, at a minimum, shall hold a meeting quarterly. As said quarterly meeting is required to fulfill WV Code §8A-8-5 and if there are no agenda items to be discussed at said meeting, the meeting may be held virtually or telephonically provided the Board members can hear each other, and the public can hear the Board members.
The regular meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals shall be held on the Second Thursday of the month at the Putnam County Courthouse located at 12093 Winfield Road, Winfield, WV. If the Second Thursday of the month shall fall on a holiday or any other day when the Putnam County Courthouse will be closed, the regular meeting of the month shall be held on the First Thursday of the Month at the same location.
Section 2 – Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Board of Zoning Appeals may be called by the President or by at least two members upon request to the Secretary. Whether called by the President or by two or more members, the Secretary shall send to all members, at least two days in advance of a special meeting, a written notice fixing the date, time, and place of the meeting, but written notice of a special meeting is not required if the date, time, and place of the special meeting have been fixed in a regular meeting.
Section 3 – Presiding Officer
(Reserved for President, Vice President, Secretary, or Temporary President)
The presiding officer must be a Board of Zoning Appeals member physically at the meeting. The presiding officer shall chair the meetings and public hearings of the Board of Zoning Appeals. The presiding officer shall only vote when his or her vote will change the result of the vote (break a tie or create a tie).
Section 4 – Telephone & Video Conferencing Attendance at Meetings
In order for a member to serve until a final determination is made in a matter, a member may attend a meeting by telephone or video conferencing if they attended and heard evidence at a meeting when action was postponed or tabled and are unable to attend the future meeting when action is to be taken. They must inform the Secretary of their absence at least two days in advance of the meeting so arrangements may be made for electronic attendance. During the meeting, the member must be recognized by the presiding officer in order to obtain the floor, make motions, and debate. The Board member attending the meeting by telephone or video conferencing must be able to hear the other Board members and be heard by the public.
Section 5 – Quorum
In order to conduct a Board meeting, a quorum of the members must be present. A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. No action of the Board shall be official unless authorized by a majority of the members present at a regular or properly called special meeting.
Section 6 – Alternate Members
In the event one of the regular members is unable to serve, an alternate member shall serve on the board. While serving, the alternate member shall have the same powers and duties as a regular board member. The alternate member shall serve until a final determination is made in the matter to which the alternate member was initially called on to serve.
Section 7 – Temporary President at Presiding Officer
In the event of a quorum for a meeting and the absence of both the President and Vice-President, the Secretary shall call the meeting to order and immediately call for nominations and conduct an election of a temporary president as the presiding officer. A simple majority of those present is sufficient to elect the temporary president.
Section 8 – Procedures for Conducting Meetings
Roberts Rules of Order, current edition, shall be the parliamentary authority of the Board of Zoning Appeals meetings. In the case of a conflict with a statute or ordinance and with any policy adopted by these bylaws, priority authority is given first to the statute, second to the ordinance, and third to bylaws.
Section 9 – Procedures for Conducting Public Hearings
- The presiding officer opens a public hearing;
- Staff presents a summary of the application;
- Applicant comments;
- Public comments;
- Questions from the Board of Zoning Appeals;
- Rebuttals of the Staff, Applicant, and/or Public; and
- The presiding officer closes or recesses the public hearing.
All persons wanting to comment shall be recognized by the presiding officer and direct their comments to the Board of Zoning Appeals. The public hearing is held to receive comments and is not a forum for debate.
Article IV – Informing County Commission of Members’ Absence
Section 1 – Informing County Commission of Members’ Absence
The President shall automatically send a letter to the County Commission to inform them when any member fails to attend three (3) consecutive regularly scheduled meetings or any five (5) regular meetings in a calendar year.
Article V – Separability
Section 1 – Separability
The invalidation of any article or any section of any article shall not invalidate any other portion of these Bylaws.
Article VI – Amendments to the Bylaws
Section 1 – Amendments
These Bylaws can be amended at any regular meeting by a three-fifths majority vote provided that the amendments have been submitted in writing at the previous meeting.
Adopted: August 13, 1996
Amended: March 8, 2007
Amended: September 10, 2009
Amended: September 13, 2012
Amended: August 14, 2014
Amended: April 11, 2019
Amended: November 2, 2023