The legal authority for the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) comes from the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act (P.A. 110 of 2006, as amended). The statutory responsibilities of the ZBA appear below in summary form. The ZBA:
- Adopts rules of procedure (bylaws) to govern its actions as an appeals board.
- Hears and acts upon all questions that may arise from the administration of the zoning ordinance, including text interpretation, and interpretation of the zoning map.
- Hears and acts upon appeals made from any administrative order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative official or body charged with enforcement of the zoning ordinance.
- Hears and acts upon requests for variances, keeping in mind the spirit of the ordinance, public safety, and substantial justice.
- May hear appeals with regard to special land uses and planned unit developments, only if expressly authorized in the zoning ordinance.
- May impose reasonable conditions upon an affirmative decision.
- Must state the basis or grounds for its decision. It must identify the facts which support the conclusions reached on the cases before it and state them on the record of the proceedings.
- Conducts all meetings in public and makes a decision within a reasonable amount of time.