Public Hearings- Board of Zoning Appeals

The Franklin County Board of Zoning Appeals reviews applications for Zoning Variances as well as Appeals of zoning determinations. These applications are reviewed by Planning & Community Development staff, advertised, and then heard by the Board of Zoning Appeals. Below is a brief overview of what happens through the entire process.

Application

  • Pre-Application Meeting. Planning staff meet with potential applicants to review the request, identify specific information that needs to be submitted and discuss procedures and time frames. This step may not happen with appeals, due to the nature of the appeal process.
  • Applicants must submit their completed application by 4:30 PM on the deadline date listed on the current hearing schedule. Deadlines, along with their corresponding meeting dates can be found on the 2023 Board of Zoning Appeals Public Hearing Schedule.

Advertisement

  • Planning & Community Development staff shall post signs on or near the property designating there is a property going before public hearing. After the public hearings are completed, staff shall remove these signs. Please DO NOT remove, move, or replace the signs. If there is an issue with the sign, or if it becomes missing or damaged, please call 540-483-3028. 
  • In accordance with established state and local regulations, public hearings must be legally advertised in a newspaper of general circulation. Franklin County Planning & Community Development advertises public hearings in the Franklin News Post on Wednesdays.
  • Applicants are responsible for the cost of the legal ad, and will be invoiced by Planning & Community Development staff.
  • Planning staff also mails out letters to adjoining property owners of the property listed on the application.
  • The public may view submitted applications under the Board of Zoning Appeals webpage.

Pre-Hearing

  • Planning & Community Development staff review the application and proposed property. Staff then writes a report detailing the background of the request, analysis, conformity with the comprehensive plan. At the end of the report, staff makes a recommendation to the Board of Zoning Appeals. The recommendation is NOT a ruling or decision. This step is a little different when it comes to the appeal process.
  • The Board of Zoning Appeals clerk puts all application materials, reports, supporting documents, and citizen comments into one document. The document is distributed to the Board of Zoning Appeals for review. This packet is available to the public under the Board of Zoning Appeals agenda webpage.
  • Board of Zoning Appeals members visit each site proposed in the applications they received.

Public Hearing

  • Public hearings begin at 6:00 PM on the date listed on the 2023 Board of Zoning Appeals Public Hearing Schedule, and take place in the Board of Supervisors meeting room, unless otherwise noted. 
  • The Chair of the Board of Zoning Appeals will introduce the item on the agenda in the order listed.
  • Planning & Community Development staff will present their report to the Board of Zoning Appeals, and answer any questions. In cases of appeals, the county attorney will present the zoning administrator's decision and related information.
  • The applicant or authorized party will address the Board of Zoning Appeals, and answer any questions.
  • The Chair of the Board of Zoning Appeals will then open the floor to any citizen who wished to comment on the current application. Please be aware that your time may be limited to three (3) minutes. 
  • The Chair of the Board of Zoning Appeals may or may not ask the applicant if they would like to address any concerns/questions brought up by the public. This step may be different in the case of appeals.
  • The Board of Zoning Appeals will then enter deliberation. During this period motions may be made to approve, deny or table the application. A roll call vote will follow each motion. 
  • Once the Board of Zoning Appeals has reached a decision, the process is complete. These cases do not go before the Board of Supervisors.
  • The Chair will then introduce the next item on the agenda.


If you have any questions, or wish to submit comments regarding an application set to be heard, please contact the Board of Zoning Appeals Clerk, Samantha Conner, by email: samantha.conner@franklincountyva.gov or by phone at 540-483-3028.