Planning and Zoning Board of Adjustment

The Planning and Zoning Board of Adjustment (PZBOA) has two functions.  The first function is as a Planning Board and is responsible to investigate land development issues that face our County and make recommendations the governing body for possible implementation.  The planning board makes these recommendations on zoning ordinance revisions (rezoning) as well as other changes involving land development codes.  The PZBOA has a strong history of providing a fair and open forum for all interested persons to discuss land use issues.  The Board has always strived to maintain an objectivity on all land use issues that is vital to the success of the public planning process.  The Board has preserved its apolitical stance to many issues in the past several years, and has provided sound, clear, and objective recommendations to the Richmond County Board of Commissioners.  In return, the Commissioners have relied on this level of professionalism to assist them in making final decisions on land use related issues.

In the second capacity the PZBOA acts in a quasi-judicial manner as the Board of Adjustments. In other words the Board acts very much like a court of law for matters such as:

1. Conditional Uses – those uses, which are to be reviewed and approved at a higher, level than administrative staff;
2. Variances – for time when the strict interpretation of an ordinance or land use regulation cause undue hardship on a citizen; and
3. Appeals – for time when a review of interpretation of the ordinance for a better and more comprehensive understanding of the regulations is needed.

In order to accomplish the role of Board of Adjustments, this Board will require that all information presented in regard to a case be sworn testimony.  Opinions, while always important, will not hold as much weight as facts and competent evidence.  The Board will hear only sworn and competent testimony during a land use case. Any physical evidence or prepared statements shall be turned over to the Clerk after presentation, as they will become part of the record of the case.  After the hearing, the Board may choose to decide the case immediately or postpone the decision to wait for additional testimony, facts and/or evidence at a later date.  A copy of the written decision shall be mailed to the applicant and any other interested party.  All appeals of the decision shall be filed with the Richmond County Superior Court within 30 days of the date of decision.

Members of the Board

The County Board of Commissioners appoint the members of the PZBOA to a three year term. The current membership is as follows:

o    Harvey Melton - Chairman
o    Fred Morris - Vice Chairman
o    Greg Norton
o    Gerald Witherspoon
o    Jim Lambeth
o    Richard Williams
o    Mark Savage  
o    Tym Hayden - Alternate Member

Meeting Information

The Planning and Zoning Board of Adjustments has its regular meeting on the 1st Tuesday of each month.  Meetings are held in the Commissioners Chamber in the County Administration Building.  Please call 910-417-4917 for more details about the upcoming meeting.