The Zoning Board of Appeals
The Zoning Board of Appeals consists of a 5 member independent board appointed by the Village Board of Trustees for a five year term. The Board members review all applications based upon the Village Zoning Ordinances. All zoning designations are represented on a zoning map located at the Village Building & Planning Department along with a detailed explanation of each designation within the Village Code.
The Zoning Board of Appeals listens to cases where a relief from a code requirement or a variance is needed in order to grant a building permit, dimensional variances, Special Exceptions (Permits for various uses specified in the Zoning Ordinance). Commercial Certificates of Existing Use or where an interpretation of code is necessary.
Upon receipt of a completed application and proper notification the Board will schedule a public hearing which is subject to the NYS Open Meeting Law. During the public hearing the applicant or their representative will present their case to the Board. At which time, the Board may ask questions regarding the submitted application as well as take comments from the public, both for or against the merits of the application. Residents are encouraged to participate in the hearings, as input from residents is given consideration when deciding an important issue.
Upon closure of the public hearing, the Board has 62 days to render a decision. The Board’s decision may include such factors as whether an undesirable change to the community is created, physical & environmental impacts, the substantiality of the request, if the request can be achieved through other options as well as public testimony and written communications.
Upon a determination by the Board, a decision letter is created and filed with the Village Clerk. The applicant has a right to appeal the decision within 30 days.
The Zoning Board of Appeals Members commit to a 5-year term and consist of the following individuals:
Chairman: Mark Brosnan
Secretary: Cindy Suarez
Board Members: Tracy Stapleton, Andrew Thomas, Lou Bekofsky, Dan Russo & Jack Giannola (alternate member)
What is a variance?
Variances are modifications of zoning regulations, granted by the ZBA. A process is designed to allow citizens and neighbors to weigh in on the application for the variance, but the decision is always made by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
I applied for a permit and I was told I need a variance. What is the process?
Your completed application is reviewed by the Department of Building & Planning, hearing date is set and staff reports are prepared. At the public hearing, the applicant and/or their representative provides a presentation illustrating the need for the variance. At which time, the public may address the Board of Zoning Appeals with either support or concerns regarding the application. The Board may ask questions of the applicant or the public. After all comments are heard, the Board may elect to close or hold over the meeting in need for additional information by the applicant. If the meeting is closed, the Board will commence to work session and a decision may be rendered The Board has 62 Days to render a decision. The applicant will be notified in writing of the Board’s decision.
How do I know which zoning code an address/property is in?
Zoning maps are available for reference in the Village Building & Planning Department located at 88 N. Country Rd, or you can call #(631)473-4744 for a zoning determination.
I discovered that I need to go through the Board of Zoning Appeals process, how long does it usually take?
The entire process usually takes about 2-3 months. Once you’ve received a denial letter from the Dept. of Buildings and Codes, you may fill out and submit a ZBA application to the Dept. of Planning & Building. When your case has been scheduled for a ZBA meeting, plan on attending the meeting to present your case to the board.
I really need to be on an earlier meeting and I missed the deadline, can I still make an earlier meeting?
No. The reason that the ZBA has deadlines is because a legal notice has to be placed in the newspaper; if this requirement were not met it would be a violation of the Zoning Ordinance and the Open Meetings Law.
When and where are the zoning committee meetings?
Every fourth Thursday of the month at 7pm at Port Jefferson Village Hall located at 121 West Broadway.
I want to build an addition onto my house; do I need a permit or a variance?
If your addition falls within the setbacks for your zoning district you just need a permit. If the addition will go over that setback line you will need a permit AND a Variance.
Where can I get a copy of the Port Jefferson Zoning Ordinance and/or Zoning Map?
When is a building permit required?
A building permit is required “to construct, erect, demolish, install, alter or repair…any building, structure, equipment, appliances or system…”
What is the yard setback for my property? How high can I build? How many parking spaces is a community center supposed to have?
The relevant section of the Code of Ordinances will tell you! Locate the property in question and determine the zoning by looking on the zoning map or contact the Village Planning office. Then go to the Zoning Code located on line or in the Village Planning office to determine the desired information.
General Rules of Conduct for Public Hearings
General Rules of Conduct for Public Hearings
- Be courteous and respectful to the Board members, the applicant, the applicant’s representatives, and those persons addressing the Board.
- All speakers addressing the Board will be asked to identify themselves with first and last name, company name (if applicable), street address and take an oath, if applicable.
- Please speak clearly to the Board so the stenographer may record all comments accurately.
- All written comments shall be submitted to the Board secretary for review and then be read into the record by a Board member.
- Please address all comments to the Board. Please do not address the applicant or village staff directly. The Board will determine if the applicant or staff will address the comment.
- Please refrain from interjecting from the audience until your opportunity is provided to address the Board. All persons so desiring to speak to the Board will be provided with at least one opportunity to speak per application. It is at the Board’s discretion to allow any person to speak more than once on a specific application.
- The Chairman reserves the right to limit all comments to three (3) minute duration per application. Persons will not be allowed to pool time.