The procedures and findings necessary for the Board of Appeals to grant an appeal from the Building Code , or one of the other codes, differ from those required for a zoning variance. This is because the zoning variance process was established to avoid constitutional issues, i.e. "regulatory taking" of property. Appeals from the Building Code or other codes may question administrative interpretations by staff or ask that an alternative construction technique be accepted, as a safety measure that is equal to the alternatives outlined in the Building Code. Requirements usually cannot be waived entirely.
There is a Board of Appeals for the Building and Housing Code, and separate Boards for the Mechanical Code and Plumbing Codes (Mechanical & Plumbing Board or Examiners) and the Electrical Code (Electrical Board of Examiners).
Board meetings are scheduled on an “as needed” basis and are open to the public, with notice of the appeal being published as a public hearing. City staff and the City Attorney advise the Board on proper legal proceedings and findings.
Board decisions on an appeal are final as far as the City’s process is concerned. The Mayor and City Council cannot overrule a Board decision. If anyone feels an appeal was improperly granted or denied, including the Mayor and City Council, the Board’s decision must be appealed to the District Court. An appeal can be filed by the appellant, a citizen, or even by the City Council.