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updated 7/16/04

OVERVIEW

New State Law 8A-2-11 says planning commission will:

"(1) Exercise general supervision for the administration of the affairs of the commission;"

"(4) With consent from the governing body, hire employees necessary to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the planning commission: Provided, That the governing body sets the salaries;"

New State Law 8A-8-9 says board of zoning appeals will:

"(11) With consent from the governing body, hire employees necessary to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the board: Provided, That the governing body sets the salaries;"

Old State Law 8-24-14(4) said Planning Commission will "Prescribe the qualifications of, appoint, remove" its staff (also 8-24-12). Old State Law 8-24-14(11) said Planning Commission must "Prepare and submit an annual budget."

Zoning Ordinance 3.1(a) says the Zoning Administrator is designated by the County Commission, but supervised by the Planning Commission.

The Subdivision Ordinance (3.1) says the Engineer is on the staff of the planning commission.

Floodplain Ordinance (6.0) & Improvement Location Permit Ordinance (4.0) say they are administered by Land Development Coordinator, who must be an employee of the Planning Commission.

Current organization does not comply with these ordinances: County Commission hires the Engineer and Land Development Coordinator, and supervises them and the Zoning Administrator. Zoning Administrator prepares budget.

Colors: Planning Commission, its staff, County Commission, Zoning Board, prosecuting attorney



ZONING ORDINANCE

Section 3.1 Administration

Section 3.1 Administration and Enforcement

(a) The provisions of this Ordinance will be governed by the County Commission or the Zoning Administrator and Staff in accordance with 8A-1-1 et seq of the West Virginia State Code, as amended. With enactment of the Ordinance, the County Commission shall designate a Zoning Administrator for the day to day administration of the ordinance.

Section 3.2 Zoning Administrator

(a) The Zoning Administrator shall administer and enforce the Zoning Ordinance. This includes but is not limited to the following:

(1) Make determinations that all applications required by the Ordinance are complete and that all fees are paid.

(2) Interpret the provisions of the Ordinance as required by law.

(3) Issue Zoning Certificates as permitted by the Ordinance.

(4) Calculate the LESA point scores and determine the adequacy of the Support Data for all applications for a Conditional Use Permit.

(5) Issue all Permits and Certificates as permitted by the Ordinance.

(6) Prepare and submit reports as required by the Ordinance or the Board of Zoning Appeals or Planning Commission.

(7) Conduct meetings and conferences pursuant to the Zoning Ordinance.

SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE

Section 3.1 Definitions

Engineer. A member of the Planning Commission Staff (or a consultant) who is registered (or able to be registered) as a West Virginia Professional Engineer.

Planning Commission Staff. All employees of the Planning Commission whether part-time, full-time, contractual or other.

Section 4.5 Delegation of Responsibility

At the discretion of the Planning Commission, administrative activities required by this Ordinance may be delegated to a Committee of the Planning Commission or to the Planning Commission staff.

IMPROVEMENT LOCATION PERMIT ORDINANCE

Section 4.0 Administration

Administration of this Ordinance shall be delegated to an employee of the Jefferson County Planning Commission to be known as the Land Development Coordinator. The Land Development Coordinator shall be under the supervision of the Director of Planning and, where a Land Development Coordinator has not been appointed by the Planning Commission, the Director of Planning shall be designated as the Land Development Coordinator.

FLOODPLAIN ORDINANCE

Section 6.0 Administration

This Ordinance shall be administered by an employee of the Jefferson County Planning Commission to be known as the Land Development Coordinator. If shall also be the duty of the Land Development Coordinator to function as enforcement officer as it become necessary to initiate administrative or judicial remedies against Building Code Ordinance violators. The Land Development Coordinator shall be under the supervision of the Director of Planning and, where a Land Development Coordinator has not been appointed by the Planning Commission, the Director of Planning shall be designated as Land Development Coordinator.

2004 STATE LAW ON PLANNING COMMISSIONS

8A-2-10. Governing body's duties.

(a) The county commission in the case of a county planning commission, and the governing body of the municipality in the case of a municipal planning commission, shall provide the planning commission with:

(1) Suitable offices for the holding of meetings and the preservation of plans, maps, documents and accounts; and

(2) Appropriate money to defray the reasonable expenses of the planning commission.

(b) In the ordinance creating a multicounty planning commission, a regional planning commission or a joint planning commission, the governing bodies shall designate office space and will each equally appropriate money sufficient to defray the reasonable expenses of the planning commission.

(c) Planning commissions are authorized to accept gifts, funds and donations which will be deposited with the appropriate governing body in a special nonreverting planning commission fund to be available for expenditures by the planning commission for the purpose designated by the donor.

8A-2-11. Planning commission's powers and duties.

A planning commission has the following powers and duties:

(1) Exercise general supervision for the administration of the affairs of the commission;

(2) Prescribe rules and regulations pertaining to administration, investigations and hearings: Provided, That the rules and regulations are adopted by the governing body;

(3) Supervise the fiscal affairs and responsibilities of the commission;

(4) With consent from the governing body, hire employees necessary to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the planning commission: Provided, That the governing body sets the salaries;

(5) Keep an accurate and complete record of all planning commission proceedings;

(6) Record and file all bonds and contracts;

(7) Take responsibility for the custody and preservation of all papers and documents of the planning commission;

(8) Make recommendations to the appropriate governing body concerning planning;

(9) Make an annual report to the appropriate governing body concerning the operation of the planning commission and the status of planning within its jurisdiction;

(10) Prepare, publish and distribute reports, ordinances and other material relating to the activities authorized under this article;

(11) Adopt a seal, and certify all official acts;

(12) Invoke any legal, equitable or special remedy for the enforcement of the provisions of this article or any ordinance, rule and regulation or any action taken thereunder;

(13) Prepare and submit an annual budget to the appropriate governing body;

(14) If necessary, establish advisory committees;

(15) Delegate limited powers to a committee composed of one or more members of the commission; and

(16) Contract for special or temporary services and professional counsel with the approval of the governing body. Upon request, a county prosecuting attorney, the county surveyor, the county engineer, or any other county employee may render assistance and service to a planning commission without compensation.

8A-5-1. Jurisdiction of planning commissions.

(a) A planning commission has the authority to:

(1) Approve a minor subdivision or land development application within its jurisdiction;

(2) Exempt an application for a minor subdivision or land development within its jurisdiction; and

(3) Approve a major subdivision or land development application within its jurisdiction.

(b) The staff of a planning commission has the authority to approve a minor subdivision or land development application within its jurisdiction, if granted such authority by the governing body in the subdivision and land development ordinance.

(c) If a subdivision or land development plan and plat cannot be approved through the minor subdivision or land development process, then an applicant must use the major subdivision or land development approval process.



STATE LAW THROUGH 2003 ON PLANNING COMMISSION

8-24-12. Appointment, duties and compensation of secretary and employees; special and temporary services; legal assistance.

Any [planning] commission may appoint and prescribe the duties and fix the compensation of a secretary and such employees as are necessary for the discharge of the duties and responsibilities of the [planning] commission. All such compensation, however, shall be in conformity to and in compliance with the salaries and compensation theretofore fixed by the governing body or county court of such municipalities or counties.

A [planning] commission may make contracts for special or temporary services and any professional counsel. The prosecuting attorney of a county, upon request, shall, without additional compensation, render legal assistance and service to the county planning commission.

8-24-14. Administrative powers and authority.

To effectuate the purposes of this article, a [planning] commission shall have the power, authority and duty to:

(1) Exercise general supervision of and make rules and regulations for the administration of the affairs of the [planning] commission;

(2) Prescribe uniform rules and regulations pertaining to its investigations and hearings;

(3) Supervise the fiscal affairs and responsibilities of the [planning] commission;

(4) Prescribe the qualifications of, appoint, remove and fix the compensation of, the employees of the [planning] commission, such compensation to be in conformity to and in compliance with the salaries and compensation theretofore fixed by the governing body or county court of such municipalities or counties;(5) Delegate to employees authority to perform ministerial acts in all cases except where final action of the commission is necessary;

(6) Keep an accurate and complete record of all departmental proceedings, and record and file all bonds and contracts and assume responsibility for the custody and preservation of all papers and documents of the commission;

(7) Make recommendations and an annual report to the governing body of the municipality or to the county court concerning the operation of the commission and the status of planning within its jurisdiction;

(8) Prepare, publish and distribute reports, ordinances and other material relating to the activities authorized under this article;

(9) Adopt a seal, and certify all official acts;

(10) Invoke any legal, equitable or special remedy for the enforcement of the provisions of this article or any ordinance, rule and regulation or any action taken thereunder;

(11) Prepare and submit an annual budget in the same manner as other departments of municipal and county government and the commission shall be limited in all expenditures to the provisions made therefor by the governing body of such municipality or by the county court of such county;

(12) If deemed advisable, establish an advisory committee or committees; and

(13) Delegate to a committee composed of one or more members of the commission the power to hold any public hearings or conferences required or permitted under this article to be held by the commission. If the hearing or conference is held by a committee, a written record of the substance of the hearing or conference shall be made and preserved with the records of the commission for not less than five years. The committee shall have authority only to conduct the hearing and report to the commission.

8-24-15. Appropriations; expenditures; disposition of gifts; participation in federal planning assistance programs.

After the governing body of a municipality or a county court has adopted an ordinance creating a planning commission, the governing body or county court shall appropriate funds to carry out the duties of the commission.

The planning commission shall have the power and authority to expend, under regular municipal or county procedure as provided by law, all sums appropriated to it for the purposes and activities authorized under this article.

A municipality or county may accept gifts and donations for planning commission purposes. Any moneys so accepted shall be deposited with the municipality or county in a special nonreverting planning commission fund to be available for expenditures by the planning commission for the purpose designated by the donor. The disbursing officer of a municipality or county shall draw warrants against such special nonreverting fund only upon vouchers signed by the president and secretary of the planning commission.

A municipal or county planning commission is empowered and authorized to spend funds made available for the purposes of this article, and to accept and use funds provided for the purposes of this article by the government of the United States and any other agency or group whose interests are in harmony with such purposes, in accordance with federal requirements and subject to such conditions or limitations as the constitution or law of the state may provide. In this connection a municipal or county planning commission is hereby expressly authorized to participate in the federal planning assistance programs as set forth in the "Federal Housing Act of 1954," as amended, and any subsequent acts.

8-24-32. Subdivision plats -- Application fees.

The [planning] commission may establish a uniform schedule of fees proportioned to the cost of checking and verifying proposed plats. An applicant shall pay the specified fee at the time of filing his application.

2004 STATE LAW ON ZONING BOARDS

8A-8-8. Governing body's duties.

The county commission in the case of a county board of zoning appeals, and the governing body of the municipality in the case of a municipal board of zoning appeals, shall provide the board of zoning appeals with:

(1) Suitable offices for the holding of meetings and the preservation of plans, maps, documents and accounts; and

(2) Appropriate money to defray the reasonable expenses of the board.

8A-8-9. Powers and duties of board of zoning appeals.

A board of zoning appeals has the following powers and duties:

(1) Hear, review and determine appeals from an order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official or board charged with the enforcement of a zoning ordinance or rule and regulation adopted pursuant thereto;

(2) Authorize exceptions to the district rules and regulations only in the classes of cases or in particular situations, as specified in the zoning ordinance;

(3) Hear and decide conditional uses of the zoning ordinance upon which the board is required to act under the zoning ordinance;

(4) Authorize, upon appeal in specific cases, a variance to the zoning ordinance;

(5) Reverse, affirm or modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and have all the powers and authority of the official or board from which the appeal was taken;

(6) Adopt rules and regulations concerning:

(A) The filing of appeals, including the process and forms for the appeal;

(B) Applications for variances and conditional uses;

(C) The giving of notice; and

(D) The conduct of hearings necessary to carry out the board's duties under the terms of this article;

(7) Keep minutes of its proceedings;

(8) Keep an accurate and complete audio record of all the board's proceedings and official actions and keep the audio record in a safe manner, which audio record is accessible within twenty-four hours of demand, for three years;

(9) Record the vote on all actions taken;

(10) Take responsibility for the custody and preservation of all papers and documents of the board. All minutes and records shall be filed in the office of the board and shall be public records;

(11) With consent from the governing body, hire employees necessary to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the board: Provided, That the governing body sets the salaries; and

(12) Supervise the fiscal affairs and responsibilities of the board.

STATE LAW THROUGH 2003 ON ZONING BOARDS

8-24-52. Board of zoning appeals -- Officers; quorum; compensation of secretary and employees.

...The board of zoning appeals may appoint and fix the compensation of a secretary and such employees as are necessary for the discharge of its duties, all in conformity to and in compliance with the salaries and compensation theretofore fixed by the municipality or county court.

8-24-53. Board of zoning appeals -- Offices; appropriation for expenses.

The governing body of the municipality in the case of a municipal board of zoning appeals and the county court in the case of a county board of zoning appeals shall provide the board with suitable offices for the holding of meetings and the preservation of plans, maps, documents and accounts, and shall provide by appropriation a sum sufficient to defray the reasonable expenses of the board.

8-24-54. Board of zoning appeals -- Rules and regulations and procedures; minutes and records.

The board of zoning appeals shall adopt such rules and regulations concerning the filing of appeals, applications for variances and exceptions, the giving of notice and the conduct of hearings as shall be necessary to carry out its duties under the terms of this article.

The board shall keep minutes of its proceedings, keep records of all official actions and shall record the vote on all actions taken. All minutes and records shall be filed in the office of the board and shall be public records.