In availing itself of the powers conferred by this chapter, the county commission shall provide for the appointment of a board of adjustment and may provide that the said board of adjustment shall, in appropriate cases and subject to appropriate conditions and safeguards, make special exceptions to the terms of the zoning ordinance or regulations in harmony with its general purposes and interests and in accordance with general or specific rules adopted pursuant to this chapter.
The board of adjustment shall consist of five members who shall be appointed from among the residents of the county by the county commission to serve for a term of three years; provided, that in establishing the board of adjustment, the county commission may designate the terms of the members first appointed on such basis that the term of one member will expire each year thereafter. Such members shall be removable for cause by the county commission upon written charges and after public hearing. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term of any member by interim appointees designated by the county commission. The board shall select its chairman and adopt rules in accordance with the provisions of any ordinance adopted pursuant to this chapter. Meetings of the board shall be held at the call of the chairman and at such other times as the board may determine. Such chairman, or in his absence the acting chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All meetings of the board shall be open to the public. The board shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon each question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall keep records of examinations and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the board and shall be a public record. Appeals to the board of adjustment may be taken by any person aggrieved or by any county official or administrative officer. Such appeal shall be taken within a reasonable time, as provided by the rules of the board, by filing notice of appeal, specifying the grounds thereof, with the officer from whom the appeal is taken and with the board of adjustment. The officer from whom the appeal is taken shall transmit forthwith to the board all papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken. An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the officer from whom the appeal is taken certifies to the board of adjustment after the notice of appeal shall have been filed with him that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would, in his opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property. Such proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order which may be granted by the board of adjustment or by a court of record on application or notice to the officer from whom the appeal is taken and on due cause shown.
The board of adjustment shall have the following powers:
(1) To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative body or official in the enforcement of this chapter or of any ordinance adopted pursuant thereto;
(2) To hear and decide on requests for special exceptions to the terms or provisions of the ordinance upon which such board is required to pass; and
(3) To authorize upon appeal in special cases such variance from the yard, open space, bulk and height requirements of the ordinance as will not be contrary to the public interest, where, owing to special conditions of the building site or land, a literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance will result in unnecessary hardship, all in order that the spirit of the ordinance shall be observed and substantial justice done; provided, however, that nothing in this chapter shall authorize the board of adjustment to approve a use not permitted by the zoning ordinance for the district in which the building site is located.
In exercising the above-mentioned powers, such board may in conformity with the provisions of this chapter reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or modify the order, requirement, decision, or determination appealed from and make any such order, requirement, decision, or determination as ought to be made and, to that end, shall have all the powers of the officer from whom the appeal is taken. The concurring vote of four members of the board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision, or determination of any such administrative official or to decide in favor of the applicant on any matter upon which it is required to pass under any such ordinance or to effect any variation in such ordinance. The board of adjustment shall not be required to return the original papers acted upon by it, but it shall be sufficient to return certified or sworn copies thereof or of such portions thereof as may be called on by such writ. The return shall concisely set forth such other facts as may be pertinent and material to show the grounds of the decision appealed from and shall be verified.