Windsor Town Council seeks residents willing to serve on BZA, commission
Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2022
The Windsor Town Council is inviting town residents who are involved in the community and who want to contribute to contact the town about opportunities to serve on the Windsor Board of Zoning Appeals and Windsor Planning Commission.
There are two positions open on the BZA, and there is potentially one position open on the planning commission. The council appoints members to the commission and recommends candidates for the BZA to the chief judge of the Isle of Wight County Circuit Court, who essentially affirms or rejects the council’s recommendation.
Windsor Mayor Glyn T. Willis instructed the council to be prepared to appoint/recommend individuals to the open spots at the Tuesday, Nov. 1, council meeting.
Having served on Isle of Wight County’s BZA, Willis noted that it is particularly critical for members of a board of zoning appeals to get training due to how those particular boards operate.
Town guidelines state that the desired qualities for a BZA member include someone involved in the community, interested or desiring to serve, and someone who does not hold elected office.
The bylaw requirements state that a Windsor BZA member must be a town resident, shall serve for a term of five years, and shall fulfill the following duties:
- Appeals — hear and decide appeals from any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the planning and zoning administrator or other administrative officer in the administration or enforcement of Article II of a relevant ordinance and the portions of Article I of this ordinance that deal with zoning.
- Variances — authorize, upon original application in specific cases, such variance from the terms of the zoning ordinance.
The bylaw requirements state that a planning commission member must be a resident of Windsor and shall serve for a term of four years.
Town guidelines state that the desired qualities for a planning commission member include someone who desires to serve the community, someone involved with the community and someone whose location of residence contributes to an even distribution of residencies across town among the commission members.
Currently serving on the commission are Chair Leonard L. Marshall, Vice Chair George Stubbs, Dale Scott, Jesse Taylor, Ricky Vaughn, Larissa Williams and G. Devon Hewitt, the latter of whom the council reappointed Tuesday, Oct. 11.
Taylor’s term expires at the end of 2022, but Town Manager William Saunders told the council Oct. 11 that “we have not been able to get with Mr. Taylor to find out if he is willing to be reappointed or not, unfortunately.”
For those interested in serving either on the BZA or planning commission, contact Windsor Town Hall at 757-242-4288 or visit it in person at 8 East Windsor Blvd. Saunders can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s interesting because historically things happen a particular way, and council would know of individuals and so forth (to recommend or appoint),” Willis said. “(But) I do think it is a good thing to have the citizens know about it where somebody that has an interest in getting involved in the town and helping the town can raise their hand to come help as compared to us going out and seeking and cajoling people.”
The Windsor BZA includes G. Devon Hewitt, Marion Neighbours and Sue Meadows, the latter of whom the council recommended for reappointment Oct. 11.
Prior to the council’s vote, Saunders noted that Meadows, the BZA’s newest member, was in the process of finishing an unexpired term on the board, has already gone through relevant certification classes since her initial appointment and was willing to be reappointed.
The remaining two vacancies on the BZA have been created because Frances D. Butler passed away, leaving behind a term that expires at the end of 2024, and Carolyn W. Harrup tendered her resignation because she is moving out of town. Harrup’s term ends Dec. 31, 2022, setting up the person who takes her spot to serve a full five-year term.
“The tough thing about the BZA is in 15 years that I’ve been here, there’s never been essentially a request that’s come to the BZA, but given how it operates, it’s critical that we have it in case that comes in,” Willis said. “Otherwise we have no way to handle what I’ll characterize as almost a judicial-type exercise on a judicial board to make that determination on appeals.”