Schoharie Zoning Board of Appeals

The Zoning Board of Appeals establishment and function is described in Article 9, page 54, of the Land Use Law. However, for this first article I will generally describe the setup and function of the ZBA. Future articles may describe specific procedures of the ZBA or answer questions that anyone has regarding the Land Use Law, Building Permit or ZBA applications.

The Town Board appoints the five members of the ZBA and names one of the five members as the Chairman.

Each member is appointed for a five-year term, so that after the establishment of the first Board, one member is replaced every year. No member of the ZBA can be a Town Board member. Also, there are minimum attendance requirements of 75% and minimum, State mandated, training requirements for all members of 4 hours of approved training per year.

Each member of the ZBA has one vote on nay issues before it.

The Chairman has only one vote, but has the additional duties of scheduling monthly and special meetings, setting agenda, processing received applications for presentation to the ZBA members at the monthly meetings, setting up and mailing out legal notices and letters as required by law.

The Chairman is generally responsible for assuring that the ZBA functions legally in all respects including the recording, reviewing and filing of all meeting minutes.

All meetings of the ZBA are open to the public unless a special meeting is called to be in Executive Session for a specific pending litigation issue.

The ZBA also selects its secretary to record meeting minutes and to assist the Chairman with clerical tasks. The secretary is not a member of the ZBA and does not have a vote on issues before the ZBA.

The issues and permits which come before the ZBA are: Interpretations of the Land Use Law, Special Use Permits, Area Variances, Use variances. These are all described in the current Town Land Use law, adopted August 2005, rewriten/adopted Land Use Law December 2015.

The most common question that people have is, “how do I get a permit?” or “what do I need if I have to go to the ZBA?”

The best way to proceed is to always go to the Town Code Enforcement Officer (TCEO) to explain what you want to do.

The TCEO will give you a Permit Application to fill out and a list of things that are needed for a Building Permit or a Land Use Permit. The TCEO will assign a number to the permit application and either approve or deny the Permit Application.

A denial means that you will be coming to the ZBA for either an Interpretation, Special Permit, Area Variance or Use Variance, if you wish to proceed with your project. The following list of documents is the same for any and all applications to the ZBA and 4 copies of all documents is required:

  • Building Permit Application with any supporting documents.
  • Application to the ZBA (from TCEO, Town Clerk, or ZBA Chm.)
  • Plot plan drawn to scale showing all buildings, retaining walls, wells, septic systems, and driveways. Wells and septic systems of neighbors may also be required in some cases.
  • Tax map showing subject property and all properties within 500′ of subject property.
  • List of legal property owners & mailing addresses for all properties within 500′ of subject property. List must be keyed to properties shown on tax map.
  • A contact phone number and mailing address.
Jennifer Risse – Chair
Address: PO Box 544, 300 Main Street Suite 8, Schoharie, NY 12157
Phone: 518-295-6570
Pamela Foland – Secretary
Ben Cooper
Frank Lawyer III
Jennifer Risse
Richard Price
Clinton (Ed) Manchester
Alternate – Vacant

The Zoning Board of Appeals meets on the 1st Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m.