Meetings are normally held in Public Meeting Room A on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
(1) A fee of $125 is payable at the time of application. No portion of this fee is refundable regardless of the action of the Sign Board of Appeals. This fee covers the cost of mailing a notice of the public hearing on the variance request to property owners within 300 feet of the applicant’s property. The newspaper and mail notices are required to be sent as per State of Michigan law.
(2) Application forms for sign variances can be obtained from the Building Department. Applications must be filed with the Building Department at least fourteen (14) days before a regularly scheduled Sign Board of Appeals meeting.
(3) The Building Department staff prepares a report for the Board of Appeals detailing the relevant information pertaining to the variance request. The Building staff does not make a recommendation to approve or deny the variance. A copy of the staff report is available upon request approximately five (5) to seven (7) days prior to the date of the public hearing.
(4) A public hearing is held before the Sign Board of Appeals at which the applicant or his/ her representative must be present in order to receive consideration of the variance or other requested decision. The applicant is given an opportunity to present his/ her case to the Board regarding the variance request. Decisions of the Board of Appeals become effective five (5) days after the final public hearing date.
(5) Recourse from any decisions by the Sign Board of Appeals is only available from the Circuit Court of Eaton County, as provided for by law. An appeal cannot be filed with the Delta Township Board of Trustees.
Criteria for Granting a Variance
The Sign Board of Appeals treats each variance request individually and approves or denies each variance request on its own merits.
In order for the Board of Appeals to grant a variance, the applicant must satisfy all seven (7) of the criteria specified in Section 15-47 of the Delta Township Sign Ordinance. The criteria are as:
(1) Where there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships that will exist if the variance is not granted. The appellant must demonstrate that the alleged practical difficulty or hardship, or both, are exceptional and peculiar to the appellant’s situation and result from conditions which do not generally exist throughout the township.
(2) The fact that other larger signs constructed under prior sign ordinances exist in the area shall not be sufficient reason to declare practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship.
(3) The Sign Board of Appeals shall not grant a variance if it is determined that the practical difficulty or hardship is self-created.
(4) The terms “practical difficulties” and “hardships” shall relate to the use of a particular parcel of land. And “practical difficulty” or “hardship” shall not be deemed solely economic, as in relating to the cost of the sign, the size of the sign, or the fact that the sign has already been constructed. The fact that the sign is only available in a standardized size and/ or material (example: franchised business signs) shall not constitute a “practical difficulty” or “hardship.”
(5) The practical difficulty or hardship which is alleged to result from a failure to grant the variance, must include substantially more than mere inconvenience or the mere inability to attain a higher financial return.
(6) It must be demonstrated by the appellant that granting the variance will result in substantial justice being done, while consideration is given to the impacts on the public health, safety, and welfare.
(7) The granting of the variance shall not impose a negative impact on the rights of others.