ZBOA applications will be accepted starting April 16

Posted at 12:45 PM, Apr 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-14 14:45:38-04

The Board of Cascade County Commissioners will accept applications to fill a vacancy on the Zoning Board of Adjustments (ZBOA) starting April 16.

The Cascade County Commissioners previously advertised the position with specific qualifying requirements intended to ensure an impartial and unbiased candidate pool as members will likely make a decision concerning the proposed Madison Food Park.

On Tuesday, April 10, the Board removed the application requirements, which means the vacant position will not have a certain criteria to be met.

According to a press release, the five members of the ZBOA serve three-year terms and without compensation.

The ZBOA has exclusive power and authority to independently hear and decide zoning appeals and applications for zoning variances and special exceptions (Special Use Permits). 

Applications for the vacancy are available online or can be picked up at the County Commission Office located in the Courthouse Annex at 325 2nd Avenue North.

The applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1 at the County Commission Office.

The press released stated that previous applicants must resubmit an application to be considered.

(April 10, 2017) The Cascade County Commissioners didn’t appoint a new member to the Zoning Board of Adjustments, or ZBOA, on Tuesday morning.

Instead, Commissioner Jim Larson motioned to remove the application requirements and re-advertise the position.

This suggestion was met with applause from Cascade County residents who attended the meeting.

Commissioner Jane Weber also agreed with Larson.

However, Joe Briggs stated he didn’t mind removing some of the requirements, but was set on keeping the criteria of freeholder applicants.

The commissioners ultimately voted 2 -1 on the motion, with Briggs opposing.

The vacant position will not have a certain criteria to be met and all those who had previously applied will need to reapply.

This position is one of the points of contention in the public debate over the proposed Madison Food Park.

(APRIL 5, 2018) A court hearing that was set for the injunction against Cascade County and the Cascade County Commissioners has been postponed.

Last month, Ryan Villines filed the injunction in hopes of stopping the appointing of an open position to the Zoning Board of Adjustments (ZBOA).

Attorney Mark Higgins responded on behalf of the county and the commissioners, stating that no summons have been issued. Higgins also states that an injunction cannot be granted because the process of appointing someone to the ZBOA is a legislative act.

In the order, Judge Olivia Rieger stated that Villines did not meet the Montana Uniform District Court Rules. There is no notice of substance of request for relief, no evidence the county or commissioners were serviced, and there was no indication if the county or commissioners oppose the motion.

Reiger also wrote that Villines’ request for an injunction is improper because it is not the correct avenue for him to seek relief from the actions of the commissioners. Reiger states that it is also unclear if Villines wants the court to appoint an individual to the ZBOA.

A hearing will be set after all of the parties involved have been properly serviced.

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