§14-1703. Permits.


(1) All applications for any zoning or use registration permit under this Title shall be made to the Department.

(2) No zoning or use registration permits shall be issued unless:

(a) The owner or his agent authorized in writing files a plan in duplicate drawn to scale showing the actual lot dimensions, use or intended use, height or size, and location of the building or buildings on the lot, together with such other information and data as the Department may require;

(b) Such plan is approved by the Department as showing compliance with the applicable provisions of this Title;

(c) The required fee is paid.

(3) The plan required hereunder, when approved by the Department, shall be final and conclusive. One copy of such plan, as approved, shall be returned to the applicant stamped as approved by the Department.

(4) Zoning and/or Use Registration Permits issued after the effective date of this ordinance with respect to construction and use of a property, or where interior alterations are involved, shall expire one year after the date of issuance, unless construction work is begun prior thereto and is carried on to completion without voluntary interruption. Use Registration Permits, where no construction or interior alterations are involved, shall expire three months from the date of issuance unless the approved use has begun.

(5) Whenever an application is filed for alterations to an existing structure which does not change the area, height, floor area or bulk of the structure and the existing use is legal and unchanged, the application will be designated as approved by a stamp stating "Permit Not Required".

(6) "One year rule."[368]

(a) Definitions. For purposes of this subsection, the following definitions shall apply:

(i) "Board." Zoning Board of Adjustment.

(ii) "Finally denied." An application is "finally denied" on the date the Department denies the application, or, if the Department’s denial is appealed, on the date of the last Board or court decision in the matter from which all appeals have been exhausted.

(iii) "One Year Rule." The rule established by this subsection requiring the Department to deny certain applications for zoning or use registration permits that are substantially similar to certain previously denied applications.

(b) Each application for a zoning or use registration permit shall include a written disclosure, in the form required by the Department, as to whether a substantially similar application was finally denied within one year prior to the date of the application, or whether, as of the date of the application, an appeal is pending (either before the Board or before a court) of the denial of a substantially similar application.

(c) After receiving an application for a zoning or use registration permit, the Department shall determine if a substantially similar application was finally denied (for reasons other than application of the One Year Rule) within one year prior to the date of the application, or if, as of the date of the application, an appeal is pending before the Board or a court of the denial of a substantially similar application. If it so determines, and if the application is not one that the Department may grant as of right, then the Department shall issue a refusal or referral and shall note thereon; a "Denied - One Year Rule."

(d) The issuance of a refusal or referral denoted, "Denied - One Year Rule," may be appealed to the Board. On such an appeal, the Board shall hold a hearing limited to two issues: (i) whether the Department properly applied the One Year Rule; and (ii) whether, because of materially changed circumstances, the application should be considered notwithstanding the One Year Rule. Following such hearing, the Board shall, in accordance with Section 14-1805(3), render a decision limited to those two issues, and shall, in accordance with Section 14-1806, detail the reasons for its decision in writing. If the Board’s decision is that the application should not be denied on the basis of the One Year Rule, then the Board shall consider the appeal on the merits in accordance with its usual procedures, including the holding of an additional hearing in accordance with section 14-1805, for which reposting shall be required in accordance with Section 14-1805(11) and applicable Board regulations, but for which no additional fee shall be imposed.

(e) The failure of the Department to deny an application on the basis of the One Year Rule may be raised by any aggrieved party in an appeal from the Department’s issuance of a permit, or in an appeal to the Board from the Department’s refusal to issue a permit for reasons other than application of the One Year Rule.