Bd. of Sup’rs of Fairfax Cty. v. Bd. of Zoning Appeals of Fairfax Cty.

The Fairfax Board of Zoning Appeals may enact bylaws to govern its proceedings, as long as they don’t conflict with county ordinances or state law. Valid bylaws that govern the BZA’s substantive procedures amount to notice to the public, so they must be followed and may not be treated as merely parliamentary in nature and dispensable.

However, the BZA’s bylaw allowing for reconsideration by written request filed within seven days is invalid, because it conflicts with the county’s zoning ordinance and doesn’t comply with legal notice requirements for public hearings. And here, the BZA’s reconsideration of its original decision in this cause pursuant to a request filed after its own seven-day deadline, without implementing the formal notice of proceedings required by state law and county ordinance, was ultra vires and void ab initio.

The BZA’s original decision against the defendant landowners is reinstated, and its bylaw allowing for reconsideration of its decisions is invalid as currently constituted.

Bd. of Sup’rs of Fairfax Cty. v. Bd. of Zoning Appeals of Fairfax Cty., No. Cl17-15190, Nov. 19, 2018. Fairfax Cir. (Bernhard).



Categories: Opinions, Virginia Circuit Courts

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