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Board of Adjustment


The Board of Adjustment (ZBA) holds quasi-judicial public hearings to determine requests made by property owners in the Town of North Topsail Beach for variances and appeals of administrative interpretations or decisions, as authorized by State law and local ordinance. The ZBA is comprised of five regular members and four alternates appointed by the North Topsail Beach Board of Aldermen. The ZBA typically meets on the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 a.m.

Board of Adjustment MembersZubecca Bowman (Chairman), Hanna McCloud (Vice-Chair), William Bowman, Debra Swantek, Paul Dorazio, Dr. John Harrington (Alternate), Patricia Stigall (Alternate), VACANT(Alternate).

What is the Board of Adjustment?

The Board of Adjustment is a “quasi-judicial” board, created by ordinance, whose responsibility is to hear appeals from decisions of the zoning administrator and to consider requests for variances from the terms of the zoning ordinance. Members are citizens appointed by the Board of Aldermen. There are Meetings are conducted in the 1st Floor Conference Room on the third Thursday of the month.


The term “quasi-judicial” is used because the Board’s power is above that of the code enforcement officers, but below that of the courts. The Board exists because it is the most effective method of maintaining a zoning ordinance that meets the needs of the community and addresses hardship in individual cases. The Board serves to interpret the town ordinances and policies for unique situations or special cases. If the Board did not exist, each of these individual cases could go before a court of law as a suit or before the Board of Aldermen as a request for a change to the town ordinance. These options are expensive and time consuming. The Board of Adjustment provides the Town and its citizens a process of dealing with exceptions without legal action or without changes to the zoning ordinance.


What can the Board of Adjustment do?

The Board has the power to decide:


·VARIANCES, which the Board may grant in certain situations, that enables a property owner to make use of the property in some way that conflicts with the literal provisions of the zoning ordinance.  Property owners who feel that practical or unnecessary hardships exist on their property by or because of the zoning ordinance may petition the Board. An approving vote by 4/5ths members is necessary to approve a petition.

·Appeals. The Board is given the responsibility of correcting any mistakes or abuses of discretion made by the code enforcement officers. In this process, it is important to note that the Board does not have the power to change the ordinance and is limited to interpretation of the ordinance. Its decisions are based on what the Board believes to be the actual meaning and intent of the ordinance.

 Click on "A/M" for the agenda and minutes corresponding to the month and year. "X" = meeting canceled, no variances or appeals received. "T"= training.
 2013 X X X      
2012X XA/MX  A/M
2011 X A/M X X X
2010A/M A/M TA/M  XA/M  X X XA/M  X