The Zoning Board of Appeals is a quasi-judicial body, consisting of five members appointed by the Southold Town Board. The ZBA is authorized under New York Town Law to hear appeals of applications that have been reviewed and issued a denial (Notice of Disapproval) by the Building Inspector under Chapter 280 (Zoning) of the Town Code. One of the basic powers given by law to a Zoning Board is the “variance power”, whereby the Board may “vary” or modify the strict letter of a zoning ordinance or local law. The Board cannot amend or create zoning regulations; that legislative power resides with the Southold Town Board.
The ZBA also has original jurisdiction to consider uses specifically permitted under Chapter 280 (Zoning) by Special Exception application, such as Accessory Bed and Breakfasts, Accessory Apartments in an Accessory Structure, certain commercial uses, motels, inns, and other specifically referenced uses, when all requirements referred to in the Town Code and New York Town Laws have been met.