About the Board of Zoning Appeals

The BZA is an example of grass roots government in action. Property owners or businesses who want to build something that's a little too close, a little too high or a little too big, typically must take their cases to the BZA.  In effect, the BZA is a group of five residents who interpret the City’s Zoning Ordinances for their neighbors and all of the residents within the city limits. The board's purpose is to look out for the spirit and intent of the Zoning Ordinances, even when exceptions to the rule are made. The ultimate goal is to preserve and protect property values for all residents.  BZA members consider requests for variances to the Zoning Ordinances, review Conditional Use Permits, and may hear and rule on challenges to staff interpretations of the Zoning map.

(Chapter 1109.02)

Most BZA cases are presented by businesses or homeowners who are requesting a variance. A business request may involve signs –– for instance, placing them higher than allowed, increasing their square footage, or moving them closer to the street or road. Many variances are requested by homeowners as well who may want to make an improvement such as building a shed or garage, placing a fence on a property line, or constructing an addition to their home.

Conditional Use Permits 
(Chapter 1109.03)

Property owners who wish to obtain Conditional Use Permits also must have their application approved by the BZA. A conditional use typically is a more intense use than the original zoning district's principal permitted uses. It could be larger in scale or generate more traffic, or require parking lots. Each zoning designation in the city allows for some specified conditional uses, such as the construction of a church or school within a residential area.

Because the BZA may say no to applicants, its members must have well-reasoned explanations for their decisions. The City is fortunate to have knowledgeable BZA members who are adept at focusing on legal requirements.

Home Occupation Permits 
(Chapter 1143)

The Board shall hold a public hearing on an application for a home occupation.  Home occupations have an initial time limit not exceeding one year. A renewal fee shall be submitted for each year after the initial year for all home occupations. A renewal application shall be made on forms provided by the Zoning Inspector. The application shall be reviewed and an inspection made of the property by the Zoning Inspector to verify continued compliance with the necessary criteria and conditions established with the initial approval. If in the review by the Zoning Inspector the applicant has not complied with the necessary conditions, the matter shall be referred to the Board for consideration. The Board may without further hearing revoke any home occupation permit for noncompliance with the conditions set forth in the approved original permit. Any permit revoked by the Board may not be resubmitted for a period of one year.  Please find attached here the
 Board of Zoning Appeals Application for Home Occupation.


Jeffrey Huber
Compliance/Project Manager
City of Fostoria



Board of Zoning Appeals

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Information for Applicants

Board of Zoning Appeals cancellations/withdrawls must be submitted by the applicant in writing and delivered to the Compliance Manager, ten (10) or more calendar days prior to the case's regular scheduled hearing date. Failure by the applicant to make such notification within the described terms will result in the applicant being required to pay the filing fee again, to cover the costs of publishing, posting and/or mailing notices of hearing or hearings required. Each separate time a hearing date is set for a Board of Zoning Appeals case, the same rules will apply.

Upcoming Meeting Information

           Meeting Agenda-2023

General Meeting Information

The Board of Zoning Appeals usually meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 5:30 pm in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building, 213 S Main Street.

          Meeting Dates 2023   

          Meeting Minutes

The Board may not meet for a regularly scheduled hearing date if no applications have been filed. Before making arrangements to attend a public hearing, it is suggested that you call 419-435-9775 to confirm the meeting time..

Tel: 419.435.8282

213 South Main Street, Fostoria, Ohio

This page contains meeting dates, the upcoming meeting agenda, minutes of past meetings and links to Chapter 1109 – Appeals, Variances and Conditional Uses and the Board of Zoning Appeals Variance Application

Board Information

The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) consists of five voting members appointed by the Mayor and one non-voting member appointed by the President of City Council to serve five-year, overlapping terms. The Board has the power to decide appeals, make interpretations of the Zoning Ordinances, grant requested variances, and approve conditional uses. Members are:

Kevin Magers (Chairperson)
Paul Allison (Vice-Chairperson)
Burton Hughes
Jacquelyn Jordan
Don Mennel
Jeffrey Huber(Compliance/Project Manager - Secretary of the Board)

To contact board members, please email – compliance@fostoriaohio.gov