2006 New York Code - Review Boards.

    §  325.  Review boards. 1. There may be in each county a review board,
  to consist of three members, who shall be  appointed  by  the  board  of
  supervisors of the county. One member shall be a registered architect or
  a  professional  engineer.  The  term of office of each member of such a
  review board shall be for three years, provided, however,  that  of  the
  members  first  appointed  in  the  case  of any such board one shall be
  appointed for a term of one year, one for a term of two years,  and  one
  for  a  term  of three years. Such members shall receive no compensation
  unless the board of  supervisors  shall  otherwise  determine  but  each
  member  shall  be  entitled  to  his  expenses  actually and necessarily
  incurred by him in the performance of his duties. The board shall  elect
  its  chairman from among its own members. Two members of the board shall
  constitute a quorum. The concurring vote of at least two members of  the
  board shall be necessary for action. Any member chosen to fill a vacancy
  occurring  otherwise  than  by expiration of term shall be appointed for
  the unexpired term of the member whom he is to  succeed.  The  board  of
  supervisors  shall  have  power to remove any member of the review board
  for cause and after public hearing.
    2. The board may appoint such employees as may be  authorized  by  the
  board of supervisors, and prescribe their duties.
    3.  Each  county  board  shall have power within its county, except as
  stated to the contrary in subdivision eight of this  section,  and  each
  local board of review, as provided in said subdivision eight, shall have
  power within its own applicable area:
    a.  With  respect  to dwellings existing on the effective date of this
  chapter only, to vary or modify, in whole or in part, the application of
  any provision of this chapter or  of  any  rule  or  regulation  of  the
  department or commission, relating and limited to
    (1) secondary means of egress from dwellings,
    (2) fire retarding of public halls, stairs, and cellar ceilings,
    (3) requisite open spaces, and
    (4)  requirements  with  respect  to bulkheads and scuttles; provided,
  however, that in the instance of each such variance or modification, the
  basic spirit and intent of the law are  maintained  and  public  health,
  safety   and  welfare  are  preserved,  and  further  provided  that  in
  connection  with  any  such  variance  or  modification  the  board  may
  prescribe alternative or substitute requirements where such requirements
  are  appropriate  or  necessary to effectuate the basic purposes of this
  chapter.  Any such variance or modification shall be granted only  after
  satisfactory  proof,  at  a public hearing, of practical difficulties or
  unnecessary hardships to be encountered or caused by compliance with the
  strict letter of such law, rule or regulation.
    b. To fix a  reasonable  time  for  the  hearing  of  an  application,
  requiring that due notice be given of the time and place of such hearing
  to the applicant and to the department or to other persons affected.  In
  every case the board shall state the reason or reasons for its decision.
  A  record  of all orders, requirements and decisions of each such board,
  indexed according to the section or sections of  this  chapter  affected
  thereby  shall be kept in the office of the board, and such record shall
  be open to public inspection at all times during normal business hours.
    c. To enter, or delegate to any employee or officer of  such  a  board
  power  to  enter, any building or property for the purpose of conducting
  investigations, surveys, or  inspections  necessary  to  carry  out  the
  provisions of this article.
    d.  To  adopt  a  seal  and  to alter the same at its pleasure, and to
  require that it be used for the authentication of orders and proceedings
  and for such other purposes as it may prescribe.
    e. To conduct examinations and investigations, administer oaths,  hear
  testimony  and take proof, under oath, if the board should so determine,
  of any matter relevant or necessary to carry out the provisions of  this
    f.  To  do  all other things convenient and necessary to carry out its
    4. No member of such a board, nor any of  its  employees,  shall  pass
  upon  any  question  relating  to  any  premises  in  which  he  or  any
  corporation in which he is a stockholder  or  security  holder  has  any
  interest directly or indirectly.
    5. An application for such variance or modification may be made within
  thirty  days  after service of a notice or order to remove any violation
  of this chapter or any nuisance, by any person aggrieved, or by the head
  of an agency or department within the  area  in  which  such  board  has
  jurisdiction.  An  aggrieved  person  shall  be  construed as one who is
  directly and adversely affected by a provision of this chapter or a rule
  or regulation of the department or commission. Any action or decision of
  such a board may be reviewed on the law  or  the  facts  in  the  manner
  provided  by  the  provisions  of  article  seventy-eight  of  the civil
  practice law and rules.
    6. An appeal shall stay all proceedings, both civil and  criminal,  in
  furtherance  of  the  action appealed from, unless the officer from whom
  the appeal is taken shall file with the board to which  the  appeal  has
  been taken a certificate that, by reason of facts stated therein, a stay
  would,  in  his  opinion,  cause  imminent peril to life or property, in
  which case,  proceedings  shall  not  be  stayed  otherwise  than  by  a
  restraining  order  which, upon good cause shown, may be granted by such
  board or by the supreme court,  on  application,  at  least  three  days
  notice  of  which  shall be given to the officer from whom the appeal is
  being taken.
    7. Each review board shall have power to charge and collect reasonable
  fees and to make rules governing such charges.
    8. A municipality may continue an  existing  local  board  of  review,
  which  is  in  existence  on July first, nineteen hundred fifty-four, to
  have  jurisdiction  solely  within  the  territorial  limits   of   such
  municipality.  In  any  such case, the jurisdiction of a county board of
  review shall not extend to any such municipality or municipalities.   In
  the  event  that no such local board exists in a municipality and in the
  event that, and so long as, there shall not be in such county  a  review
  board  appointed  pursuant  to subdivision one of this section, a review
  board to consist of three members, one of whom  shall  be  a  registered
  architect  or  a  professional  engineer,  may  be  established  by such
  municipality before September thirty, nineteen hundred sixty-six located
  within such county to have jurisdiction solely  within  the  territorial
  limits  of  such municipality. The powers and duties of a local board of
  review, insofar as the operation of the provisions of  this  chapter  is
  concerned,  shall  be  the  same,  within  the territorial limits of the
  municipality, as those of  a  county  board  created  pursuant  to  this
    9. In the event that, and so long as, there shall not be in any county
  or  municipality  a  review  board  authorized to be established in this
  section, appeals authorized to be taken  to  such  county  or  municipal
  review  board,  as  herein provided, within the area in which such board
  would, if established, have jurisdiction, may be taken to the commission
  instead, and in such event and  with  respect  to  any  such  county  or
  municipality, the commission shall have the same powers and jurisdiction
  as  is herein provided for a county or municipality review board in such

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