Zoning Board of Appeals

January 2020

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  • Paul M. DeChance, Chairman
  • James Wisdom, Deputy Chair
  • Howard M. Bergson
  • Rick Cunha
  • Charles Lazarou
  • Ronald J. Lindsay
  • James Mazzarella

About the Board

The Board of Zoning Appeals consists of 7 members appointed by the Town Board. The function of the Board of Appeals is to timely and responsibly address appeals from land use legislation and administrative decisions of Town officers and agencies, and to interpret the Town Code. Appeals from land use legislation include use and area variances, special permits, lighting, signage and land subdivision applications.


The Office of the Board of Appeals is responsible for the administration and management of all appeals filed with the Board of Appeals, including:

  • Applications
  • Inter-departmental, civic and resident communications
  • Legal notifications
  • Submissions

In addition, the Office of the Board of Appeals actively manages its public hearing calendars.

Town Law & Code

Town Law §267 and Town Code §85-57 set forth the factors to be considered by the Board of Appeals in its determination of the matters before it. An applicant to the Board must be prepared to speak to these factors at the time of the public hearing. An applicant is therefore advised to seek clarification from the staff of the Office of the Board of Appeals at the time of application filing should there be any question concerning the applicable factors to be considered by the Board in its determination of an appeal. For instance, the factors to be considered for an area variance (an appeal of dimensional or physical code requirements) shall include a consideration of the character of the neighborhood, whether the proposal will create a detriment to nearby properties, whether there are feasible alternatives to the benefit sought, whether the relief sought is substantial when compared to the Code requirement and/or established neighborhood, the impact of the proposal to physical and environmental conditions of the neighborhood and whether the alleged difficulty Is self-created.


All appeals are decided through the issuance of findings of fact and conclusions of the Board of Appeals. The Board of Appeals determination must be rendered within 62 days of the conclusion of the public hearing. An applicant will receive such determination in writing. The determinations of the Board of Appeals are uploaded to the Town of Brookhaven website and can be accessed through the Calendar page.