The members of the Zoning Board of Appeals are appointed by a majority vote of the total township board membership. In addition, the township board may appoint up to two alternate zoning board of appeals members with authority to serve in the absence of a regular member if the regular member will be unable to attend one or more meetings. The alternate member may also be called where a regular member has a conflict of interest and, accordingly, must abstain from participating in a given issue. The terms of the members are three years, except when initially appointed to affect staggered terms. At least the majority of the regular members of the zoning board of appeals must be present for the board to conduct any business. In a township, one regular member must be a member of the township's zoning commission or planning commission where the latter is acting as a zoning commission. The remaining members must be township electors outside of any village. A member of the township board may be a regular or alternate member of the zoning board of appeals but cannot serve as chairperson. An employee or contractor of the township board may not serve on the zoning board of appeals. Any member who is also a member of the zoning commission, planning commission or township board cannot participate in a public hearing or vote on a matter that he or she has previously voted upon in his or her other capacity.
The zoning board of appeals is authorized to grant dimension variances from the zoning ordinance and upon request may interpret questionable provisions of the zoning ordinance. Where an appeal involves specific property, or an interpretation of an administrative decision involving a specific parcel, notice of the public hearing must be given as previously indicated for rezoning amendments. Otherwise, notice only is required to be published at least 15 days before the hearing.