The Board: The hearing is a semi-formal proceeding before the Board. The Board meets Tuesday mornings to hear and decide appeals. It is improper to contact any of the Board Members concerning an appeal outside of the public meeting, and to do so may result in one or more of the members recusing.
Appearances – Power Of Attorney: All landowners should appear in person at the hearing, unless extenuating circumstances exist: the owner’s testimony is vital to the Board. A representative of the landowners who is able to testify to all issues (hardship, etc.) may appear for them if he or she holds a properly executed Power of Attorney (see Forms page). If the property is held in co-ownership, each co-owner must appear in person, or one owner bearing a Co-owner Power of Attorney may represent the absent owner. If the property is held in the name of a company, corporation, association, partnership, church, etc., the person appearing must have a corporate Power of Attorney signed by a principal officer (i.e., President, Chairman of the Board, General Partner, etc.).
Legal Counsel: You are not required to have legal counsel, but you may be represented by an attorney if you like. On certain complex technical/legal questions, legal counsel is recommended. The Board or staff cannot recommend a specific attorney. You may call the Denver Bar Association, at 303-831-1309, to supply a referral to an attorney if you do not have one.
Evidence: The evidentiary rules for administrative hearings are not as strict as they are for a Court of Law. You have the right to bring or subpoena witnesses in your behalf and/or submit drawings, diagrams, photographs, documents, letters, or petitions that will help prove your case (see Tips & Miscellaneous page). If you want to subpoena someone, you must use the form available in the office of the Board and authorized by the Chairman of the Board. Note: A subpoena must be served at least 48 hours prior to the hearing (Rule 345, C.R.C.P.).
Demeanor: It should be remembered that because of the inherently stressful nature of these proceedings, emotions often run high and patience is strained. Therefore, a calm attitude, courtesy, and respect will contribute greatly to a smooth and judicious hearing. Since this is a quasi-judicial body, conduct and apparel appropriate to a Court of Law is proper (no men’s hats, no applause, no outbursts).
Burden of Persuasion: The appellant has the burden of convincing the Board of his or her right to relief. Any determination or finding of the Zoning Administrator shall be presumed to be correct until evidence is introduced which would support a contrary determination or finding. Therefore, the Burden of Proof is on the Applicant to prove his or her appeal.
Note: Your appeal and testimony should be based upon the criteria of the ordinance section under which you are requesting relief and you should be prepared to elaborate upon each point.
The Vote: The Ordinance and City Charter require the concurring vote of four members to reverse an order, requirement, decision or determination of the Zoning Administrator or to decide in favor of the Applicant. In the event one Board member is absent, you may request a postponement of the hearing or you may waive the right to a five member Board and have four members hear the appeal. If the absent member’s vote is necessary to provide the four concurring votes, he or she may listen to the tape recording of the testimony and cast his or her vote. If two members are absent, a quorum of three may hear the appeal, but at least one of the absent members must listen to the recording and cast his or her vote in order to decide the case. The Zoning Administrator, any objector, intervenor or the Board may also request a postponement for a five member Board to hear the appeal. However, the Board may decide to deny the request for a postponement and to proceed with the hearing.