After a Notice of Appeal has been filed, the ZBA will take up the matter at a future meeting. The ZBA is required to schedule a hearing on the applicant's appeal within a reasonable time, and give notice of the hearing to the applicant. If a variance is requested, the ZBA may be required to take some preliminary steps before it may hear the case.
First, the ZBA may have to make a determination of significance under the State's Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). Based on this determination, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) may or may not be required. If an EIS is required, the case cannot be heard until the EIS has been completed and accepted by the ZBA. Environmental review is not necessary for interpretations of the zoning regulations or for area variances relating to setbacks and lot lines, or for area variances relating to one-, two-, or three-family residences.
Second, depending on the location of the property, the ZBA may be required by State law to refer requests for variances to the county planning agency for a preliminary recommendation. If such a referral is required, the ZBA must give the county 30 days to respond. It is also possible that the county's recommendation could result in an increase in the number of votes needed for the ZBA to approve the variance. Appeals for interpretations need not be referred to the county.