Section 27-232 of the County Zoning Ordinance states that to help it reach a decision, the Board of Zoning Appeals may request the Planning Board or a County agency furnish technical service, advice, data or factual evidence.
Ex Parte Communications
Section 2-296 of the County Code, Ex Parte Communications, applies to cases pending before the Board. This section states:
"An official shall not consider any ex parte or private communication from any person, whether oral or written, which the official knows or should know may be intended to influence the decision on the merits of any matter where a determination or decision by the official is required by law to be made upon facts established by a record of testimony. Any such ex parte or private communication received by the official shall be made a public record by the official and filed in the matter in question, and if made orally, shall be written down in substance for this purpose by the official, made a public record and filed in the matter in question. A communication to the Clerk of the County Council, Board of Appeals or similar agency, concerning the status or procedures of a pending matter shall not be considered an ex parte or private communication. This Subsection shall not apply to legal advice rendered by the Office of Law and shall not apply to technical advice or explanation rendered by or at the request of the appropriate official of the County."
If a member of the Board has any doubts as to whether a communication relates to the merits of a case, the member is advised to consider it so and include it in the record.